Richard Blackwell, The Globe and Mail
The Ontario government has denied that it intentionally destroyed documents related to a legal dispute with a company that wanted to build offshore wind turbines in Lake Ontario. In court documents filed in May, Trillium Power Wind Corp. accused the Liberal government of “spoliation” – the legal term for the deliberate destruction or elimination of evidence.
The government has now replied in an amended statement of defence, saying those accusations are false and there is no basis for the claim that documents “have been intentionally destroyed.” The dispute is part of a lawsuit filed by Trillium after its planned wind farm project in Lake Ontario near Kingston was nipped in the bud by a sudden change in government policy.
Trillium spent years and millions of dollars developing plans for the project, but it had the rug pulled out from under it in February, 2011, when the province said it would not consider any offshore development until more scientific studies were done. The decision came the same day Trillium was to sign a large financing deal.
Trillium sued the government – initially for $2.25-billion in damages – although most of the grounds for the suit were thrown out of court. However, in 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal said the company could go ahead with one specific allegation, that the government’s decision amounted to “malfeasance in public office.” Read article