Two liberal party members allegedly tried to bribe a Sudbury mortgage broker with the promise of a job if he rescinded his bid to run for a February 5 by-election under the party’s banner.
According to a story published by the Globe and Mail, mortgage broker Andrew Olivier released audio recordings of a conversation with Kathleen Wynne’s deputy chief of staff, Patricia Sorbara, and liberal party member Gerry Lougheed that detailed an offer to give Olivier a job or appointment to a government commission if he decided not to run in the election.
The plan was to allow former NDP MP candidate Glenn Thibeault the opportunity to run, unopposed, for the Liberal nomination.
“There’s lots of options that we can sit down and talk about, I mean we’re all gonna be back up in Sudbury many times, and we can sit down and, you know, and talk that through,” Sorbara said in a telephone conversation, according to a transcript released by the CBC. “We should have the broader discussion about what is it that you’d be most interested in doing, and then decide what shape that could take, that would fulfill that is what I’m getting at, whether it’s a full time or a part time job in a constit office, whether it is appointments, supports, or commissions, whether it is also going on the exec, there are lots of… but I would just, we would just need to better understand what is it that you most want to do.”
According the Globe and Mail, Elections Canada prohibits bribery, which includes employment offers. Premier Wynne’s office denies the allegations.
“The tape confirms what Pat Sorbara said publicly last month – that any suggestion that anything was offered in exchange for any action is false. Olivier had already been informed that he would not be the candidate. Pat Sorbara has been vindicated of the false allegations,” Lyndsay Miller, a spokeswoman for the Premier, wrote in a statement Thursday. “Gerry Lougheed is not government or Liberal Party staff, he speaks for himself.”
Olivier is still running for office. However, he is doing so as an independent.