Students enrolled in adult learning programs offered by the formerAnnapolis County Learning Network will still be able to accessprograms this fall. As part of its commitment to lifelong learning, the Department ofEducation has provided annual grants to more than 30 organizationsto support the delivery of adult learning programs. The departmentoffered the learning network a funding increase of almost eightper cent for this year. The network’s board declined the increaseand voted today, Aug. 24, to dissolve the organization. “While we regret the organization’s decision to close, our primaryconcern is the students of the Annapolis region,” said EducationMinister Jamie Muir. “We have secured an interim partnership withNova Scotia Community College to ensure that adult learners inthis region can return to their programs this September.” The partnership with the community college will allow the classesto continue at the Middleton site of the college’s AnnapolisValley Campus until June 2005. “The network’s programs have been offered at the community collegefor the past several years, and the students have become a part ofour college community,” said David Woolnough, principal at theAnnapolis Valley Campus. “We’re glad to partner with theDepartment of Education to ensure that these students can continuetheir studies with us.” Program information will be finalized over the next few weeks.Adult learners in the Annapolis region may contact the Departmentof Education for more information at 902-424-5165.
(Updated)New details related to the Ontario gas plant scandal. A scandal that the Ontario Liberals can’t seem to shake, regardless of who’s in charge.Court documents released Thursday allege the Liberals, under former Premier Dalton McGuinty, paid someone thousands of dollars to wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office.The documents released today show the Liberals paid $10,000 to an outside tech expert to come in to the premier’s office and wipe out hundreds of thousands of files about the gas plants on more than 20 computers.Dozens of pages of court documents now made public.Documents that show an attempt to delete gas plant related emails in the office of then-premier Dalton McGuintyOPP investigators say David Livingston, McGuinty’s chief of staff brought in an outside computer expert to wipe files off more than 24 computers.This man, Peter Faist, was paid the $10,000 by the Liberal caucus to make communication about the cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga disappear.He’s the boyfriend of former McGuinty aide Laura Miller. And she didn’t have sufficient security clearance even though he had access to potentially sensitive government documents.More than 630,000 files were deleted.Conservative MPP Steve Clark is outraged: “Kathleen Wynne’s government is about as transparent as a brick wall. It only confirms that the government has used taxpayers funds to deal with their politically motivated decisions.”In these court documents OPP allege there are: “…reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Livingston committed the criminal offence of breach of trust.”In an August 2012 email, Livingston gave detailed instructions on how to “double delete” emails. And at the end of the email says:“Having said all of this, nothing is more confidential than talking rather than writing!”“It’s disappointing that we have governments that act a bit like the mafia. They don’t want to put anything down on record. They want to keep everything oral.”But Political Science Professor Peter Graefe says Kathleen Wynne is trying to separate herself from her predecessor: “But clearly she was there and some of her important ministers were there. Documents aren’t going to put Wynne in a hot position herself in terms of implicating her. At least I would be doubtful that they would.”The premier’s office has released a statement saying: “It should be noted that the document confirms the investigation relates solely to allegations against the former premier’s chief of staff, not the Wynne government”These allegations haven’t been proven in court. No charges have been laid, and Livingston has insisted he has done nothing wrong. Lawyers representing Miller and Faist say they too did nothing wrong. But we’ll never hear from them, as the committee looking into the cancellations has been scrapped.