TORONTO—Charles Sousa insists he wasn’t aware of how much it would cost to scrap gas plants in Mississauga or Oakville when he was sworn in as Ontario’s finance minister in February.
He says he always opposed the Mississauga project, which was located near his riding, and cancelled in the dying days of the 2011 election.
Sousa told a legislative committee that he recused himself from any high-level discussions about the plant while serving as minister of citizenship and immigration.
He says he first learned it would be cancelled when two of former premier Dalton McGuinty’s top advisers told him during the election campaign.
Sousa made the announcement at the end of September 2011, just a few days before voters went to the polls.
The Opposition Conservatives say the government was privately planning for up to $900 million to cancel the two plants.
Sousa says the government was taking precautions, that the cancellations were still under negotiation and that the final costs would depend on the negotiations.
Premier Kathleen Wynne apologized last week for the $585 million spent to cancel the two gas plants, after repeatedly rebuffing opposition calls to say she was sorry.