Premier Kathleen Wynne has finished testifying after being cross-examined by lawyers representing Sudbury entrepreneur and Liberal fundraiser Gerry Lougheed and Pat Sorbara, the Premier’s former deputy chief of staff. Lougheed and Sorbara are standing trial for bribery under Ontario’s Election Act. When the trial began five days ago, the two pleaded not guilty to encouraging former Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier to step aside so then NDP MP Glenn Thibeault could run for the seat in the 2015 riding by-election. Olivier has recordings that he claims will show that he was bribed to step aside to make way for Thibeault to run.
In her testimony Wednesday, Wynne has agreed that the idea was to let Olivier down easy and keep him in the Liberal fold considering he lost in the 2014 election, . The Liberals had previously enjoyed a two-decade stranglehold on the region until the 2014 election. Wynne would later testify that having Thibeault join the provincial Liberals was “intriguing,” to her. Premier Wynne is not facing charges in the trial.