Premier Dalton McGuinty is defending an untendered, $81-million contract for an energy centre built to power a casino in Windsor.
He says his government took the right steps when awarding the contract for the Windsor Energy Centre "under the circumstances," because it had to keep the lights on at Caesars Windsor.
McGuinty says he's ended the practice of giving out contracts without competitive bids and that handing a sole-sourced deal to a consulting firm to operate the power plant was a special case.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, who represents the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh, has come under fire in recent weeks for the soaring cost of the energy centre, which he admits came in way over budget.
The Opposition has suggested that the plant, which was commissioned by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., amounts to political pork-barrelling, which Duncan denies.
Buttcon Energy Inc., which operated the plant until recently, has filed a $355-million lawsuit against the OLG alleging breach of contract.
Angus Consulting Management Ltd. is currently operating the plant in the short term.