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Saturday January 7, 2006
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty defended Transportation
Minister Harinder Takhar yesterday, saying he will not force
him to resign from cabinet because he has been punished
enough for breaking the province's integrity rules.

A formal reprimand recommended by Ontario's Integrity
Commissioner this week is without precedent in the
province, Mr. McGuinty told reporters.

"It is not something to which any cabinet minister in any
government would aspire. To go beyond a reprimand would
be unfair."

The Premier made his first public comments about the
controversy after Integrity Commissioner Coulter Osborne
ruled this week that Mr. Takhar violated the rules by
allowing the trustee for his personal business assets to
remain in that post after he was appointed treasurer of his
riding association.

The ruling prompted immediate calls from the opposition for
Mr. Takhar to resign.

Mr. McGuinty, who has characterized Mr. Takhar's actions
as a lapse in judgment, suggested the matter was not all that

"We're not talking about a cabinet minister that misused,
abused, misappropriated public funds, just so we're clear," he
Takhar punished sufficiently, Premier says
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