Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Subsidy Subterfuge

Dalton says he's getting out of the corporate welfare racket. No subsidies allowed! Except those subsidies that go to green energy companies. Those don't count.

Just imagine that- subsidies for wind turbines in rural Ontario are okey-dokey, but revenue-sharing for horse breeders and trainers in rural Ontario is a no-no! That can't be right! Especially since one of those sustains real jobs, and the other creates not-real jobs!

While he's at it, Dalton can also end the practice of paying big money to make unpopular power plants go away. Like this one in Mississauga. And this one in Oakville.

Then there's the issue of how Liberal MPP's Jim Bradley and Ted McMeekin apparently twisted some arms to block the development of a potential quarry out in Flamborough. If it were proven to be true, having ''facilitated funding and legal assistance to the community group fighting St Marys’ quarry through the Greenbelt Foundation, chaired by former Premier Peterson’s senior policy advisor," would qualify as a subsidy, I'm sure!

Monday, February 27, 2012

No Truck Or Trade

You know, in my weaker moments, I do admit to thinking that Dalton isn't totally hidebound by his lifelong, generational Liberalism. That he isn't completely a slave to dead and dying welfare-state ideas. That for all the Liberal dogma he's espoused over his lifetime, there remains, within, some capacity for understanding something outside of his frame of reference.

And then, Dalton picks a fight with Premier Mom herself, Allison Redford, over the tar sands.

I don't know how this is being received in Alberta. My guess would be that there are quite a few people saying that Redford shouldn't have been so trusting when she came a-calling a few months ago to Central Canada. That's because, out there, more people are willing to call things as they are.

I, on the other hand, was completely flummoxed at first. At a time when Dalton has Don Drummond breathing down his neck, Hudak in his face, a budget on the horizon, his utterly clueless Health Minister going "I dunno" when asked about $25 million going missing from ORNGE, Dalton opts to alienate one of the few Premiers he can really call an ideological ally, reminding people that Alberta and the West are doing better than Ontario in the process and looking like a whiny child. Did I mention that all this was happening only just before a crucial budget? I did?

But then I remembered that I am not up to my eyeballs in red Kool-Aid, and that if I was a Liberal, I would be loving Dalton's little chest-pounding rant. Not only because the tar sands are dirty and nasty and Mordor-esque, while Dalton's waste-of-money green schemes make all the downtown Toronto people happy.

It must be remembered that Liberals of a certain generation must occasionally get into fits about how we are "selling off our resources" and how we are in the state we're in because of the big, bad meanies to the south. Back in the 80's, Brian Mulroney fought an election on free trade and won, and some people still haven't gotten around to accepting that we don't do closed-economy European style autarky in this country anymore. In short: Dalton is engaging in reflexive, old-fart John Turner Liberal economic nationalism.

For it must be remembered that Alberta oil is sold to other countries (horrors), while good ol' Ontario manufacturing provides....provided? for good ol' Ontarians right here in good ol' Ontairy-airy-airy-O. Why else do you think Dalton made a point of listening when people pitched a fit about the Caterpillar lockout? Because Dalton is an old-fart Liberal economic nationalist.

And Dalton knows poking Redford for her less-than-perfect devotion to old-fart nationalism will win him praise from the rest of the old-fart nationalists in advance of a budget which he says will contain some decidedly un-old-fart nationalist cost cutting.

Was this the way it was in the olden days when Liberals knocked PC's for being marginally more capitalist-minded than they were? 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Horse Sense

After reading Adam Radwanski's Friday column, I think I have finally figured out what Tim Hudak's biggest problem is. It isn't that Hudak has been too restrained in going after McGuinty. It isn't that he hasn't tried to distinguish himself from McGuinty. It's that he isn't agreeing with Dalton enough.

Yes, you read that right. According to Radwanski, when Dalton does something that makes people angry, Hudak should resist the temptation to do something about it:

Mr. Hudak needs to show that he himself is willing to make difficult decisions. In opposition, that means forsaking the temptation to score political points when the government does potentially unpopular things that fit with the principles he himself has set out.

I'll spare you the rest, but basically, Radwanski is saying that when Dalton wanted to make sure this week that 100% of every dollar going through slot machines at race tracks ends up in government coffers instead of 80%, while horse breeders and trainers get 0%, it was actually a test of how good an opposition leader Hudak was, and Hudak supposedly didn't do a very good job.

By cutting out the horse farming industry, Dalton did something that will, in theory, reduce the deficit, which is something Tim Hudak wants too, so Tim Hudak should stop talking out of both sides of his mouth and get the hell out of the government's way. Which is, coincidentally, what the Liberals want you to think.

Here, let me use the same argument in a different context. *ahem* "The federal Liberals and NDP shouldn't be using this robocall scandal to score political points. It is, after all, a side issue. They should be focusing on articulating their own solutions. And because they'd trying to take advantage of a situation like this, well, that proves they're not ready for prime time."

Yeeeah. See, now that I said that people on the left should offer their own solutions instead of taking advantage of the scandal du jour, all of a sudden I don't care about the integrity of democracy, or Nixonian dirty tricks, or whatev. Isn't it funny how that works?

I don't begrudge the federal Liberals their attempt to make hay with the robocall issue, and the media should do the same for Hudak. But how likely is that?

Now, I agree that Hudak shouldn't have just defaulted to talking points when asked a question about the issue, but here's the problem: Instead of doing something about outrageous wastes of money like the ORNGE scandal and the long list of similar issues that have arisen during his tenure, Dalton is focusing on taking money away from an industry that is/was already barely getting by. Meanwhile, we have him backing away from Don Drummond's top money-saving recommendations while Hudak is pushing him to adopt them. So who's the hypocrite here?

It is entirely possible for Dalton to do lots more to fix the deficit through other means, like not flushing cash down the toilet at every opportunity. Instead, he calls pulling the rug out from under a struggling industry a major victory for fiscal conservatism. That's a little frustrating.

Criticizing Hudak for not pointing the above out is fair, but criticizing him for trying to get in McGuinty's face on this issue at all is really, really dumb. Because, y'know, when Dalton McGuinty's (not really) rational, pragmatic, middle of the road approach got us into the mess we're in now, the obvious thing for Hudak to do is not to get angry, not to oppose what McGuinty's doing, but instead, continue right on doing the rational, pragmatic, middle of the road thing.

And that's what the media, and the Liberals, really want. Another John Tory who will agree with whatever Dalton says and does, do everything possible to keep angry people in his caucus quiet, and then crumble when the Liberals attack him anyway.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Little Pony-Tario: Revenue-Sharing Is Magic

Brony Nation, we have a serious matter on our hooves. Dalton McGuinty has
revealed himself to be a Brony Hater of the first order by targeting horse farmers throughout Ontario. And the ponies of Equestria are not pleased.

It would be 20% cooler if horse breeders would be able to keep the 20% of profits generated from slot machines, considering 80% already goes to the government. I'm sure the Liberals would love to dismiss their concerns as so much whining.

Everypony knows that the few Liberals left in semi-rural ridings aren't going to have an easy time explaining this to their constituents.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Once More, With Feeling

If you're a doctor in Ontario, you don't get a raise. (Well, unless you're Dr. Chris Mazza of ORNGE, of course.)

If you own a race track with slot machines, you can't collect your share of the profits.

If you're a union who helped Dalton get elected, you do get a raise.

(And, if you're someone who got the crap kicked out of you at the G20 a couple of years ago, well....I guess this is as close to "sorry" as you're going to get!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Watch Me

I am reading Paul Litt's "Elusive Destiny: The Political Vocation of John Napier Turner." I am doing this to learn more about how Liberals think, which is (as those who read this space regularly know) something I take a great interest in.

Reviews of this book suggested it would lay bare the Liberal civil wars that have, in large part, destroyed the party. What I have found so far, though, is a nauseating love letter to Turner and to a mythical Canada of ages past. Page after page cataloguing Turner's athletic and political accomplishments, his success with women, the effect of his striking good looks, and how, heroically, he would not compromise his Captain Kirk junior-executive Mad Men image (yes, Litt actually compares Turner to Captain James T. Kirk) as times changed. This Godly man, this Olympian character, brought low in the second half of the book (which I have yet to read) by a group of calculating schemers jealous of Turner's greatness. Woe, woe, lament for a dead nation.

According to the book, Turner once saved John Diefenbaker, his political enemy, from drowning. That same man now has to watch an Ottawa where Justin Trudeau, the son of the man in whose government Turner served, declaring that what the Prime Minister is doing is nothing short of un-Canadian and spouting pseudo-separatist rhetoric, while the rest of the Liberal Party has apparently decided that Vic Toews' wife and family are fair game. And, while all that's going on, we have Liberals and Liberal-friendly commentators trying to contain the excitement (which they share) by saying there are some lines you don't cross. Like, for example, pointing out that the Liberals had their own online snooping bill.

Meanwhile, we have to read smarmy columns about Tim Hudak's recognition that he was too careful and too cautious in October, and that he's going to have to be a lot more aggressive as a result. What a ridiculous idea! Never mind that the same people mocked him for being too scripted on the campaign. Anyway, if you have to ask why Trudeau and the Vikileaks people get the "aw shucks, but their hearts are in the right place" treatment, but Tim Hudak gets ridiculed, you obviously don't know that Tim Hudak is a conservative, and Trudeau/Vikileaks aren't.

If you don't agree that there's a double standard there, ask yourself this question: Will Trudeau's outburst keep him from being Prime Minister someday?

Now let me be clear about one thing: I would very much prefer Justin Trudeau's radicalism and the Vikileaks online harrassment to Dalton McGuinty's butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth act, and that's because Dalton's act is a total fraud. Apart from the Working Families Coalition, Dalton McGuinty employs a group of cold-blooded partisans who stopped just short of launching a full blown attack on Tim Hudak's wife. The idea that Dalton has no idea what these people are up to all day is ludicrous. Everybody who cares, and a lot of people who don't care, about Ontario politics knows this, and everyone but us Tories are content to let Dalton off the hook for doing it. Somehow though, nobody wants to put two and two together.

The Drummond Report proves that the old Ontario is no more and we must change or die. But the polls show that people don't want to change. They'd rather cling to their pretty illusions. Maybe they'd rather have the deficit be five times what it was now, so long as they don't have to worry about divisive policies that might fix Ontario, but will also make people angry.

John Turner is a nice guy, a talented guy, a principled guy. He wasn't one of those lowly schemers who undermined him. And that's precisely why he never realized his full potential. Because nice, talented, principled people like John Turner have it exactly backwards. The people of Ontario, and Canada, don't want nice, talented, principled people. They say they do, but their actions belie them. And Turner's mistake was trying to give people what they said they wanted, instead of making them take what he gave them. Trudeau Sr. never made that mistake. Trudeau Sr. said "Just Watch Me." And he meant it.

Tim Hudak does not have to pay any heed to people who think being more aggressive is a recipe for disaster. This province is dying, and decisive action is required. If he wasn't aggressive next time, I would have to wonder how serious he was about being Premier and fixing the deficit. But more importantly, he doesn't have to listen to Liberals criticizing him for being over the line, because those same Liberals are cheering on Justin Trudeau and the Vikileaks people right now. Some more loudly than others.

For the Liberals, the end has always justified the means, in Turner's time, and now. They enforced their will on Canada for decades. The PC Party of old did the same. Mike Harris did the same. McGuinty's doing the same. Every successful politician in this country's history did the same.

The second you refuse to cross a line for fear of offending someone is the second you lose the right to govern.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Who Writes This Garbage?

What a lovely profile of Deb Matthews in the Globe and Mail this weekend, all for the purpose of distracting people from that whole ORNGE thing.

So imagine my surprise when I read this sentence (emphasis mine):

Tall with blond hair and a disarmingly direct manner, Ms. Matthews is a rounder version of her older sister, actress Shelley Peterson, wife of former Ontario premier David Peterson.

What the almighty hell? A "rounder version"?

Really? I'm no fan of Matthews, but.....really? "A rounder version?"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Get A Clue, Ms. Matthews

Don Drummond wants to fix Ontario's health care system and end the wasteful practices therein that gobble up tax dollars. And to implement his bold plan, the Liberal go-to person is......Health Minister Deb Matthews, who has been scrambling just to keep up with the news cycle over the ever-expanding mess that is ORNGE. Ohhh jeez.

Hey, I have a question: Why is it that every week, there's more bad news about this, and every week, Matthews never seems to have had a clue what was going on until it hit the Star's front page?

Do you trust this person to transform health care in this province? I sure don't.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We Interrupt The Drummond Watch.....

Boy, it sure is nice of some Liberals to point out how targetting Vic Toews' family is over the line. Thanks for that.

So guys, how about we leave Hudak's wife alone next campaign? Oh, that isn't going to happen? He's still "Mr. Hutton?" The fact that she worked for Harris is still fair game? OK. I see how it is.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Unfit To Lead (?)

February 15, 2012. The day Dalton McGuinty proved himself unfit to lead this province by backing away from the tough choices offered by Don Drummond. The greatest financial challenge since WWII, and Dalton screwed the pooch.

Dalton commissioned the province's top economist for a report on cutting costs which he won't fully implement. That staggering conclusion is, sadly, obvious.

Oh, but. But. There is another way. Christopher Hume and Thomas Walkom and Linda McQuaig make it clear. Dalton could raise taxes. Sure, it didn't save us from the current mess when he did it before, but it is right there.

Backing away on corporate tax cuts isn't the same as raising taxes. Backing away on corporate tax cuts doesn't fix the economy. It does nothing. It leaves things as they were.

No, if Dalton wants to follow the time-honoured Liberal tradition of booting the ball down the field, tax hikes are the only way to go. And the only way Dalton could get away with that is if Ontarians are actually that incapable of standing up for themselves.

Like, if they actually don't care if the government keeps its promises or not. Like they'd rather have a government that lies to them than a government that does the difficult but necessary thing.

Ha, ha. That'd be silly. That'd mean that Ontarians don't deserve to have good government. There's no way that's true.


Yeah, that's not going to happen. Instead, Dalton's going to forego tax increases, just like he said he would, and infuriate the left even more, just like he's already infuriated the right with, well, everything he's done over the past 8 years.

Dalton's the problem. Not the people who put him there and kept him there. Obviously.

UPDATE: Dwight Duncan says we have to wait for Budget 2012 to figure out what's going to happen. *Sigh*.....OK everyone, start up the countdown again......tick tock......

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Rightward Lurch Continues

Very cute. McGuinty decides he's going to start being tough on crime all of a sudden? What's next, chain gangs?

Hey, I wonder what McGuinty would have to do to make Justin Trudeau want Quebec to be its own country? Think Justin is bothered by McGuinty's comments, or his late-in-the-game recognition that you can't spend money forever?

Tim Hudak, now is the time for you to outflank McGuinty on the right. Or else there'll be more complaints about how it's hard to tell the difference between you and him.

Oh, and it is now much harder for Liberals to lecture us Tories about "evidence based policy." Much.

A Bright Idea

Tired of sneering Toronto Star editorial cartoons like the one above? So's the PC Party of Ontario, it would seem. That's why they've launched Ontario PC Ideas.

Here, you can get the details on the PC Party's four flagship ideas:
-Create 200,000 Skilled Trades Jobs
-Implement a Public Sector Wage Freeze
-Competition in Public Services
-Fixing the Broken Arbitration System.

And far from being vague, there's a lot of info on why they think these are good ideas.

You can put forward your own bright ideas, too! And you can easily join one of our PACs, too, at this link right here. I bet there'll be lots of interest in joining our Working Families Coalition PAC, headed up by Lisa MacLeod!

At our recent AGM, we sat with caucus members and talked about other ideas the PC's are debating. I hope the PC's put these new ideas up on the site as well and let us and others comment.

Wow, there really is something to be said for being transparent yourselves before you demand it of Dalton!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Power of Drummond

Well, I'll be dipped in beer. Dalton's going to privatize stuff, which is something he said he wouldn't do. And he's going to, um, not lower corporate taxes like he promised.

Now, here's what's going to happen:

-Dalton can never- never again- accuse us of wanting to "sell off assets".

-Dalton's going to annoy corporate investors. Again.

-Dalton's going to make people worried that he'll actually sell the LCBO and other assets.

-Dalton's going to annoy conservatives who want the LCBO sold lock stock and barrel. (Hey, Hudak! Now's your chance!)

-People are worried about more ORNGEs. (The problem with ORNGE was the public tax dollars, not the privatization, but let's let Dalton make that case for a change.)

-The NDP will complain, as they do, thus squeezing Dalton in the middle.

What next, Dalton? This is what tackling the deficit looks like. Don't be shy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Next Campaign Starts Now

Congratulations to Tim Hudak on receiving the confidence of the party membership. Congratulations to Richard Ciano on his victory. Congratulations to the PC Party of Ontario executive.

Our convention in Niagara Falls was a mature affair where we confronted the hard reality of our loss and our mistakes, and vowed to do better next time. I was legitimately worried that we were going to have a repeat of the AGM following the 2007 loss, where anger overwhelmed everything and the party was left traumatized for months. But we didn't go down that road again. We vowed to move on and not repeat our mistakes anymore, and for my part, I felt very proud of Tim for sharing his real feelings with the assembled members. Now, he has to do the same for the rest of Ontario.

Richard Ciano and his people effectively masterminded a Party President election that had the potential to turn ugly. The candidates and their supporters were all respectful, and in stark contrast to the dirt-kicking federal Liberal effort of last month that saw Mike Crawley win by a whopping 26 votes, Ciano captured a large mandate from the floor and channeled the grassroots' desire for change effectively. By doing that, we conclusively proved that we are not the federal Liberals, and I give Ciano credit for helping us make that distinction. He has a tough task ahead of him, and I'm willing to help if he'll let me.

Kevin Gaudet, who I supported and who I will continue to support in his efforts to become an MPP in this party, provided us all with a demonstration of how the real Tim Hudak might come through better to voters. Without the resources of the Ciano campaign or the name recognition of John Snobelen, he managed to sway many more voters to him than would have been otherwise expected. He did this by projecting complete authenticity and acting on his desire to shake things up in the PC Party of Ontario instead of just talking about it. He criticized Hudak for making mistakes, but made it clear that his criticism was meant to help Tim do better, not to tear him down. By doing this, he won the support of almost 1 out of every 5 PC Party voters. All conservatives who are concerned about how to connect with voters would do well to follow Kevin's example.

John Snobelen deserves credit for the positive campaign he ran and for introducing a motion to have regular meetings of the President's Council. He impressed me the most by speaking to the crowd on the morning of the vote alone on stage, without notes. He's got a lot to teach us about our party and how to resolutely defend conservatism, and I hope he will keep on doing just that.

But I'm not going to pretend that everything is sunshine and roses.

20% of the people who came down to Niagara Falls voted for a leadership review despite the real contrition shown by Tim Hudak and the vocal support given to him by all three candidates for President. Nothing anyone did or said could dissuade those voters. And despite my criticism of the anti-Hudak forces within the party over the past few months, I've got to give that 20% credit for having the guts to vocalize their discontent appropriately and letting the party know that they have to work even harder to earn back their confidence. Now, those 20% must accept that Hudak is going to lead the party into the next election. And they must accept that a Hudak-led PC Party of Ontario is the only choice to defeat McGuinty next time around.

We've also got to do something to shake the perception that we are obsessed with the short term fix that will boot McGuinty out and boot us in. The Drummond report will be released shortly, and just like I predicted weeks ago, it's looking like Dalton's going to take a big ol' pass on most of what's going to be on offer. That's taking the path of least resistance, something Dalton does well. We'd better not do the same.

Finally, it is time to develop an organized information-collection strategy to get the dirt on Dalton, his caucus, his advisors, his union friends, and the chessmasters who think they can't be touched because they're so, so smooth. I know those chessmasters dislike the federal Conservative Resource Group, because they tell us so. We need a group like the CRG if we are ever going to form government. I haven't bagged any big-name Liberals just yet, because all I have is my blog, but I do OK for myself. I've had discussions with those people in the PC Party who share this interest. I hope they will make use of my skills.

Get down to business. Everyone. Now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Game On!

All right, everybody. This is it. After months of wailing and breast beating, it is finally time for us to get down to Niagara Falls and get serious about fixing this party and this province.

We all know what the stakes are here. Either the PC Party of Ontario continues to do what they've always done, and get what they've always got, or we can start doing what needs to be done.

What we need to do is elect an executive of ruthlessly competent men and women who are absolutely committed to victory, regardless of the personal cost. People who don't care about whether they're hated for doing the conservative thing. If someone running for party executive strikes you as someone who will blink when attacked by Liberals, don't vote for them. I know that Kevin Gaudet won't blink.

What we need to do is restore confidence in Tim Hudak by giving him a strong mandate to continue as leader, but at the same time he must not leave the convention without understanding that the time for playing nice is over. It's time for Tim Hudak to declare war on greedy public sector unions and shine a very big spotlight on McGuinty's obfuscation of how public money is misspent in the health sector. When Liberals ask him why he wants to "gut healthcare", he needs to say, "We can't afford to do what we've been doing."

What we need to do is get our riding associations active, to start nominating candidates now, and to ensure that our platform is a conservative platform next time around. There should not be one person in all of Ontario who does not feel that our platform next around is not conservative enough, whatever other criticisms are made of it. Anyone who is derelict in getting these tasks accomplished has no right to call themselves a conservative.

But most importantly, what we need to do is to understand that the conservative way of doing things is the correct way of doing things. Those who do not accept that the conservative way of doing things is the correct way of doing things must not be ignored. They must be fought, until they are made to see that we are in the right.

We saw this week what happens when conservatives assume they've won and stop fighting, when Rob Ford gave an inch and lost a mile. I want to blame the unions and the special interests and the traitorous city councillors like everyone else, but I can't help but feel that part of this is Ford's fault for letting these people carry on, for allowing them to assume, even for a second, that they were allowed to continue as they had been during the Miller administration.

Our supposed claim to fame as conservatives is that we love freedom, and that even those we disagree with are free to do as they choose. But those on the left are only too willing to use our benevolence against us. They do not afford us the same courtesy that we would afford them. They believe that their feigned concern for humanity's best interests justifies their own hatred and contempt towards us. So we must deal with them mercilessly. We win no points for good sportsmanship.

And that is why, more so than any changing of the guard on our executive, more so than pointless debates about the leader, and more so than any policy debate, Niagara Falls has got to be about a change in attitude. It is no longer enough to pretend that we will win elections just by showing up. It is no longer enough to pretend that the party lives and dies with the leader or the executive or the logo. And it is no longer enough to pretend that just because Dalton McGuinty is not liked by people, people are going to vote against him.

If we allow the people a single reason to vote Liberal, they will return Dalton McGuinty to government. Because Dalton won't force them to make hard choices, and we must force them to make those choices. That is what it comes down to, after all is said and done.

Whatever you must do to get yourself in that state of mind, do it in Niagara Falls, and then keep on doing it between now and the next election.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Physicians, Heal Thyselves

Guess what, everybody: In Ontario, unions are worth more than doctors. I know that thought might not exactly sit well with some of you but it's really the only way you can interpret the fact that unions get secret pay raises from Dalton, but doctors have to take a pay cut.

Look at how much those doctors make. What have they done for us lately? Just saving people's lives? With Ontario being hit the hard by the recession, we can't just continue to pay those doctors what they've been getting for sitting around all day helping people get well. It's an embarassment of riches! Doctors save lives, but unions save McGuinty's bacon during elections! And which do you think is more important to the future of this province?

Poor, defenceless striking unions are getting their bluff called down in London while these doctors, such as ex-ORNGE CEO Chris Mazza, are laughing all the way to the bank! It's an absolutely terrible situation that was allowed to continue for years until Deb Matthews decided today that it was inexcusable and couldn't be allowed to continue!

Wait, wait. I'm forgetting that in Dalton's Ontario, None of Us Is As Strong As All Of Us. Remember that just because doctors have specialized skills and do work that nobody else wants to do, they shouldn't be making more than union leaders like John Mandarino , who "breached contract tendering rules, lost government training grants, broke cheque-signing policies and charged unauthorized personal expenses without proper accounting" and made $255,000 a year for his trouble. That's equity for you. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Selective Memory

Sure, Dalton McGuinty is really concerned about out of control corporations like Caterpillar that abscond with jobs in Ontario. Just read this article from 2008:

As a shortage of skilled labour threatens to engulf Ontario's economy, the McGuinty government is facing pointed questions about why it has given call centre workers apprenticeship status along with millions of dollars in training support.

Controversy is growing now because of Dell Computer Corp.'s decision to close its Ottawa call centre. Dell collected tax incentives of up to 25 per cent of the salaries it was paying to its 1,700 Ottawa workers -- worth more than $11 million.

I'm sorry, Dalton.......what were you saying about protecting Ontario jobs?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Kevin Gaudet: Early Nomination Deadline!

Hey, here's an interesting idea. Instead of just saying that we want early nominations for candidates for the next go-round, how about we set an actual deadline for them? Like March 1, 2013, perhaps?

Kevin Gaudet wants to ensure that we have our team of candidates in place and ready to go long before the next election. Having the deadline a year from now will give ridingsassociations enough time to get their acts together, and make sure that our candidates can get their names out there early. No dormant riding associations allowed!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Good Day, Despite Everything

Dalton McGuinty knew about the problems at ORNGE years ago and didn't do anything about it. (And this story is going to get much, much worse.)

An investigation has revealed millions of dollars in fraud at an LCBO. By a concerned citizen who could have been any one of you, by the way.

The Ontario Liberals got called out on their deficit foot-dragging by the Conference Board of Canada.

And, the Ontario Young Liberals got their butts kicked at Ontario Model Parliament. (Way to go, young Tories!)

How about we talk about some of the above instead of some ridiculous Sun News spat, huh?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Out Of Two Ain't Bad, For This Government Anyway

Good Idea: Selling off a money-losing theme park, several years too late but whatever.

The drain on provincial coffers amounts to about $20 million a year, roughly split between an operating deficit and capital costs. In another era, that was small change for the province, but times have changed. In 1971, then-premier Bill Davis opened Ontario Place when money was growing on trees and health care didn’t consume 42 per cent of the budget.

Bad Idea: Having one of Dalton's provincial proxies, Stewardship Ontario, jerk municipalities around by changing the pricing structure for how hazardous waste is hauled away. Remember the eco-fee mess? Same deal here.

Gord Miller, the environmental commissioner of Ontario, said the Stewardship Ontario situation “is part and parcel of the problem” stemming from much-needed amendments to waste-diversion legislation that was shelved after the eco-fees debacle in July, 2010, when Stewardship Ontario began levying fees on consumers on a range of products, including rechargeable batteries and fire extinguishers. In the face of public outcry, then environment minister John Wilkinson directed Stewardship Ontario to shelve the fees.

“We’re left with a whole bunch of policy problems,” Mr. Miller added. “The model needs to be refined,” including a clarification of roles and responsibilities between the Ministry of the Environment and Stewardship Ontario’s overseer, Waste Diversion Ontario. “Diversion from landfill is not going well; we’re not meeting our targets.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hard Bargaining

To no one's surprise, Dalton gave his union pals a raise and didn't tell anybody.

Somehow, Dr. Stewart Kennedy, head of the Ontario Medical Association, doesn't think that the government is "posturing" in advance of contract negotiations with doctors.  He may want to rethink that opinion.

I'd just love to see how Ontarians feel about living in a province where unions get a better deal from the government than doctors do.