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A stage magician can divert the attention of an audience while secreting an object from view, creating the illusion that it had disappeared. Last week, Dalton McGuinty performed political magic in plain view of the Province of Ontario.
McGuinty announced that he had asked the Lieutenant-Governor to prorogue the Ontario Legislature, then he announced he was stepping down as Premier and leaving his Ottawa South seat at the next general election. With a wave of his First Ministerial wand, McGuinty shut down parliament and made a host of scandals associated with the Liberal Party seemingly disappear. Attention is now diverted to finding McGuinty's replacement, speculating on his future, the rest has been pushed into the distance, it is magic.
All the major news outlets ran stories on McGuinty’s “contributions” to Ontario over his 22 years in politics, nine of them as Premier.
What’s he done in nine years?
He was elected three times by nurturing and pandering to his voter base, the public sector unions.
He has driven up the cost of medical care with marginal improvement, while wasting over a billion dollars on the eHealth scheme for patient medical records that are still not useable, and overseeing an air ambulance service, ORANG, that was most successful at frittering away taxpayer’s money.
McGuinty’s Liberals expanded kindergarten classes to a full day, with little educational justification, and in the midst of an economic downturn, driving up the cost of education; again with marginal improvement that does not justify the expense.
They have also driven up the cost of electricity production while making the system less secure and responsive, sometimes producing too much, sometimes too little electricity. Add to that, recent charges of contempt of Parliament on Energy Minister Chris Bentley for his failure to promptly disclose information on the movement of two gas power plants, the disputed final bill for that could end up costing another billion dollars.
To top off all those “contributions," the Ontario deficit hovers around $14 Billion, the debt has doubled in those nine years to nearly $280 Billion, and Ontario’s debt has been downgraded by two ratings agencies. “It’s easy to make “contributions” while spending huge amounts of other people’s money” offers Paolo Fabrizio, Deputy Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party, “its much more difficult to manage spending in a responsible and economical way.”
These are simply his monetary “contributions.” To keep this short we will dispense the intrusive legislation brought in by McGuinty that was meant to engineer the behavior of citizens, and has earned him the moniker “Premier Dad.”
“Every contribution McGuinty has made to Ontario while Premier has been to advance the Liberal Party at taxpayer’s expense,” said Allen Small, Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party, “everything from pandering to the unions to buy their support, to the scandal, that was moving the power plants to save Liberal seats in the last election.” “Everything, right up to his final act as Premier and Liberal Leader, closing down Parliament and making the scandals disappear, like magic.”
In all this, we accuse McGuinty of “serial-partisanship,” helping his Party over and over while making taxpayers pay for it. Worse, he may not be done yet. He wants to continue negotiations on a public sector wage freeze and have it done behind closed doors away from media, without public scrutiny, so memories can fade and he can repair relations with the public sector unions for the next leader for next general election 6 or 8 months from now.
The only thing that Ontarians really wanted from Dalton McGuinty was to do a good job for Ontario. Is the province better off now than it was before McGuinty? Definitely not.
The Ontario Libertarian Party has been a registered political party since 1975. We advocate free markets, property rights, limited government, and voluntary interactions within communities between individuals and groups. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org