Waiting for the day Dalton McGuinty leaves the Premier’s chair has been a raison d’être of this blog (among a few others.)
So it is somewhat ironic that I don’t have a lot of time to devote to this very important event but I’ll throw the topic out here to readers.
Kelly McParland has a terrific column in today’s Post. The print headline is different from the online one and pretty much says it all – “McGuinty Steps Down. Political survivor, but little more.”
Well Dalton McGuinty certainly has done an effective job trashing this province as McParland points out:
So where’s his record of big achievements? After nine years there should be a long list of notable accomplishments. No doubt the Liberal press office is even now churning out papers heaping accolades on the premier and the rich legacy he can savor in retirement, but, from the point of view of the Ontario electorate, what are the rewards of the McGuinty years?
The economy is in lousy shape. The manufacturing base has eroded and the province that was once considered the mighty engine of Canadian prosperity now pockets over $3 billion a year in equalization payments, a “have not” province that needs outside help just to get by.
The deficit is triple what it was when he came to power. Liberals marked the departure of the Eves government with gasps of horror, revealing that they’d been left with a shortfall of $5 billion by a Tory government that had claimed the books were balanced. Five billion? If Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, who delivered an economic statement just hours before McGuinty’s resignation, had been able to boast a deficit of just $5 billion he’d have been swarmed by caucus mates ready to carry him through the streets in triumph. Instead Duncan owned up to a $14.4 billion shortage.
Then there’s the prorogation aspect:
His resignation, crafty in the surprising way McGuinty has, buys his party some time. It seems unlikely the opposition will defeat the Liberals when they lack a leader, and in any case Mr. McGuinty secured them a prorogation of the legislature to gather their faculties. Remember when Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament and was assailed for kneecapping Canadian democracy? McGuinty, in his best Premier Dad demeanor, managed to do the same thing and make it sound like a last loving gift he was leaving the province.
Lots of angles to this story including the possibility of a colossal stink-bomb waiting in the wings as Trusty Tory suggests.
And will Dalton’s leaving Ontario politics mean he’ll be entering federal? Will the lemmings follow?
* * * *
On Thursday, former provincial cabinet minister and MPP Gerard Kennedy went further and called the decision to prorogue the legislature “concerning.”
And Sandy has a terrific post up: Beware McGuinty Liberal govt’s spin strategy called “Project Vapour”.
Prorogation tool used by all parties – Christina Blizzard:
…What’s most frustrating now is that the Liberals could have continued to govern with an interim leader.
The rules are different provincially than they are federally.
Even though there’s a minority government, the Opposition could not have brought a non-confidence motion to bring them down when they’re in disarray.
The government has to bring that motion. The only way the Opposition can defeat them is on a budget bill…
That is very important. So why prorogue?
Dear Diary: Dalton McGuinty says ‘see ya!’ to Ontario – National Post:
Well, that’s it, then. I cleaned out my desk, switched off the lights, and, wouldn’t you know it, almost forgot to prorogue the legislature! After work, I brought my caucus out for milkshakes — my treat — to announce the news. “There are long, hard days ahead. Long days. A gargantuan deficit, an air ambulance service run amuck and this gas plant scandal just does not seem to be going away … well, see ya,” I said, handing the finance minister a stack of folders marked “Labour thingz.”
( . . .)
Please don’t miss the rest. It’s hilarious!