Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ontario Liberal Sleaze

 The following post will be an expansion of the ideas in a comment I left in response to today's post at Owen Gray's "Northern Reflections" blog. I very much like Mr. Gray, even as he attempts, now and again, to resurrect the Liberal brand in Canada. In the case of today's post, where he was criticizing ONDP leader Andrea Horwath for calling for a public inquiry into the cancelled gas plants and OPC leader Tim Hudak for launching attack ads against the new OLIBs' new leader, when the tradition is for party leaders to be collegial and welcome the leader of a new party, Gray was basing his argument on the need for a more dignified political culture and was no doubt inspired by the idea that this is a new leader without McGuinty's personal baggage.

But the point is that this leader is saddled with McGuinty's baggage. Furthermore, the more that I typed about McGuinty and the Ontario Liberals, the angrier I became, and that's why you're going to see two posts from me today!

Kathleen Wynne is now the leader of a political party that wasted half-a-billion dollars to cancel contracts for gas plants in two ridings that did not want them and which traditionally voted Liberal. The money went to cancellation fees and the work that is necessary for finding new locations for them. Mr. Gray quotes Martin Regg Cohen of the Toronto Star:
The auditor general will report on the government’s waste of public funds in March. And MPPs now have more than 50,000 documents to wade through in a legislative committee, which is part of their job description.
Now, here's the thing: The Toronto Star is a Liberal rag that is starting to, with distressing frequency, descend into Liberal hackery. I've only recently noticed Regg Cohen myself. He seems to have some very unconvincing things to say about McGuinty's stupid abuse of Ontario teachers, but in that quote on the 50,000 pieces of paper, he descends into hackery.

In the original article, Regg Cohen condemns the ONDP for hypocrisy. "McGuinty cancelled the gas plants that the ONDP would have cancelled too!" Too bad for Regg Cohen and McGuinty that the ONDP was opposed to the plants in the first place and that, therefore, McGuinty's costly cancellations wouldn't have been necessary. The "50,000 documents" is in reference to a dump of useless information in response to opposition demands for information on the true costs of the cancelled projects.
Over 50,000 documents referring to the deal McGuinty’s Government was making for the Mississauga and Oakville gas plants are unsearchable and basically so wrapped up in coded and obscure language that it is taking literally a line by line read to decipher what the hell it all means!
We are talking a potential of ONE BILLION DOLLARS to move 2 gas plants in order to secure elected seats within the jurisdictions of the cancelled plants!
This is how OUR money is being manipulated and dispersed to various individuals without having any accountability to slow down the process.
If Regg Cohen wants to pretend that it is in the MPPs' job descriptions to wade through that garbage he can suck my mother-fucking dick.

McGuinty pulled all of this crap and then made a go-for-broke play for the supposedly PC voters in Elizabeth Witmer's riding after she resigned her seat for a more family friendly job offered to her by McGuinty. This was "the education premier's" bullying anti-teacher union law. Hilariously (and happily) it blew-up in his fucking stupid face and the seat went from the OPC's to the ONDP. Then, the jig was up for McGuinty. He was one seat away from a majority before the election. Afterwards he was two seats away. Petulant and disgusted, McGuinty prorogued the legislature.

Let's just review the facts here. McGuinty cancelled those gas plants for electoral gain. These cancellations cost money. Lots of governments bribe strategic ridings with taxpayers' funds. But even then there should be some sort of positive argument to justify the actual project: "This medical centre will provide blah, blah, blah." "This cultural grant will enable blah, blah, blah." And not: "This contract cancellation will cost blah, blah, blah, and will do nothing but stop something you didn't want." And, finally, "For the sake or preserving two fucking seats in the legislature, the McGuinty government is committed to cancelling two gas plant contracts and incurring around $500 million in penalties."


Having wasted our money in a futile attempt to keep those two seats, McGuinty then refuses to tell the people's representatives how much his stupidity cost them. Again: "This medical centre will provide blah, blah, blah, and the price-tag of it is a secret!" ... is not the way accountable, democratic governments do things.

Dalton McGuinty brought harper-level sleaze to Queen's Park. He refuses to respect the right of the people's representatives to have an accounting of their own money. He used that money to buy votes. His prorogation (while constitutional) was just as scuzzy as harper's use of that power to avoid accountability for crimes against humanity.

This is NOT what Canadian democracy is supposed to be. We must all stand on the side of democracy and against the party politicians and media hacks and self-interested corporate slime who seek to disembowel it.

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