Broken election promises
1. Prior to the last election it looked like we were getting somewhere on key health care issues. The government had begun to stop the era of cuts and privatization that were the legacy of the Harris government. In fact, McGuinty made cornerstone to his last election campaign the promise to uphold and protect public non-profit health care, along with education. But in reality he did just the opposite.
2. McGuinty has long called himself “the education Premier.” The reality is that he bought peace with the public service unions through two terms, using taxpayer dollars to fund generous raises. The moment the well ran dry, the unions turned on him, just as they once had on Bob Rae, when he was premier of Ontario. The battle with the public service unions was a deal breaker: This is a government whose political power was built on taking good care of public servants – not just teachers, but also police officers, doctors and administrators of every kind. All have turned on their former benefactors.
3. McGuinty claimed to have made bold strides on the environment. But the centerpiece of his environmental plan, led by the now retired George Smitherman, was the Green Energy Act. The GEA, the vanguard of which is industrial wind power, cost McGuinty his majority. It also cost him four cabinet ministers, and what little remained of his party’s credibility in rural and small-town Ontario.
4. McGuinty claimed to have made great strides for Ontario economically. The truth, as outlined in the Drummond Report last February, is far different. McGuinty borrowed and spent wildly when times were good, leaving little in the till for the current manufacturing slump. The province this fiscal year will post a deficit of $14.4-billion, according to Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. That is not sound financial management. It is making it up as you go along.
[photo from cbc.ca]