POLITICS

Tory MP Cheryl Gallant Really Likes Bashing Ontario Liberals

03/03/2015 02:45 EST | Updated 03/03/2015 02:59 EST

Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant sparked controversy with a speech last week condemning Ontario's updated sexual education curriculum.

Though education is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, Gallant rose in the House of Commons Friday to suggest the policy puts kids at risk and demand federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau "order" Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to withdraw it.

Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals later shot back that Gallant's claims were "outrageous" and "disgusting."

And while some might find it strange a federal politician would bother weighing in on provincial policy, it's not the first time the Ontario Liberals have been targeted by Gallant, an MP since 2000 for the Ontario riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

During a debate in early February on an NDP motion about lowering the small business tax rate, Gallant suggested there was no difference between federal New Democrats and Ontario Liberals, "the party of the gas plants, eHealth, Ornge and electricity rates."

NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen rose on a point of order to say her talk of Ontario politics had nothing to do with the motion. Gallant later continued her speech, saying the economic policies of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne would be the same ones New Democrats would apply federally, if given the chance.

After, Cullen suggested Gallant's apparent focus on Queen's Park wasted everyone's time.

"If she is that interested in the policies and politics at the provincial level, I would encourage her to seek office in Ontario," he said.

But a quick review of Gallant's remarks in the House in past years reveals she has been keenly interested in provincial politics for a while.

Here are just a few examples of times the MP took it upon herself to dedicate time in the federal legislature to blast Liberals working in Toronto.

On the Ontario Liberal victory in last June's election… (June 13, 2014)

 

The day after Wynne captured a majority government last spring, Gallant rose in the House just before question period to say some Ontario voters were likely "waking up with the worst hangover of their lives."

"Ontarians now have four more years of pain and misery to look forward to with the return of the most financially incompetent, corrupt administration since the days of Bob Rae and 'Pink Floyd'," she said, a reference to former NDP finance minister Floyd Laughren.

Liberal MP Frank Valeriote also had a statement celebrating the victory of his provincial cousins. Yet, Valeriote also congratulated "every Ontarian who was courageous enough to put their name on the ballot for what they believe in."

On the "wacky ideas of the loony left" (April 8, 2014)

While speaking in the House last year, Gallant transitioned from praising former finance minister Jim Flaherty and then-rookie Finance Minister Joe Oliver to... bashing Ontario Liberals.

Gallant said only the Conservative government could be trusted with Canada's finances.

"The wacky ideas of the loony left would quickly bankrupt our nation," she said. "Look how quickly the Liberal Party of Ontario turned the province that used to be the economic engine of Canada into a have-not province, reduced to begging Ottawa to pay for its bad decisions, like ORNGE, eHealth, and the billion-dollar gas plant scandal.

"By its own admission, it will be the year 2035 before there might be any improvements if things do not change in Toronto, like a change in leadership."

On Ontario's "have-not" people… (October 9, 2014)

 

As Halloween approached last October, Gallant rose with another member's statement to say "nothing could be scarier" than a federal government "controlled by the same environmental extremists who imposed the so-called Green Energy Act from Toronto."

She called top Trudeau adviser Gerald Butts, who once served as a senior aide to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, a "radical."

"Carbon taxes are an economic disaster," she said. "Just ask the have-not people of Ontario."

On Ontario's Green Energy Act... (February 26, 2014)

While singing the praises of the federal budget last year, Gallant claimed "radical environmentalists" convinced the Ontario Liberal Party to "turn its back" on nuclear power, leading to wind turbines in rural Ontario and rising electricity rates.

Gallant also claimed Ontario's Green Energy Act, a controversial piece of legislation aimed at creating green jobs, led to people in rural Ontario having to choose between heating their homes and eating.

"I mention this because one of the architects of the disastrous policy in Toronto is now the principal adviser to the Liberal Party in Ottawa," she said, referring to Butts.

But Gallant's references to Ontario politics haven't always been so gloomy.

Back in 2002, she rose in the House to pay tribute to retiring Ontario premier Mike Harris, a Progressive Conservative. Gallant credited the premier with making the province prosperous and "changing the very nature of politics" by keeping his promises.

"Mike Harris returned dignity to the women and men of Ontario by creating tens of thousands of jobs in a province where, thanks to 10 lost years of tax and spend Liberal and NDP policies, almost one in 10 Ontarians were on welfare," she said.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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