For the sake of future generations, we need to take immediate and forceful action to deal with Ontario's massive deficit. And of course, to cut the deficit we will need to cut government waste, and that includes cutting the wasteful practices so prevalent in our education system. Ontario is going to have to take drastic action lest it go the way of Greece.
Having won the Ontario Liberal Party's leadership, Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne has a golden opportunity to chart a new course and undo Dalton McGuinty's legacy of fiscal mismanagement. As Wynne contemplates priorities for her leadership she should seriously consider putting Ontario's deficit and debt problem on the top of her to-do list
No matter what Wynne's predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, did, it is simply ridiculous to assume that she would automatically continue on as a McGuinty clone or robot. Parties are parties, but they change depending on the people leading them. That Wynne leans to the left is well-known, but she might still surprise Ontarians.
As the Ontario Liberal Party prepares to host delegate election meetings across the province this weekend, all signs point to a victory for Kathleen Wynne. She continues to demonstrate the organizational strength and critical levels of support needed to become the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. Glen Murray chose to drop out of the race and endorse Wynne prior to delegate election meetings where delegates, who will ultimately elect the next leader, will be elected themselves. Assuming his supporters follow him, Wynne's advantage going into this weekend's delegate election meetings is significant.
Of course, the U.S. is not a paragon of virtue and has gotten itself into a big fiscal mess, due to panic over 9/11, the 2008 debacle and unjustifiable tax cuts and wars paid for with a national credit card. But this week, after two years of haggling, illustrated that a system of checks and balances eventually imposes discipline by forcing the public and politicians to engage fully in financial decisions.
How can we create a workplace environment that encourages public servants to do the best job possible, while celebrating the very finest among them? Make government jobs opwn to everyone -- not just those already on the public sector payroll. And put an end to compulsory union membership and mandatory dues.
The government and teachers need to be talking about getting Ontario schools working again. Our kids' education is too important. Disruptions in the classroom need to end. In August, Dalton McGuinty recalled the Legislature to force Bill 115 onto teachers and education support staff.
At a recent political event, outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty touted his legacy as leader of Ontario. "Our government hasn't been perfect," he said. "But when it comes to the big things that families count on us to get right -- schools, health care, the environment, and the economy -- we've gotten it right every time." As is often the case, there's a gap between rhetoric and reality. That's certainly the case when it comes to McGuinty's claim about the economy.
A couple months ago, the China National Offshore Oil Coporation announced that it would like to purchase Calgary oil firm Nexen. And the speculation began. If you're praying for a quick end to all this China intrigue, rest assured, you're not alone. But at least it keeps our minds off what's fast becoming one of the more depressing trends in Canadain politics: how the sudden resignation of Premier McGuinty seems to have triggered a mass exodus of his party's senior braintrust.
Two aspirations for Ontario -- to be the engine of Canadian jobs again and to have world-leading public services -- are interdependent, not separate, goals. We can't have one without the other. And Ontarians deserve both. Instead of grants and handouts to the politically connected, I believe tax cuts create jobs. Tax relief creates jobs, grows the economy, and stimulates new business investments.
Dalton McGuinty's decision to prorogue parliament doesn't pass the sniff test. He claims the government needed to hit the pause button on negotiations with public sector unions on a wage freeze. Well, Mr. Premier, governments of all political stripes have negotiated with unions while the Legislature sits for years.
Dalton McGuinty's sudden and unexpected resignation comes at a particularly turbulent time in Ontario politics. There is a minority Legislature, sagging poll numbers placing the governing party third behind the Tories and NDP, and a wave of inquiries and corruption allegations. In addition, there is brewing labour unrest with teachers, doctors, and civil servants over proposed wage freezes. In all this, the inevitable question is, with McGuinty's resignation in this turbulent environment, what is his legacy?
I'm not sure if mankind has yet devised a unit of measurement large enough to quantify the volume of editorials about the life, times, and future of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty that have flooded the Canadian press in the aftermath of his unexpected Monday resignation. It's almost enough to make one pine for the pine for the cautious restraint of Justinmania.
We take it for granted that we live in a democracy. That label for our political system is, however, no longer accurate. Premier Dalton McGuinty's decision to shut down the Ontario legislature until his successor is chosen (whenever that might be) is further evidence that our democracy is under constant threat, more so in fact by the powerful than by terrorists. McGuinty has employed the same tactic Harper used a few years ago, presumably to stop the opposition from further investigating the Liberals' roles in the Ornge affair and gas plant closures as well as possibly censuring one of his cabinet ministers. Has the Premier also forgotten how to walk and chew gum at the same time?
After serving nine years as Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty has stunned the country by announcing his intention to step down as Liberal leader. Regardless of one's opinion of the man, he has arguably had a bigger impact on the province than many of his predecessors. There may be much to criticize in his record, but there is also much to laud. Now is a good time to evaluate some of his bigger legislative initiatives -- good and bad.
The Harper Conservatives have turned their backs on facts-based policy -- on research, data, and reality -- in favour of ideology to a degree not seen in decades in federal Canadian policy-making. There are seemingly countless examples of policies that are unreasonable -- downright illogical -- often followed by attempts to demonize, even stifle, dissenting voices.