I remember reading some of the Liberals’ Building Ontario infrastructure plan before the last provincial election. It was full of half-decent ideas with vague timelines, and more vague price tags attached. It made me wonder if someone just decided to throw it at the wall and see if it would stick.
Fast forward to the election, and more half decent ideas, and vague price tags. Three examples; All-Day Kindergarten, tuition freezes, and the foreign workers policy, which although may have been good on paper was horribly pitched to the voters, and easily stomped on by the opposition. Add to this McGuinty’s performance at the debate; his hands flying everywhere making him look desperate. I watched it thinking “Is this a man I want to be Premier?
And then there was the budget fiasco. It was a half-hearted attempt at doing what was necessary. It froze public sector wages, tried to cut healthcare costs, and is trying to implement some of the recommendations in the Drummond Report. The Liberals fought with the N.D.P., and ended up having to give them a tax hike on the wealthy in order to get it passed. And even then at committee the N.D.P. just continued gutting it. And the Liberals plan on introducing the sections that were erased as separate pieces of legislation in the fall in a process that could very well have a different ending. Shouldn’t this Premier with his experience have a more nuanced way of working with the opposition?
And then there are the scandals. There are hearings going on trying to find out what exactly happened at Ornge; the twice subpoenaed Dr. Chris Mazza is expected to testify at some point later this month; speculation is he’ll have a lot to say. The Mississauga Power Plant that wasn’t has resurfaced with a $180 million relocation price tag. Not only that but it has been revealed the decision to shut it down was politically motivated, and promises to cause some friction amongst the Liberal party. Energy Minister Chris Bentley is saying one thing, Campaign Chair and former finance minister Greg Sobara another. McGuinty as leader should be taking control of this one; the fact that he isn’t so far sets alarm bells off.
McGuinty has appeared tired to me lately. His body language tells tells the story of a man fed up with his job, perhaps resigned to his eventual fate. Or maybe Dalton McGuinty has simply lost his mojo.