10.06.2010 08:07 AM

Election Ontario: one year today

The source of his inspiration.

One year from today, Ontario will go back to the polls.  We Ontario Liberals are already at work, and in fact have been at work for months.  We intend to continue to work very hard, to once again earn the confidence of the people.  And we intend to take our opponents very, very seriously.  We don’t, and will not, take anything for granted.

That’s because the choices are starkly different, and the consequences of making  the wrong choice are pretty significant.  So I think Ontario voters need to start pondering what would be the consequence of a win by our principal (but by no means only) opponent, Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

Here’s a very short summary of Hudak’s views and positions, mostly derived from his tenure as a Mike Harris disciple.  In the year ahead, you will be hearing a lot more about these.  Consider them carefully.  If you feel as I and many others do, we need to once again cast a vote of confidence in Dalton McGuinty [full disclosure: whose caucus I’ve given comms advice].

  • Education: Hudak and his caucus call full-day kindergarten ” a frill.”  He has supported funding private religious schools in the past, and he still does.
  • Health: When he was the right-hand to the Conservative Minister of Health, Hudak worked to close 28 hospitals and 7,110 hospital beds.  He also favoured firing 6,200 nurses.  His current plan is to cut $3 billion from front-line health care in Ontario. And he opposed cutting the cost of prescription drugs for Ontario seniors and families.
  • Economy: Many times, Hudak and his caucus have voted against tax cuts for Ontario families and businesses.  He also opposed the partnership with the auto sector, which saved hundreds of thousands of Ontario families – just as he opposed investment in Ontario infrastructure when the recession hit.  And, though he once opposed the HST, he now admits that it should be maintained.
  • Energy/Environment: When Hudak and his party were last in power, we had failed energy de-regulation, a “price cap” fiasco, and his Conservative friends getting rich off Hydro One with untendered contracts.  When he had a say, dirty coal generation increased 127 per cent.  And, of course, Hudak, and his party, created a system where people in Walkerton died, and where hundreds more became sick for life.

In the year ahead, you’ll be hearing more and more about these and other concerns.

And in the year ahead, you will hopefully come to know – as I do – that Dalton McGuinty is a builder.

Tim Hudak and his cabal, meanwhile, are the wrecking crew.


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    David says:

    Ah, so that’s what it will be.


    No vision for the future of Ontario, just mud.

    Sounds like anger, fear not hope.

    I suspect this is a battle McGuinty won’t win.

    You seem to disagree but I guess we’ll find out next year.

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    Bill King says:

    Ya right;

    Hudak’s against tax cuts, blah, blah, blah…

    Bring it on.


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    bc says:

    Hudak stinks. Pure and simple.

    But how you can sit there and write that McGuinty is a “builder” after his tenure has been such an absolute failure filled with broken promises, mismanagement, and straigt up lies…

    McGuinty is a disaster.

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      Martin says:

      Have you met Tim? I have and didn’t find him stinky at all? What he is, is a hard working genuine man – that will tell you what he really thinks – Unlike the current Premier.

      For the good of our nearly bankrupt province – I hope Dalton is done!

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    Paul R. Martin says:

    It will be a very interesting election Warren. Naturally the Conservatives will mention Ehealth and some of the other mistakes that an incumbent government naturally makes. The polls indicate that the voters in Ontario are restive. You have your work cut out for yourself.

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    Brad says:

    I have always voted Liberal and will continue to. I don’t like paying HST, or green fees or debt repayment on my hydro and as a business owner I also pay the health tax and on and on and on

    I am sure doing the HST thing at this time wasn’t easy, but to me it’s an insult to be told its revenue neutral, it will generate x number of jobs, it wasn’t revenue neutral in my household, every bill I pay just cost me more money
    I understand that we have to pay taxes and the province needs the money, but please can’t McGuinty just come out and say, we need the money for healthcare, schools, roads, renewable energy whatever

    he has done a decent job, I just find it harder and harder to listen to him, if you are going to put something like HST in place, be truthfull about it, he comes across as a bit sneaky to me,
    otherwise it does feel like a “tax grab” even though there really is not such thing

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      Martin says:

      Pretty sad when ONtario has a bigger debt than all of Canada’s other provinces combined. Dalton is the worst fiscal manager Ontario has ever seen!

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      Colin says:

      One of the major problems we are faced with is people that vote for the same party/leader regardless of performance. Politicians need to be held accountable. Imagine if voters re-elected Rae with that same principle or worse yet gave Mulroney another term or elected Dion (I know I?m making an assumption here but pretty safe I think). If you are not happy with who you voted for last election and can?t bring yourself to vote for another party then abstain but do not reinforce jut because that?s how you?ve always voted.

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    IC says:

    Warren c’mon now – McGinty’s promises are like Hans Christian Andersen’s best efforts. He may have done a sorta kinda decent job but the public don’t trust him, will never trust him. What better way to keep Hudak out (the little boy who just loves Mikey Boy Harris and his evil brylcreemed twin Ernest Eves Esq.) than to ditch mealy mouth and replace him with someone Ontario just loves ? Surely you have thought this too?

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    Chris says:

    Ontario Liberals want to move Ontario forward and keep making progress when it comes to smaller classes and shorter wait times. What about Tim Hudak? He wants to turn back time to the days of cuts in health care and schools. scary

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    Ted H. says:

    Dalton M. has made mistakes, everyone does, the Liberals are not perfect but at least they will try to do things that will help the people of Ontario. Just keep in mind that the Conservatives are not “just another party”, it is not a sporting event for your favourite team. Conservative policy drives up deficits and targets the weakest members of society. The Conservatives are not a political party, they are the Un-party, the anti-government party, the gain advantage for the wealthy party, the starve social programs of funding party. No one who works for a living, cares the least bit about their fellow man or has even part of a brain in their head has any business voting for Conservatives. A US bumper sticker put it best just substitute Conservative for Rebublican. ” There are two types of Conservatives, millionaires and suckers”. Good luck Warren.

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      Ted H. says:

      Sorry for my spelling mistake, I meant to say Repuglican and our current batch of homegrown Cons are just as repugnant. When we had real Progressive Conservatives like Bill Davis and Joe Clark and yes, even Lyin’ Brian, they at least had the interests of society at heart not like the Harper/Hudak vandals.

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    Joshua Shang says:

    And the mud slinging begins! I think Dalton just needs to come out and say it and be honest.. We messed up, HST is a tax hike, and Eco Fees where a disaster. how about finding a private partnership to dispose of these electronic goods (they make money from the scraps!)
    None of this spin doctoring and soundling like the Elitist Millerirtes of Toronto …


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    IC says:

    Before I forget – is the common sense revolutionary spin doctor – the increasingly rotund Jaime Watt – going to be Navigating the Hudak around?
    If he is, I hope Daisy is primed and ready to knock the B/S up the back stairs of the Albany…

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    Andrew says:

    To quote Ted H – “Conservative policy drives up deficits”. umm…you might want to look at the Liberals fiscal management over the past while. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you would notice that this province is in the worst shape it’s ever been in. Job loss like crazy, insane deficits, debts everywhere, spending scandals… i could go on. Now sure I know some people will say “well the federal government is the reason why x, y, z happened”, but the bottom line is that Dolton is the guy in charge and it was under his watch that all of this happened. Things like the HST aren’t for roads and health care etc… it’s to pay down the massive debt the liberals have given the province in the last few years. These guys couldn’t balance a cheque book. SO the libs will just try and paint the tories as “the bad guys from a decade ago” because they have nothing else going for them. They can’t honestly campaign on their record from the past mandate, because it’s terrible. – It should be noted that just though deficit part was at Ted.

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      Ted H. says:

      Just a few points by my understanding Andrew. The Federal Conservatives are firmly behind the HST, they gave Dalton about 5 billion to implement it. The HST is basically the GST at 13%, there is no more Provincial Tax. Dalton inherited a big deficit from yep, the Conservatives. And speaking of Conservatism in general, Mulroney left a deficit, the Liberals eliminated it, Harper ran up a deficit. Bush 1 left a deficit, Clinton paid it down, Bush 2 left a deficit. It is not hard to find data that shows the US economy has always done better under Democratic Administrations. Cons like to talk about “tax and spend Liberals” it isn’t actually true but if it was it is better than “cut tax and spend Conservatives”. Who are the real fiscal conservatives that try to get the books in order? They sure aren’t Conservatives

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        Warren says:

        Have I told you recently that I adore commentors like Ted.

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          Dr. Strangelove says:

          Like a lap-dog?

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            Ted H. says:

            That’s not fair Doc, on some issues, especially around Toronto politics, I find Warren a bit too conservative. Stick to facts, don’t sink to an ad caninem level.

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        Warren says:

        Have I told you how much I adore commentors like this one?

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          Paul R. Martin says:

          In duplicate.

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            Andrew says:

            You are correct, Ted. The Liberals did inherit a deficit in 2003. And they paid it off and everything was fine, then we go into a recession, and Dolton has little to no plan to deal with, and look what happened. Ontario has never seen a deficit of this size. So to your point, yes there was a small deficit when the libs took power in 2003. I will give you that. But when you say that libs and dems traditionally have better results with dealing with this stuff and making it better…well my friend, at least in Ontario, that seems to be a thing of the past. I don’t think that either you or my good friend Warren can say with a straight face that the largest deficit in Ontarios history is not Doltons fault. When it comes down to it, it’s his job to make sure that to books are in order and to stop this from happening, and it’s clear without a shadow of a doubt that he failed. and not just a fail, but an epic fail at that.

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        Jack says:

        The problem with calling them “cut tax and spend Conservative” is that they talk a lot more about cutting taxes than they implement tax cuts. In fact one of the first things Harper did was to cancel a Liberal tax cut.

        I prefer to call them “borrow and spend Conservatives”, because that’s what they really do; rather than even trying to pay their bills out of current revenues as would any responsible adult, they borrow the money to pay for their excessive spending and expect our kids to pay it back.

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        paulsstuff says:

        Interesting analogy of a 13% gst. But if I’m not mistaken, despite the fact the two taxes are now blended as one, Ontario still gets it’s 8% from the federal government. Perhaps Warren can verify this. As it stand, McGuinty will reap billions more in tax revenue due to the fact many things previously exempt from the pst are now taxed at the hst rate of 13%.

        As for Warren stating Hudak wants to cut $3 billion from front-line health care, I think that statement is somewhat misleading. Here in Ajax, McGuinty actually tried to close the local emergency ward, forcing residents to drive to Scarborough. He only retreated from that idea due to public backlash. As for the hospital here, there has been a large increase in management making six-figure incomes while the real front-line workers, nurses for example, still need more help. Cutting back that bureaucracy seems pretty smart to me.

        Do we really need hos[pitals spending money on lobbyists?

        Nice to see Warren mention the partnership with the auto companies. Any idea on the federal Liberals position on that? I’ve asked Holland a few times and never get an answer. Don’t think I’ve ever heard Ignatieff say he supported it either. Regardless, GM in Oshawa is now starting the hiring process. Some idled parts suplliers will reopen shortly to make parts for the new vehicles slated for Chrysler’s Brampton plant.

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    Martin says:

    Ehealth, hst, health tax and a deficit that Makes Bob Rae’s NDP gov’t look like responsible spenders?? Goodnight Dalton – you are finished.

    Spending up from 74 Billion to 117 billion – Ontario a welfare province collecting equalization payments – economy in shambles – All adds up to a massive win for Hudak!!!!

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    Steve T says:

    How are you reconciling your position that the federal Cons are to blame for the economic downturn (or failure to manage it properly), with your support of the provincial Libs that have governed during the same period of time? A large number of the job losses in Canada since 2008 have been in Ontario. Doesn’t McGuinty bear any responsibility for that, if your thesis is that government has the ability to control or mitigate a macroeconomic crisis?

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    Patricia Morfee says:

    I am getting angry at the Conservatives on here and have decided enough is enough. I am a 67 year old Grandmother of 2 who go to school in Toronto and are thriving there. My husband of 46 years and I have seen many governments and many changes. We lived through the 70’s when my husband worked for Ford and was laid off a lot. We had trouble keeping up with bills. Our house is 100 years old and it took 35 years to pay off the mortgage because of interest rates of 10-14% but we managed. We put 2 children through University in the 80’s. Then we had Mike Harris and we marched alongside teachers and nurses, who Mike thought were as relevant as hula hoops. After 30 years working at Ford, my husband retired and I was retired after 28 years of work. We are on a pension and have been able to vacation in Mexico for the past 8 years. Our hydro bills have gone down since the HST was introduced and we manage quite well. We were left with a large deficit because of the Harrisites and Dalton McGuinty is trying to get us out. Times are tough even in the United States and we suffer because of it. Our Ford plant is closing next year and many of our young people will be unemployed but not because of this Liberal government. I guess the bottom line is I am sticking with the Liberals because I have had knee replacement and if we go backwards, I am too old to march any more. Sorry to go on so much Warren but I am tired of the whining and say just get a grip, this too shall pass.

    Thanks for this forum for my venting.

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      Namesake says:

      so hopefully you’ll commit harakiri soon before you get much older rather than draw down on any of our social programs?

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        Namesake says:

        Well, fine, if you want more than a ‘so drop dead before you burden us with your inevitable hypocrisy response,’:

        and since you saw fit to attack this nice lady’s husband’s vocation (and BTW, Ford’s not bankrupt, so that swipe was inappropriate, and its troubles have less to do with the unionized workers than with the management & the public’s stubborn refusal to produce & consume more environmentally sustainable products):

        I can see why you’re so opposed to the public health care insurance and pension systems which support people according to their needs even if it exceeds what they paid in, given that _you_ work in private insurance, which endeavours to get people to pay in more than they need to and pay out as little as possible no matter how great the need, so that people like you can profit from their fear of loss.

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      David Ross says:

      Another classic example of the cradle to grave mentality of the “unionist” no doubt. Oh and did you forget that the CPC provided most of the billions of dollars to your bretheren over at GM & Chrysler.

      BTW – the demise of the Ford plant has “nothing to do” with any Government CPC, Liberal or otherwise… it’s economics!

      Lady, “we all live” (me too) and triumph through difficult times but nowhere we do most people blame the goverment because bad things that happen to them, especially a government from almost ten years ago…

      Get a grip,

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        Namesake says:

        what a (knee-) jerk reponse. Ms. Morfee did not blame the gov’t for the closure of the Ford plant or for her family’s situation, which she actually characterized as being pretty good, all things considered, thanks to McGuinty’s gov’t.

        What she did say — and you Cons. should try this some time — was that she cared about what happens to others in her province as the result of short-sighted and mean-spirited economic policies, specifically directed at front-line public servants like teachers and nurses (but not herself, BTW: as a medical secretary, she most likely had a non-unionized private sector position).

        And by attacking her personally for this, you and Mr. Tulk are, quite simply, boors.

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    Michael S says:

    Tim Hudak was on CBC Ottawa this morning, and he came off as almost cuddly. If he can keep that public face up there’s a problem for the Liberals.

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    Michael says:

    And if only it would stop at “tax cut and spend” conservatives, but too often its “tax cut and waste” conservatives.

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    Patricia Morfee says:

    I was not prepared for the vitriol spewed at my posting. I was only stating my life’s experience as I lived it. I worked for 28 years as a Medical Secretary and only get old age security as I worked in between having my children and no maternity leave given nor childcare tax credits. I believe I deserve to have a life in my old age. I will not be writing anymore to this blog.

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    Namesake says:

    I don’t want to hear it. The point is, you _did_ denigrate them (as in, “speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame”) rather than simply let her express her support of one party’s government over another, in a province you don’t even live in, and even if there was some reason for you to intervene, her husband’s profession was completely irrelevant to the issue she addressed: viz., the Conservative’s cutbacks to teachers and nurses. So it was just an ad hominem attack on someone’s profession, by: an Insurance Salesman? Someone lower on the slimy vulture scale than a gotcha reporters, used car salemen, and ambulance chasers?

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    A. says:

    I really can’t get over how much Hudak looks like Bettlejuice

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