Dalton McGuinty

The Case For Kennedy

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2013 OLP Leadership Race, Featured Posts, Ontario Politics | 3 Comments


This weekend, Liberals from across Ontario will gather at Maple Leaf Gardens for what is likely to be one of the last grand old leadership conventions in Canada. Having 2,000 delegates decide who governs a province of 13 million doesn’t scream “grassroots”, but it makes for one heck of a show. There will be signs, there will be noise makers, there will be t-shirts, there will carefully orchestrated spontaneous outpourings of enthusiasm.

Rumours will fly, candidates will lead their delegates across the floor, and the TV cameras will scramble to find a heartbroken teenager in tears. Whether or not you have a horse in this race, if you like politics, Saturday is going to be Must See TV.

I’ll be attending the convention as a Gerard Kennedy delegate, and I suspect the grind of the campaign and lure of the hospitality suites will leave me with little time to blog. The OLP has been gracious enough to accredit bloggers, so expect Scott Tribe and others at Progressive Bloggers to be posting frequent updates as the voting progresses Saturday…and Sunday, if we see a repeat of 1996 when a leader wasn’t crowned until 4:30 am.

Up until that moment, delegates will be doing everything they can to persuade each other to vote for their candidate of choice. So for any delegates scanning blogs on their train ride into town, let me re-iterate why I’m supporting Gerard Kennedy and why I encourage you to.

What first drew me to Kennedy and keeps me coming back is that he is one of the most genuine politicians I have ever met and I’m 100% confident he’s in politics not for power, but for purpose. After growing up in small town Manitoba and going to University on a hockey scholarship, he became executive director of an Edmonton food bank at the age of 23, then of the Daily Bread Food Bank at the age of 26. Despite his aforementioned 4:30 am defeat to Dalton McGuinty, he stayed loyal, and as McGuinty’s Education Minister he got results – labour peace, smaller class sizes, higher test scores.

Of course, all the candidates in this race share Liberal values and they all have impressive resumes and a record of accomplishment in Cabinet. However, for me personally, there are two things that set Kennedy apart from the field.

The first is that Gerard is more genuinely committed to changing the way politics is done in this country than anyone I’ve ever met. He was talking about renewal long before it became an empty buzzword, and has released a comprehensive plan for change that will lead to a more open Liberal Party. (In fairness, many of the other candidates have released strong renewal platforms, especially Hoskins and Sousa).

Dalton McGuinty’s surprise resignation letter to Liberals 100 days ago was titled “Renewal”, because he recognized the party needs to change the way it operates to survive. Kennedy is not a member of the party establishment, and he offers real change.

And it is indeed because he is an agent of change that Gerard is well positioned to lead the Liberals to victory in the next election. Despite the happy-go-lucky feel-good mentality that has dominated this race, Liberal Party members need to recognize the situation we find ourselves in. The party has been in power for a decade, has alienated much of its base, and faces the very real prospect of a spring election. That’s an election we can win, but there’s also a very real risk we could tumble to third if the new leader isn’t able to connect with voters and show them the party has changed.

On that front, Kennedy has the advantage of being a known commodity from the Camelot period of the McGuinty government, who is trusted by voters. At the same time, he’s a fresh face who wasn’t at the Cabinet table when controversies around Bill 115, the Mississauga Power Plant, and E-Health exploded. It’s no surprise that every single poll released this campaign has shown he is the most electable candidate in the race – by a significant margin.

That’s the case I’ll be making this weekend. It’s a strong field of candidates, and I’ve heard very compelling pitches from each of their campaigns. When the confetti falls Saturday night (or Sunday morning), we’ll find out which case proves most compelling.

2012 Woman of the Year

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2012 Alberta Election, Alberta Politics, Featured Posts, Person of the Year | 3 Comments

Every December, I like to name a “Person of the Year” – the individual who left their mark on Canadian politics over the past year. The only rules are that the PM is too obvious a choice, and that lame picks (“You!”) are strictly verboten. The Person of the Year doesn’t need to be someone who used the force for the powers of good, or someone I like – just someone who made a difference. Below is a list of recent choices:

2011: Jack Layton
2010: Rob Ford and Naheed Nenshi
2009: Jim Flaherty
2008: Stephane Dion
2007: Jean Charest
2006: Michael Ignatieff
2005: Belinda Stronach
2004: Ralph Klein

Unlike 2011, when Jack Layton’s rise and death came to define the year that was in Canadian politics, no single event or person stands out in 2012. There was no federal election, and little that happened in Ottawa resonated outside the political bubble. After being warned about Harper’s “hidden agenda” for a decade, the most newsworthy item of Flaherty’s first majority budget was the death of the penny.

The robocon scandal might eventually stick, but we have no way of knowing, so selecting Pierre Poutine, or Misters McGregor and Maher is likely premature. A few people on Twitter nominated Mark Carney, but I’m not sure his flirtation with the Liberal Party or departure to England will really change much.

Rather, the focus in Ottawa this year was largely on leadership races in the opposition ranks. Thomas Mulcair deserves consideration for Person of the Year – he won a competitive race, allowing the NDP to complete their journey from protest to pragmatism. Mulcair proved himself to be a steady opposition leader, but his polling bounce has faded due to…

Justin Trudeau. I don’t doubt that Trudeaumania II will be the “Story of the Year” on a lot of recap lists, but it’s not clear to me Justin left any lasting mark on Canadian politics (other than the ones on Patrick Brazeau’s face). And being talked about isn’t enough to make you the Person of the Year, or else I’d be handing out this award to the IKEA Monkey.

If we move outside of federal politics, a couple of past winners find themselves on the short list again in 2012. Rob Ford was a headline machine this year, culminating with a judge ordering him to be removed from office. The only problem is, if we’re going to start naming troubled Mayors, it would make for one long list of co-winners, since you’d also need to include Gerard Tremblay, Gilles Vaillancourt, and Joe Fontana, among others.

It’s tempting to give my 2007 Person of the Year, Jean Charest, and fellow Liberal-on-the-way out Dalton McGuinty a lifetime achievement award for the impact they’ve had on Canadian politics over the past decade. After all, this fall’s Quebec election was a thriller, and Charest surprised everyone by nearly hanging on.

However, even more exciting and unpredictable was the Alberta election. Which brings us to our 2012 Woman of the Year:

Alison Redford poses with Daryl Katz

The PCs winning elections in Alberta is hardly news. They’ve now done that a dozen times in a row, and will soon break the record as the longest-serving government in Canadian history. Alison Redford won 61 of 87 seats which, admittedly, marks a down year for the PCs – but is still considered a rout in most functioning democracies.

But, oh, what an exciting rout that was.

Redford led by 37 points in a January Leger poll, and there were actually non-satirical articles printed citing senior Tories worried they’d win “too many” seats. Luckily for those senior Conservatives, Alison Redford quickly put those fears to rest.

The issue that landed Redford in dire straits and caused her to lose complete control of the agenda was the “money for nothing” controversy. When it came to light that MLAs were receiving $1,000 a month to sit on a committee which hadn’t met in four years, the opposition members did the sensible thing and returned the money. Redford did not. She called the gesture by the opposition MLAs a “stunt” and said there was nothing wrong with the committee – but hung her MLAs out to dry by suggesting there would be electoral consequences if they didn’t return the cash. Her caucus whip said voters were too stupid to understand the issue. Redford dithered and didn’t act until the polls went south a month after the story broke. But the damage was done. She had given the Wildrose Party all the ammunition they would need to run an “entitled to their entitlements” campaign.

In most years, Redford’s stumbles wouldn’t have been fatal, but what made this a truly great election was that the PCs were facing their strongest competition in 20 years. Smith versus Redford pitted two of the country’s strongest politicians head-to-head, in what is likely to become Canada’s most interesting political rivalry over the next few years. Contrary to what anyone reading news stories in 2010 or 2011 would believe, Danielle Smith isn’t perfect – she confusingly tried to brand herself as the “anti-change” candidate and presented voters with a gimmicky platform, offering Ralph Bucks and Doris Day petitions. But Smith is a smart, articulate, and charismatic politician, so it’s no surprise her campaign strategy of “let’s do photo-ops with cute animals” was paying off. Before long, the Wildrose Party had pulled ahead. Alison Redford was sounding more and more desperate by the day, accusing the Wildrosers of being the party of “old white men” (fun fact: Alison Redford’s Cabinet was 86% male and 95% white).

By this time, Wildrose campaign manager Tom Flanagan must have been having flashbacks to the 2004 federal election – a long time government brings in a new leader with expectations of a landslide victory, only to mismanage a scandal and see a new right wing party pull ahead. Sadly for Doctor Tom, the similarities would continue down the stretch, with voters en masse having second thoughts about what this new right wing party truly stood for.

For that, Redford can thank a pair of Wildrose candidates. Allan Hunsperger blogged that gays would burn for all eternity in a lake of fire in hell, and Danielle Smith didn’t seem too troubled. Ron Leech talked about “the white advantage”, and Danielle Smith didn’t seem too troubled, saying every candidate should put forward “their best argument for why they should be the person who can best represent the community”.

For a variety of reasons, the pundits and polls were as off the mark as Smith’s candidates, setting up one of the most stunning election nights in Canadian history. Columnists across the country were forced to madly re-write their columns on the demise of the PC dynasty. Some weren’t able to, hence Andrew Coyne’s first page Post column which beganUnless something astonishing happens, the Wildrose Party will form the next government of Alberta”. Turns out astonishing things can happen in politics every now and then – even in boring, predictable Alberta.

Redford has stayed in the news post-election, thanks mainly to two more badly mismanaged scandals. However, she’s also had an impact on the national stage, being at the centre of the Enbridge pipeline feud with Christy Clark. Although Redford has only been PC leader for a little over a year, she is quickly becoming one of the most well known and respected names on the national stage – and her prominence is likely to grow with new Premiers recently elected or on the way in Quebec, Ontario, and BC (unless something astonishing happens!). With Alberta continuing to grow, and Redford showing an eagerness to expand Alberta’s influence in Canada and around the world, expect to hear more from her in 2013.

Time To Return Those “Dalton4Leader” T-Shirts

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in --- 2013 LPC Leadership Race | 4 Comments

I can’t imagine anyone seriously thought he would run, but Dalton McGuinty has made it official that he will not be entering the Federal Liberal Leadership Race.

While the race will not officially kick off for another 3 weeks, with each passing day it becomes more and more clear that the field will be Justin Trudeau, Marc Garneau (likely), Martha Hall Findlay (maybe), and whoever among the mish-mash of no-names can come up with the $75,000 entry fee.

Great Moments in Political Analysis

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in --- 2013 LPC Leadership Race | 2 Comments

You’ve got to love anonymous Liberals:

A source in one of the developing campaigns for two Ontario Liberals who have been laying groundwork for a federal leadership bid for several months said initial activity by McGuinty organizers has included extensive public opinion polling.

“I’ve heard from a couple of sources this morning that the McGuinty camp has been polling for over a month, they’ve done two polls,” the source said.

He told The Hill Times that if McGuinty enters the race, with the vast network of organizers he and his campaign teams have built over the past 16 years in Ontario, the effect could be devastating for prospective Ontario candidates David Bertschi and George Takach.

Dalton McGuinty

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Ontario Politics | 4 Comments

A toast to McGuinty or a toast to his departure?

Every pundit, commentator, and Joe Schmoe with a Twitter account has weighed in on Dalton McGuinty’s legacy today. The range of opinions is vast, as you might expect for any leader who has been in power for nearly a decade – even one as bland, centrist, and pragmatic as Dalton McGuinty. I’m sure we’ll see the same spectrum of analysis when Stephen Harper finally decides to call it a career and focus all of his energies on finishing the hockey book.

While I found McGuinty a bit too risk-averse for my liking during his first term, I’ve grown rather fond of the man since moving to Ontario, so I won’t pretend to be unbiased in my assessment. I do think you can objectively say he made tangible improvements to Ontario’s education system, and struggled to get the province’s financial house in order during a recession that hit Ontario especially hard.

Faced with the downturn, he did show boldness bringing in the HST and trying to get civil servant contracts under control. I think those moves were for the better, others will feel they were for the worse (including many Liberals), but you can’t say he did them as a cynical vote grab – those were gutsy decisions, taken to dig Ontario out from under a mound of debt. To me, they elevate McGuinty beyond being merely a political autobot programmed to hold power, into a true leader who is worthy of adoration or hate. That’s why we’re seeing the full gamut of emotions today.

On the whole, voters themselves likely passed the fairest judgment on the McGuinty legacy. He was given a rare third term after a campaign in which he ran hard on his record – but it was far from a resounding endorsement. So, “good but not great“…which is better than voters will say about most politicians.

There was obviously a lot more to Dalton McGuinty’s time as Premier than that, but how you view his legacy will depend largely on your political stripes. Personally, I feel both the Liberal Party and Ontario benefited from McGuinty’s time in power, and will be worse off with his departure.

The Changing Face of Provincial Politics

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Ontario Politics | 3 Comments

Gary Doer, Bernard Lord, and Dalton McGuinty

With Dalton McGuinty’s abrupt resignation, Stephen Harper has now outlasted every sitting Premier in power when he took office. Hell, Alberta has seen two regicides during this period:

John Hamm (succeeded by Rodney MacDonald in 2006, who was defeated by Darrel Dexter in 2009)
Bernard Lord (defeated by Shawn Graham in 2006, in turn defeated by David Alward in 2010)
Ralph Klein (succeeded by Ed Stelmach in 2006, succeeded by Alison Redford in 2011)
Pat Binns (defeated by Robert Ghiz in 2007)
Lorne Calvert (defeated by Brad Wall in 2007)
Gary Doer (succeeded by Greg Selinger in 2009)
Danny Williams (succeeded by Kathy Dunderdale in 2010)
Gordon Campbell (succeeded by Christy Clark in 2011)
Jean Charest (defeated by Pauline Marois in 2012)
Dalton McGuinty (announced resignation in 2012)

The Premiers Harper sat down with after taking office as PM (or would have sat down with if he was into that sort of thing) is one of the most talented groups of Premiers the country has ever seen. You may not like Jean Charest, Danny Williams, or Ralph Klein, but you can’t question their political abilities. Gary Doer, Dalton McGuinty, and Gordon Campbell each lasted a decade in power. Bernard Lord is a former future Prime Minister. John Hamm is the reason Canadians tune into Mad Men every week.

But despite all that talent, they’ve fallen one by one. And the boring lobbyist from Calgary, who no one ever expected anything from, outlasted them all.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Budgets, Ontario Politics | 6 Comments

Ontario careens towards an election nobody wants…

Ontario Liberals threaten election after NDP ‘breaks its word’ on budget

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty threatened to take Ontario to a general election Thursday if the opposition parties couldn’t agree on a deal to pass the budget.

“This is about Ontario’s economic livelihood and our ability to continue steering the province in the right direction in these challenging times,” McGuinty said in a statement.

“It’s absolutely imperative that we pass this budget. And if we cannot pass this budget, we will take it to the people in a general election.”

The NDP had appeared ready to support the minority Liberal budget in exchange for a new tax on incomes over $500,000, and to get more hearings into the fiscal plan before next week’s vote.

But on Thursday, McGuinty accused NDP leader Andrea Horwath of reneging on the deal.

“Earlier today, the NDP turned their backs — yet again — on an agreement to pass our budget,” McGuinty said. “They joined forces with the PCs to gut the government’s budget bill.

“The consequences of the NDP’s latest backtrack would hurt our economy when what it needs most is stability and certainty. Andrea Horwath and her party have, for the second time, broken their word about passing this budget.”

An update on all the people MAYBE running for Liberal leadership

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in --- 2013 LPC Leadership Race, Featured Posts, Federal Politics | Leave a comment

The expectation is that rules for the Liberal leadership race will come down in June, setting the stage for a summer of getting to know the men and women wanting to lead Canada’s third party.

But while we won’t know the rules of the race for another month or two, that hasn’t limited speculation in the interim…or speculation about the interim leader, for that matter.

Back in January, I looked at the ten most commonly rumoured Liberal leadership candidates…and 18 fun longshots – the Naheed Nenshis and Amanda Langs of the world. Today, an update on the names that were most on the lips of delegates at the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) convention in Toronto this past weekend.

Don’t count on it

From that January list of ten “buzz” candidates, we can likely scratch off Scott Brison and Dominic Leblanc. While their names still get floated in most newspaper articles, the Liberals I know who would be first in line to support them aren’t expecting either Maritimer to toss their cap into the ring.

Which is a shame, because both represent the kind of generational change the party needs – and both are highly engaging and entertaining speakers, with pleasant demeanors that would contrast nicely with the gruff angry man personas of Harper and Mulcair.

The Big Names

While this is very much anybody’s race to win, in my mind there are three candidates who would instantly vault to frontrunner status if they ran.

Trudeau. McGuinty. Rae.

All three are political superstars with the name recognition and organizations that would make them very difficult to beat.

While Justin Trudeau has done his best Chris Christie impersonation by repeatedly denying he has any interest in running, there have been new rumblings about his potential candidacy in recent months – and they haven’t just been fueled by his TKO of Senator Brazeau, or idle media speculation.

The word on the street is that Justin is listening to the calls for him to run, though I’m still skeptical he’ll move beyond the listening stage. The man has shown remarkable restraint thus far in his political career, so the smart money is on him waiting until next time. That said, if the Liberals make the wrong choice there may not be a “next time”.

The reaction to Dalton McGuinty at January’s convention was electric, and he would enter the race with a formidable track record and political machine behind him. But given he’s fighting tooth and nail to tip the scales in Ontario to a majority, I seriously doubt he’d resign his own seat and plunge the OLP into a leadership race. There’s also the harsh reality that, for perhaps the first time since confederation, leading the Ontario Liberal Party is a more glamorous job than leading the federal Liberal Party.

Of course, if big brother isn’t interested, perhaps little brother will be. David McGuinty was one of the first candidates to openly muse about a leadership bid, but he’s never acted like someone coveting the top job. The man rarely leaves his own riding and was a no-show in Toronto this weekend.

So what about Bob? One year ago, Rae categorically ruled it out, solemnly swearing he would not seek the top job, saying it was time for “a new generation of leadership”. Now? He says a decision hasn’t been made, and he’s waiting on the rules. It’s a politician’s answer, and even his most ardent critics agree Rae may be one of the greatest politicians of his time. For this reason, many would follow him without hesitation if he runs – but others are so dead set against Rae they’d sooner back Alfonso Gagliano.

Seriously considering a run

Martha Hall Findlay sounds like the most serious of the “maybe” candidates. She’s been sending out newsletters, holding events, and getting herself in front of cameras – Findlay herself acknowledges it’s “not a secret” she’s thinking about it. While Martha was the plucky underdog the last time she ran for leader, she’s definitely in it to win it this go around.

Also from the class of 2006 is Gerard Kennedy, who has openly mused about running. Kennedy was ahead of his time with his “renewal” themed campaign, back when Liberals assumed everything could be fixed with a new leader. He has continued to beat that drum of late, holding renewal roundtables, renewal BBQs, and renewal pub nights. The real key for Kennedy will be how many renewal french lessons he’s taken in the past few years.

One of the guests at Gerard’s Political Renewal Fair a few weeks back was Kirsty Duncan. Duncan would be a great addition to the race, as an intelligent well spoken woman. If she runs, expect a strong focus on Health Care and the environment from her campaign, as she has written books on these topics.

Envisagent sérieusement de briguer le poste de chef

If you buy into the alternance theory of Liberal leadership, it’s time for a francophone leader, and there are certainly plenty of candidates from La Belle Province making noise.

The loudest has been Marc Garneau. Like Ken Dryden in 2006, Garneau has plenty of star power, but the question comes down to whether or not he has the right stuff to lead. I hope he runs, if only because I have a dozen out of this world astronaut puns that will go to waste if he takes a pass.

Even though Martin Cauchon and Denis Coderre have never run for Liberal Party leadership, they’ve each spent more than a decade thinking about it. I suspect Coderre’s future lies in provincial or municipal politics, though he will undoubtedly be a major asset for whichever campaign he winds up backing this go round.

Cauchon held a hospitality suite at the national convention and attended the LPCO convention this weekend – a clear signal he’d like to take on Thomas Mulcair not just in Outremont, but on the national stage. Believe it or not, he’ll only turn 50 this summer, but in some ways going with Cauchon would feel like a throwback to the Chretien era. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not sure that’s the mood of the membership.

It doesn’t take a lot to start a leadership rumour, so the fact that Mauril Belanger quit the official languages committee and then showed up in Toronto this weekend was enough to get people talking. Of course, being an Ontario MP, you’d expect him to be at an LPCO convention. And of all the things holding Mauril back from a run for Liberal leadership, I really don’t think his spot on the official languages committee was very high on the list. But such is life in politics, where a new pair of glasses is taken as a sign of leadership aspirations.

People you’ve never heard of

The candidates making the most noise about running at this point are the ones with no chance of winning. After all, given enough time, a politician can delude himself into thinking he has a chance at winning anything. Moreover, Martha Hall Findlay and Martin Singh’s longshot campaigns did wonders to raise their profiles, so it’s not even always about winning in the conventional sense.

The most credible of the “no names” appears to be defeated candidate David Bertschi, a persistent worker who ran a strong campaign in Ottawa Orleans last spring. Bertschi is assembling a team, has a website, and has launched a teaser video that tells us a lot about Canada’s potential as a country…but little about Bertschi’s potential as a candidate. Bertschi is a dynamic speaker one-on-one, and everyone who talked to him at the LPCO convention, myself include, left impressed.

Also making the rounds at the Sheraton this weekend was Toronto businessman George Takach. While he lacks elected experience, he’ll have no trouble raising money and, in the end, the amount of coin you bring in is the deciding factor in how long you can stay in the race.

Another name being floated is David Merner, the president of the BC wing of the federal Liberal Party. I’ve never met Merner, but this race needs a western voice or two, and to date Joyce Murray is the only MP west of Etobicoke making any noise about running.

McGuinty’s Majority Move

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in by elections, Ontario Politics | Leave a comment

As I wrote on election night last fall, the line between majority and minority isn’t as rigid as it’s often made out to be. When the margin is this thin, one case of appendicitis can tip the scales and change the course of history.

On Friday, Dalton McGuinty proved how fluid that majority line is, by appointing veteran PC MLA Elizabeth Witmer as the chair of the WSIB, setting the stage for an “all in” by election in Kitchener-Waterloo, and hundreds of “battle of Waterloo” metaphors.

It’s hard to see this move as anything other than a minority masterstroke by McGuinty. Witmer is respected and more than qualified for the position he is appointing her to, so there’s little risk of  backlash. It undermines Hudak’s leadership and, most importantly, opens up a winnable by election seat for the Liberals. Here’s the KW vote totals from October:

Elizabeth Witmer (PC)  43%
Eric Davis (Lib)  36%
Isabel Cisterna (NDP)  17%
 JD McGuire (Green)  3%

An MPP with over 20 years in office has to be worth at least 5 points at the ballot box, making Witmer’s old seat very much a toss up. It’s a riding Andrew Telegdi won handily for the federal Liberals as recently as 2006, before razor-thin losses in 2008 and 2011.

While there’s no doubt a temptation to strike early and call a snap by election, McGuinty has the cover of the NDP budget deal to get him through the spring session, so there’s no immediate rush. After all, it’s a student riding, so there’s something to be said for a fall by election, when thousands Waterloo and Laurier students notice a cool 30% reduction on their tuition bills.

Regardless on timing, the election is going to be all about whether voters want a majority or a minority government. For the next few months, the eyes of the province will be on Kitchener-Waterloo.

Ontario Budget 2012: McGuinty avoids war with Hudak and Horwath, by starting one with unions

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Budgets, Ontario Politics | Leave a comment


During the minority government era in federal politics, we all grew accustomed to the annual spring budget dance – a popular budget full of election treats, and never ending speculation over whether or not it would trigger an election.

Yet Dalton McGuinty’s first minority government budget felt different. Sure, Tim Hudak pushed out his chest and boldly declared he’d vote against it (despite not giving any kind of coherent explanation on how he’d balance the books). And yes, Andrea Horwath was not pleased and will now “consult” with Ontarians over what to do. But the reality is the NDP will support the budget, if only because none of the parties want – or can afford – an election.

The budget itself was decidedly “treat-free” – there’s not a single ounce of sugar in it. Not even a Harper-esque tax credit for buying sunscreen. Rather, the Liberal story of the budget was about what the government didn’t do – they didn’t scrap all day kindergarten, they didn’t cut Health Care, they didn’t increase class sizes.

Of course, if the benchmark is the Drummond Report, then what the government didn’t do, might be enough to help the public swallow this tough medicine budget. I feel like most Ontarians recognize tough decisions are needed, and the cutbacks and wage freezes McGuinty has proposed will be far less painful than Rae Days, tax hikes, or health care cuts.

Unless you’re in a union, that is. A public sector wage freeze is easier said than done, so Ontario is in for a year of labour unrest.

While McGuinty’s budget will ensure campaign signs stay locked up, it’s time to pull out the strike signs.

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