Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty
Credits: CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI AGENCY
That's the tired old line Premier Dalton McGuinty trotted out when confronted with news $36 million of taxpayers' money had been doled out last year for bonuses.
Pay-for-performance bonuses were handed out to 98% of Ontario's civil service management. Ridiculous. What did they do to deserve these bonuses?
Ontario is facing a $15-billion deficit - hardly something that should be rewarded.
And for McGuinty to blame Harris because it was his policy, is a slap in the face for all hard-working Ontarians crushed under the pressure of high taxes and reckless spending from his Liberal government.
This isn't to altogether dismiss the pay-for-performance policy. It does take financial incentives to attract and retain talented civil servants in government.
Provided there are strong performance measurements attached, a bonus structure can work. But that basic criteria seems to elude the McGuinty government.
Instead they doled out money to 8,700 managers who, it would appear from the province's finances, haven't performed.
At least not for taxpayers.
Meanwhile the Liberals hypocritically tell the rest of us we have to come together to tackle the financial mess we're in. A mess they created wasting taxpayers' money on a growing list of spending screw-ups like Ornge, eHealth, cancelled power plants and a failed (and costly) green energy policy.
Under McGuinty's watch the debt has increased by $110 billion in eight years.
Every second of the day that goes by, Ontario's debt increases nearly $780 dollars. That's a hefty bill to leave for future generations of Ontarians to pay.
None of this however, seems to faze McGuinty. Perhaps after frivolously spending hundreds of millions of dollars, a meagre $36 million is insignificant?
And though the premier has said they are going to "review" the bonus program, that's little comfort for taxpayers.
We all know the McGuinty government's idea of a "review" is to ask for a report, accept the findings, then do little about them.
As PC MPP Rob Leone accurately said: "Reckless McGuinty money bombs have only created massive financial craters for this province to climb out of - and the Liberals have no plans to disarm."
It sure would be a bonus to all Ontarians if McGuinty had a plan, aside from blaming the other guy.