Straight Talk
EDITORIAL - Government missing in action

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

Credits: BOB TYMCZYSZYN Standard Staff


The lights are off - and there's no one home. Queen's Park is dark this week.

Only a skeleton security staff and the Legislature's famous ghosts are haunting the hallowed halls.

Since October, when Premier Dalton McGuinty quit and shut down the House, our MPPs have been simply going through the motions.

We have no effective government.

Our premier is a lame duck. So is Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

For all we know, Laurel Broten will not be education minister after the Liberal leadership vote, January 26.

Is it any wonder the teacher unions are spinning their wheels on making any kind of a deal with this government?

It was pure hypocrisy for Dalton McGuinty to suggest he was calming the waters by proroguing Parliament.

It was a cynical ploy to shut down debate on the controversial contempt motion over the estimated $1 billion it cost to move two power plants. One closure was announced in the middle of the last election.

As he scoots out the door, McGuinty is attempting to take with him all the anger about that and the myriad of other Liberal scandals, leaving the new leader with a fresh page.

His promise that this would give the government the opportunity to sit down calmly with labour leaders to negotiate a wage freeze was nonsense.

Why would the teacher unions negotiate with a lame duck government when they can simply wait them out and deal with the new premier?

This is no way to run a province.

We need our legislators back at work and earning their fat salaries.

It's not just that there's chaos in our schools, as school children are used as political pawns in a labour dispute. The economy is still too fragile for us to have absentee landlords running the province.

There are very real fears credit rating agencies could give us another kick in our collective backside. That would push up the cost of borrowing on our massive debt even higher.

Just when we need leadership, we have a government that's missing in action.

Let's get back to work, folk.

Fire up the gray matter. Roll up your sleeves. Turn on the lights.

Get this province working the way it once did.

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