Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Haldimand "McGuinty won't Endorse Dion's Liberals"

McGuinty won't endorse Dion's Liberals; will fight for Ont. in fed. election (FedElxn-Ont-McGuinty)
The Canadian Press Sep 08 14:49

TORONTO _ Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's election campaign platform won't be endorsed by the Liberal premier of Canada's largest province, Dalton McGuinty said Monday as he vowed to press all federal party leaders for a better financial deal for Ontario.

With 106 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, it's time Ontario "exploited'' its clout to "fight for fairness'' during the campaign for the Oct. 14 vote, McGuinty said as he responded to Sunday's election call.

"Because over one-third of Canada's MPs are elected here in Ontario, we Ontarians have a great deal of influence over which party forms a government and who gets to be prime minister,'' he said.

"I'll be asking all the party leaders how they intend to address the issue of fairness for Ontario, and I'm asking Ontarians to do the same with their local candidates, to raise the issue at the door, at the debates and in letters.''

Ontario is shortchanged billions of dollars each year by Ottawa, said McGuinty, who complained that an Ontario worker who loses their job gets $4,600 less in benefits than laid off workers in the rest of Canada.

"All that missing EI money would have added up last year to $2.1 billion, a significant economic stimulus here in the province exactly when we need it,'' he said.

"Right now, our health care system is shortchanged by over $700 million every year.''
Campaigning in the Vancouver area Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper flatly rejected McGuinty's claims.

"It's not true that there are rules in employment insurance that discriminate against Ontario,'' said Harper.

He noted that McGuinty didn't complain when the Conservative government came up with a plan to address the fiscal imbalance between the federal government and the provinces.

"Premier McGuinty, like many of the premiers, didn't get everything he wanted out of the fiscal balance resolution,'' said Harper. "But as I recall at the time, he was pretty positive about the improvements we made in fiscal relations with Ontario.''

Earlier this year, McGuinty said he "liked the sound of'' Dion's controversial Green Shift plan, but he ducked repeated questions Monday about the policy before finally saying he supports putting "a price'' on carbon.

"I've got my own particular approach when it comes to dealing with carbon emissions,'' he said. "We believe in a cap-and-trade system.''

That's very different from Dion's complicated proposal to raise about $15 billion from taxing carbon emissions while providing corresponding tax cuts on income, savings and other investment vehicles.

Campaigning near Montreal Monday, Dion insisted tax changes proposed under the Green Shift plan would help McGuinty address poverty, and said the Liberal's $1 billion fund for manufacturers would help both Ontario and Quebec.

"We have an agenda that will improve what (McGuinty) is able to do,'' said Dion. "He needs a partner in Ottawa and we'll provide a partner for the premier of Ontario and all the premiers of this country.''

McGuinty's failure to endorse the Green Shift plan wasn't enough for Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory.

"I think the first thing Dalton McGuinty could and should do in order to ensure fairness for Ontario is speak up loud and clear and say that a carbon tax is not good for Ontario,'' said Tory.

"A tax is a tax is a tax, and the last thing Ontario needs right now is a new tax imposed on its population and on its businesses.''

The province's New Democrats blasted McGuinty's "phoney'' fairness campaign as nothing more than a Liberal tactic to avoid taking the blame for the loss of more than 200,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs in Ontario.

"It's simply a campaign to divert, distract and otherwise deflect public attention away from the real issue,'' said NDP Leader Howard Hampton.

"The real issue in Ontario is we're losing hundreds of thousands of good jobs, and the McGuinty government doesn't have an adequate response.''



  1. Well Donna this just puts things into perspective for me. Not!

    If the Liberals get into power at the Federal level does this mean that we will have to deal with "two" carbon taxes. One from the Federal level and another when McGuinty implements his own carbon tax.

    Ontario will suffer at the hands of the Liberals!

  2. More hogwash from McGuinty, must be something more to this. I would think that McGuinty would support Dion, but it seems that McGuinty has an insight into the fact that Dion will not be elected as the next PM, so he is staying on the safe side or rather sitting on the fence as he usually does. At least in Haldimand.

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    I tend to think that McGuinty wants to implement his own "carbon tax" so he will not support Dion.