Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ontario vs Federal Liberal Reaction to Budget

The Conservative government has released the federal budget for 2007. The CBC has a summary of the budget on their sites.

In reading some of the media and pundit reaction to the budget, an interesting thought occurred to me.

What do you do if you're both an Ontario and a federal Liberal? It's not necessary that you're both, but there are quite a few out there.

How do you react to these reactions?

Ontario Liberal Premier, Dalton McGuinty [via CTV]:
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is claiming a partial victory for the province in the new federal budget, saying Ottawa is working to level the fiscal fairness playing field.

"For the first time in a long, long time, Ontarians are going to receive the same amount of money for their education and social services as Canadians living in the rest of Canada," McGuinty told reporters on Tuesday.

"That too is a significant victory in terms of our fight for fairness."

Federal Liberal leader, St├ęphane Dion [via, National Post]:

Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion outlined on Tuesday where the federal budget failed Canadians, saying, "never has so little been done with so much."

Dion said there was no money to make Canada more competitive, no money for students, no real plan to fight climate change, no funding for aboriginal Canadians, no tax relief for average Canadians and he called the approach to equalization payments to the provinces divisive.

If, according to the Premier, Ontario is now receiving the same amount for certain social services as every other province, then this is a positive budget for Ontario Liberals. Should not Ontario Liberals be indicating to their federal counterparts in Ottawa to support it? I mean, yes, it's somewhat moot - the Bloc has already indicated it will support the budget, but symbolically, shouldn't federal Liberals from Ontario show their support for the budget?

Fundamentally, how do Ontario Liberals reconcile the possibility that their party may work better with a Conservative government in Ottawa, then they did with a federal Liberal government?

2 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

I guess you didnt read McGuiniy's quotes in the Star:

McGuinty isn’t happy that Ontario won’t see the same per capita funding as other provinces for health care until 2014. McGuinty said Tuesday that “justice delayed is justice denied” and vowed to keep fighting for fairness for Ontarians when it comes to health funding. Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara, who tables his own budget Thursday, estimates Ontario is short-changed $900 million a year in federal health transfers.

Jim said...

Well, I didn't say Mr. McGuinty was jumping up and down overjoyed with the budget. Of course he's going to claim any increase in transfers is not enough.

But, it's clear that Dalton McGuinty is not entirely disappointed with the budget and that he's done better with Mr. Harper than he did with Mr. Martin.