This thought of mine has been on my mind for some time now:
Mr. McGuinty indicated that his new government was unaware of the financial health of the province and that money due for needed services was unavailable. So, he broke his promise not to raise taxes to address the "social deficit".
Well, now, presumably, he is aware of the financial health of the province, as his ongoing struggle over the fiscal imbalance seems to indicate.
And, that fight has not ended.
Dalton McGuinty, while able to find money for autism lawsuits, pitbull bans, and cricket clubs, still cannot find money to fix the so-called social deficit which he promised to fix in 2003. This was his justification for raising our taxes with the so called "health premium" in his first budget.
Dalton McGuinty is publicly attacking the federal Conservatives over what he sees as unfair treatment under employment insurance. It's obviously a transparent attempt to show the province that Mr. McGuinty is trying to "do something" in light of Ontario's sagging economy. It will accomplish little, if anything, before the election. Superficially, it will keep a certain high profile supporter of Mr. McGuinty on side.
Add to this the number of times the federal government shows up in Ontario Liberal election promises - most notably in their transit promise (where the federal government is to provide a third of the cost).
Add to this the fight on the municipal front from Toronto and Ottawa for more funding for infrastructure, social services and transit. The Premier has told municipalities that there is no money, and that, especially with Toronto, to "grow up and raise taxes".
By being in a constant state of conflict with both municipalities and the federal government, Mr. McGuinty is likely setting us up so that he can do what he does best: blame someone else for his policy (in)decisions.
It's a common theme with the Ontario Liberal Party. Any time they are unable or unwilling to deliver on one of their campaign or project announcements it is because of everybody and everything else, except Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberal Party.
This is why I believe that Dalton McGuinty has a "social deficit premium" in the wings for the next budget, should he form government.
There is a very simple way to relieve Mr. McGuinty of the pressure to set us up this way; simply do not elect Ontario Liberals in October.