If Dalton McGuinty had spent every summer like this, his provincial Liberals would be in much better shape.
Since the Legislature let out late last month, the Ontario Premier has looked like a man ready to fight for his political future. Every second day, it seems, he’s making a feel-good commitment aimed at shoring up his activist credentials – from money-back guarantees for public-transit riders to free glasses for kindergarten students to a crackdown on alleged double-billing by health-care providers. Next up will be details on a long overdue mental-health strategy, likely targeted at children.
While he tries to make provincewide splashes, Mr. McGuinty is dispatching his ministers to make local news. One day, Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky turns up in Ottawa to announce the construction of four new schools. Another, it’s Children and Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten in Hamilton to pledge new facilities for a kids’ hospital.
It’s all a sharp contrast to what happened the previous two summers, when the Liberals seemingly went to sleep – and paid a significant price for it.
It’s perhaps to be expected that, by the end of a spring legislative session, the people running the government – the Premier, his ministers, their staff – will be ready for a break. But what the Liberals seemed not to realize, the past couple of years, was that they were effectively ceding the agenda to a hungry opposition that was willing to work through the hottest months of the year.
In 2009, the summer wound up being dominated by the eHealth scandal and a series of smaller spending controversies. Those matters, to some extent, may have been unavoidable – but the same certainly couldn’t be said for “eco fees,” a seemingly marginal bit of mismanagement that dominated several weeks in 2010.
All told, the damage to the Liberals’ image was considerable. And each of the past couple of falls, they’ve struggled to regain much sense of momentum.
It’s entirely possible that some other brouhaha will throw the Liberals off course again before Labour Day rolls around. But they seem less susceptible, this time, because they’ve taken on a sense of urgency rather than complacency.
Of course, the looming Oct. 6 election gives them licence to make various promises that they don’t need to immediately follow through on; if they had gone around making so many campaign-style commitments every year, the province’s finances would be even more troubled than they already are.
But the reality, which the Liberals seem to have been slow catching onto, is that – particularly in the era of fixed-election dates – Ontario is in a constant campaign. That may not have been the case quite so much when John Tory was leading the Official Opposition, but it certainly has been since the more focused Tim Hudak took over.
If not through an endless series of funding announcements, the party in power has to find other ways to drive the news cycle – which, given the means of government, should hardly be impossible.
All sorts of factors will decide who wins the coming election. But much as he’s now making up for lost time, those lost summers will stand as a cautionary tale if Mr. McGuinty falls short.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Don't blame the Liberals for all our problems, most of which have their roots
with all parties. Dalton McGuinty has not shown any interest whatsoever in
reforming Family Law in Ontario.
The 'For the Sake of the children" died a quiet death, and in the meanwhile, Ontario's concentration camps for men have been steadily increasing the population of victims of the Ontario Gestapo, the Family Responsibility Office which relies upon the Ontario Government's use of "Debtor's prisons" to hold in custody fathers until a family member pays their way out of jail often at extraordinary financial hardship to ensure that children have a father.
Dalton McGuinty is part and parcel of the Legal Cartel, his failure to manage and supervise the administration of justice means we have an extreme feminist controlled government and court system that operates a system of Male Sharia Law, male gender apartheid that uses eugenics and deportation as methods to rule with a reign of terror that has nothing to do with justice.
Its time for a reform of family law, a Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting after separation, a reform of child support guidelines that actually allow for the incomes of both parties, and a real authority to deal with the corrupt underbelly of the Ontario Judiciary.
Cheap Trick, Cheap political points while ignoring any substantive issue such
as dysfunctional families, Ontario's war on men, our dysfunctional family
courts, our corrupt judges, our corrupt police who extort money from society in
what they call "paid duty", illegal G20 legislation, abuse of process, white
washing politicians who commit criminal offenses etc.
Its the citizens of Ontario who McGuinty has burned and its McGuinty who is now in the hot seat for a host of reasons that may indeed turn into an ejection seat except it will be voters pulling the handle and not McGuinty.
McGuinty has been to date, an extraordinary successful politician, but there eventually, enough is enough and the public vote them out.
What matters now is seeing good policy from the opposition. Just how are they going to do a better job?
The last thing we need is a Jack Layton or a Fantino leaving their trails of destruction driven by their own extreme zealots.
Ontario children, 50% don't have a father. Its that Chronic lack of fathers that Ontario needs to address by a Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting, a Reform of child support guidelines, an End to Debtors prisons and even DNA testing for birth certificates to ensure that children have the father who is named on their birth certificate and or a dna sample for a father to be told he is a father if he comes looking.