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Dalton McGuinty's Terrible Summer

(Queen's Park Report - August 30, 2010) Here is some explosive news.  One hundred and forty three prisoners were mistakenly released from Ontario prisons.  Just as troubling is the fact that the Erie-St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) was caught spending $10,900 of our health funds to hire Disney to speak at their lavish convention in Windsor.

You only need to look at the prisoner fiasco to find proof that Dalton McGuinty’s government has run out of gas.  Documents obtained through Freedom of Information reveal that those 143 prisoners were wrongly set free between January 2003 and March 2009.  Talk about a get out of jail free card.  What’s worse, the government won’t even tell us how many were recaptured and how many were considered dangerous criminals.  In fact, the McGuinty Liberals are refusing to give any details on how this appalling breakdown in oversight even occurred.

In my view, the people of Ontario are owed an immediate explanation.  This is a clear failure of the McGuinty government’s duty to protect honest, hardworking families.  Ontarians have the right to live in a province where the rule of law is upheld and justice is served.

Next is the Disney fiasco.  It is proof that Dalton McGuinty’s government has become too cozy and too entitled.  As I’ve said so many times before, these LHINs are diverting scarce health dollars away from frontline patient services and towards folks who will never step foot in the operating room.

Unless Dumbo gets an ear infection, the people from Disney’s magical kingdom will never step foot in an Ontario hospital, let alone an operating room.  Yet, Dalton McGuinty’s Erie-St. Clair LHIN was caught spending $10,900 to hire Disney to make a 90 minute presentation at their annual convention.  What a horrible waste of money.  On the bright side, at least it’s not as much as the $25,000 that the government paid to write a speech for the CEO at eHealth.  Unfortunately, this is wasted money that could have paid for 272 crutches, 31 wheelchairs or 12 MRI exams. 

This is a microcosm of a much larger problem within the McGuinty government.  Spending is out of control, revenue is up due to high taxes, and yet the province is saddled with a debt and deficit that are both historically huge.    I would argue that the priorities of the current government are no longer the priorities of Ontario families.

In the past two months the McGuinty government has brought in a $3 billion tax hike with the HST; they tried to sneak in an eco-tax, are currently being investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police, and have announced that they have nearly doubled the provincial debt.  What a terrible summer and an embarrassing record for the McGuinty government.  They are tired, they are arrogant and they are out of gas.

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