Blizzard

Wynne's posturing about trying to shame Harper

By Christina Blizzard, Special to the Sun

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at the Ontario legislature's final day before Christmas break at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, December 11, 2014. 
(Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at the Ontario legislature's final day before Christmas break at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, December 11, 2014. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - 

Of all the childish spats Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government have manufactured, the most petulant is the one in which she demands a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Wynne’s built her career bashing the feds.

If it’s not an imagined cut in transfer payments, it’s a fantasy cut to health care.

The major reason the Liberals are introducing their so-called “made-in-Ontario” pension plan is so they can use it as a platform to continue their assault on the feds. This province wants the feds to enhance CPP.

Wynne sends out whiny letters to Harper with eye-glazing frequency.

Ostensibly, she’s asking for a meeting. In reality, she’s using it as a tool to plow the election field for her pal Justin Trudeau in the run-up to next year’s federal election.

Oddly, it was Andrea Horwath who nailed the latest raft of letters from Wynne and her cabinet to their federal colleagues for what they are.

“You simply can’t poke a person in the eye and expect them to have tea with you the next day,” Horwath told reporters Thursday.

Exactly.

And why would Harper, a fiscal conservative who’s heading for a budget surplus next year, sit down with the leader of a government that has zero credibility when it comes to finances?

“She does it when it’s convenient for her and when it’s politically advantageous for the Liberals and I think after a year it should be very obvious that strategy isn’t working in terms of the relationship. Perhaps it’s working for the premier politically,” Horwath said.

Why would Harper give any more cash to a province that routinely flushes billions down the toilet — and doesn’t bat an eyelid?

You only need look at this week’s scathing report on the province’s finances by auditor general Bonnie Lysyk to see how bad it is. She reports debt servicing costs are chewing up cash for programs. She warns that credit rating downgrades could increase borrowing costs.

Lysyk estimates by 2017-18 — the year the Liberals project they’ll balance the books — this province will have a whopping accumulated debt of $325 billion. And she notes that while the Liberals say they’ll balance the books that year, there’s no detailed plan showing how they’ll do it.

While the feds are struggling to contain costs — especially with an anticipated drop in resource revenue from lower gas prices — the Liberals keep spending more.

And they don’t spend wisely.

They’ve massively hiked the price of electricity, while investing in the failed smart meter program. They’ve wasted billions on boondoggles like eHealth, the gas plant scandal, P-3 partnerships, and so on. And they have the nerve to ask Harper for more cash to waste.

Wynne offered up $1 billion for development of the massive Ring of Fire mineral-rich region in northern Ontario. She wants Harper to match that, but knows full well all the major companies have pulled out, the window of opportunity for developing those minerals has passed. It isn’t going to happen.

It’s all posturing to shame Harper.

How foolish was it for her to pledge funding for refugee health care after Harper cut some services? Sometimes you just have to say you can’t afford it.

Despite all the warnings about the staggering debt, Wynne just keeps spending. Ontario is dead last of all provinces when it comes to debt and deficit. You know we’re in trouble when, by comparison, Quebec looks fiscally responsible.

Tory Interim Leader Jim Wilson said it’s a funny way to make friends.

“Hopefully they’ll get along and hopefully it will happen, but the premier has an unusual way of making friends by releasing those private letters, doing this through the media,” he said.

Tea and sympathy, Premier Wynne?

How about a short, sharp dose of reality instead?

christina.blizzard@sunmedia.ca


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »