Legacy of Mr. McGuinty – gone,
but not forgotten
By MPP Toby Barrett
A week ago Tuesday, we watched as Andrea Horwath cemented the Liberal/NDP budget deal to endorse new spending and breathe life into a minority government.
The irony came later that day when the former captain of the scandal-plagued ship resigned his Ottawa South seat to further soften his landing in private life. Much as I predicted, the emergence of Premier Kathleen Wynne as a case of “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” – what I didn’t predict was the “old boss” would head for the exit the moment he saw his legacy secured. Gone, but not forgotten, Mr. McGuinty leaves a legacy of broken promises, mismanagement, overspending and cover-up that really is the gift that just keeps on giving.
A legacy of:
* The largest income tax increase in the history of Ontario
* The Harmonized Sales Tax
* Smart Meters
* $1 billion eHealth scandal
* Green Energy Act * $7 Billion secret Samsung deal * Eco Fees
* Ornge Scandal
* $1 billion Mississauga and Oakville gas plant cancellations.
* proroguing Legislature to avoid gas plant accountability
* destroying gas plant cancellation emails
Mr. McGuinty’s legacy lives on as the OPP investigate Ornge, and now the deletion of emails by government staff to cover the gas plant trail. Make no mistake, as he turns his back on Queen's Park, Mr. McGuinty’s name reverberates through the halls as senior staff are fingered for hitting the delete button.
Ontario’s ‘email-gate’ bears more than passing resemblance to the scandal and cover-up that saw Richard Nixon vacate the U.S. presidency -- while Mr. McGuinty walks scott-free. Much as members of the Nixon administration went to extremes to hide their activities, erasing taped conversations in the Oval Office and offering weak explanations, McGuinty’s top political operatives have wiped their e-mails clean of all references to the multi-million-dollar relocation of two power plants.
The destruction of gas plant emails did not escape the condemnation of Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian who pointed out that laws were broken. "It is difficult to accept that the routine deletion of emails was not in fact an attempt by staff in the former Minister’s office to avoid transparency and accountability in relation to their work. Further, I have trouble accepting that this practice was simply part of a benign attempt to efficiently manage one’s email accounts."
In her report, Deleting Accountability: Records of Management Practices of Political Staff, Cavoukian indicated the email deletions either violated or undermined, The Archives and Recordkeeping Act, The Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act, and the records retention schedule established by the Archives of Ontario,
And so we await the results of the police investigation as Mr. McGuinty heads into the sunshine, leaving his scandal-plagued government under a new premier committed to continuing his legacy.
Unfortunately in Ontario this summer it seems to be another costly case of, “the more that things change, the more they stay the same.”
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
PORT DOVER – ‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ – this is the estimation of the Kathleen Wynne government by MPP Toby Barrett coming on the heels of 10 years of Dalton McGuinty rule.
Barrett calls on Minister to “maintain” physio services
QUEEN'S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk’s MPP is stepping up his push against Ministry of Health physiotherapy cuts.
Time for police to probe deletions of gas plant emails
QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Toby Barrett says it’s time for a police investigation into the deletion of gas plant related emails.
Ontario taxpayers enable Wynne spending addictions
QUEEN'S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk’s MPP didn’t pull any punches at the Ontario Legislature when it came to describing the Metrolinx campaign to grab taxpayer’s money.
Barrett to Hoskins: Let’s get on with the job of disabled accessibility
Queen's Park – Opposition Social Services Critic Toby Barrett called out government on its underwhelming implementation, and enforcement, of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) today.
MPP Barrett stands up for families with developmental disabilities
QUEEN'S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett wrapped up a week focused on disability issues with a unanimous show of support for caucus colleague Christine Elliott’s call for a Select Committee on Developmental Services.
Barrett demands action on crisis for families with developmental disabilities
QUEEN'S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk’s MPP called out government to support new direction to deal with an emerging crisis facing families enduring long waiting lists and little support for their developmentally disabled children.
Barrett calls on government to help steelworkers get back to work
QUEEN'S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk’s MPP will be going back at the Minister of Labour tomorrow after indicating his dissatisfaction with a response to his question on government steps to deal with the US Steel lockout of Steelworkers at Nanticoke.
Barrett highlights Dutch “Immigrant” display at Norfolk Arts Centre
QUEEN'S PARK – Soon after the raising of the Dutch flag at the Ontario Legislature to recognize Dutch Heritage Month, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett stood in the House to invite people to the Norfolk Arts Centre for a must-see display reflecting the struggle and experience of Dutch immigrants to Canada.
Ontario budget social service reform fails the disabled and taxpayers
QUEEN'S PARK –The predictions of social service reform from the 2013 Ontario budget have fallen flat, amounting to little more than lip-service according to Opposition Community and Social Services Critic Toby Barrett.
2013 Ontario budget leads down the same path to more debt and fewer jobs
QUEEN’S PARK – The way out of the jobs and debt crisis created by the McGuinty-Wynne government isn’t hard to see, but there’s no sign of escape in the Ontario budget document tabled today.
Petitions continue in face of half-hearted tire-tax backtrack: Barrett
Simcoe – While rural outrage has pushed government to rethink its attempt to charge a 2,000 per cent eco tax increase on tractor tires, the amended tire tally continues to hit farmers according to Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett.
More “talking”, no details on needed social service reform
QUEEN'S PARK – A day after receiving zero details on the Premier’s intentions on social service reform, Opposition Critic Toby Barrett’s late show debate saw the Premier fill five minutes with more talk and no indication of action.