Here is a letter from MPP Jim McDonell on the Summer By-Elections: There is no question that Premier Kathleen Wynne has had a tough four months as the leader of the Liberal government in Ontario. Despite trying to make Ontarians believe that she has turned the page on the failed and morally corrupt McGuinty reign, she continues to fall back into the same old ways. What looked like commitments of a change in direction and of open and transparent government are turning out to be just more broken promises that we have come to expect from this Liberal party that puts itself ahead of the needs of the people of Ontario.
One thing for sure, she has learned well from her predecessor. She talked tough at getting a handle on their out-of-control spending, and then issued a budget with spending up over $3.5 billion. Then she worked out a deal with the NDP that added an additional $2 billion in spending, in spite of their leader, Andrea Horwath, calling them corrupt and not fulfilling their promises from the previous budget deal. The agreement also included a speedy end to the session to stop the oppositions’ investigations and silencing committees during the summer period. ORNGE, gas plants, E-Health, and chemotherapy drug scandals were proving embarrassing as details were being uncovered. Wynne proudly reinforced her messaging of no increases for the public service, while secretly granting signing bonuses and costly perks that our children and grandchildren will be burdened with for decades. But as with her predecessor, she could not stop the investigation into the cover-up of the power plant cancelations. Premier Wynne claimed to be interested at getting to the bottom of the scandal, but continued to obstruct the investigations by the Justice Committee and the Auditor General and continued a regime of secret meetings with no minutes, failed memories, and deleted emails, clearly breaking the law. In spite of all their tactics, details of the costly scandal continue to be slowly pried from this Liberal government. The $230 million dollars reluctantly quoted by this McGuinty-Wynne government has more than doubled to $585 million. Insiders predict that the Auditor-General’s report into the cancellation cost of the Oakville plant, expected as early as mid-August, will push the total over $1 billion to save four Liberal ridings in the 2011 general election – inexcusable!
Now it is little wonder that with so many disturbing and corrupt details coming to light, that the Premier and four of this government’s senior cabinet ministers chose to resign, requiring by-elections by mid-September. To avoid the damaging Auditor General’s August report and further committee investigations into the embarrassing and corrupt practices of this government when they reconvene in August and September, Premier Wynne has done the unheard of scheduling by-elections to be fought in the quiet month of July, when most people in these urban ridings are on vacation and generally not interested in listening to more bad news about the Liberal party’s dismal ten-year record. In the words of a famous American journalist, “now you know the rest of the story.”