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An Election: Does Anyone Tell The Truth?


What do I write about: Politics, the Environment and the Media. Well, we are in the middle of the Ontario election campaign, and there is more verbal bull$#*! in print and on the airways than we can keep up with.
The bottom line is who can you believe? Is anyone telling the truth? My take is that none of the candidates for Premier are being honest with the electorate. But that’s nothing new; getting elected is the end game, not telling the truth.
The Green Job Debate: Dalton McGuinty is trying everything to shore up his government’s green investment strategy designed to create new jobs by investing your tax money in renewable energy projects.
McGuinty’s Green Energy Act has been a disaster waiting to happen. Your costs for energy from Wind Power and/or Solar are off the map, and the favouritism extended to a South Korean company, awarding them a multi-billion dollar contract to build components without a competitive tender, is now being challenged by other counties under free trade provisions. Most important, this decision goes completely against the fundamental principle of ensuring transparency by awarding contracts to the lowest bidder. To make matters worse, last week the Liberals were scrambling to rationalize the closure of one of the production lines in a plant they are touting will create up to 50,000 green jobs.
McGuinty is also being assailed for hiding from the northern voters by refusing to participate in a Leaders’ debate on northern issues. His policies on the allocation of timber rights under a new caribou conservation policy, have municipalities and the first nations up in arms. The familiar cry is a valid one; McGuinty is catering to the environmental faction in the south of the province to get votes as he continues to alienate the north. Hey, Mike Harris did it when he cancelled the spring bear hunt in the north, so this is nothing new, just the politics of winning.
And Tim Hudak isn’t catching fire. My take is that with the global financial crisis now entering year three and all signs, both in the USA and Europe, showing no end in sight we may be on the verge of another recession and Hudak’s fiscal policies to reduce the deficit by cutting taxes and cutting waste in government do not ring true or seem achievable.
Talk is cheap and, in this case, his numbers don’t add up. A backlash for the Conservatives is happening in the City of Toronto where we are seeing that Mayor Ford’s election promise to eliminate the ‘gravy train’ is a lot easier to talk about than to accomplish. This is definitely not helping Hudak get any seats in the City of Toronto.
On the financial side neither Hudak nor McGuinty are telling the truth. The next four years will be a period of austerity and pain for all of us, and I think we know it. Not to eliminate the NDP and their leader, Andrea Horwath, she may hold the balance of power if we have a minority government and, for that reason, we should listen to what she has to say.
And on the international front, there is the ongoing approval of the all important Keystone Pipeline to take crude oil from Alberta to the gulf refineries in the USA. The political protests have ramped up in Washington where over 500 people have symbolically allowed themselves to be arrested and Al Gore, the USA’s equivalent of Canada’s Dr. Suzuki, is making a last ditch effort to influence the USA decision. Now, talk about political interference. This week both the Dalai Lama and Dr. Desmond Tutu signed a letter opposing the pipeline. Unbelievable, first I doubt that they understand the issue and second, I am not sure it is any of their business.
The reality is that, according to the latest report from the government reviewers, there will be no significant risk to the environment if the pipeline proceeds. Most important politically, with President Obama introducing an American Jobs Bill last week, this project will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs at a time when our economy needs them the most.
With all due respect to Mr. Gore and his other international allies, I predict this project will receive the approval of the White House before Christmas.
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