I am back. I haven’t blogged for a few weeks but it was a great summer in the mountains, now I’m back with some interesting thoughts on politics, the media and the environment.
I know, my name is McGuinty and yes, Dalton is my second cousin. People have been asking why I haven’t commented on his resignation as Premier of Ontario. The answer is simple: wait a few weeks, the real reason will come out.
And the reason Dalton left us is also simple. His political decisions over the last two years, specifically regarding green environmental issues, have killed him. They have, and will, cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars long after he is in retirement or making big dollars in the private sector.
First there was the well documented DALTON DECISION to turn Ontario green when it comes to power generation. His ill thought out journey into wind power, with its guaranteed procurement contracts at sky high rates, has saddled Ontario with huge payments for years, with no real return in the jobs and investment he promised. Was this decision predicated on sound business or environmental rational? Not a chance, it was politics all the way.
Then there was the DALTON DECISION on power plants in Oakville and Mississauga just prior to the last election. In a last ditch effort to save four seats these plants, one under construction, the other just about to begin building, were both stopped cold. In a previous blog I noted that the Liberals said the cost of cancellation was $40 million and I calculated that was a $10 million dollar campaign contribution to each Liberal candidate.
Now the real numbers and behind the scenes details have emerged. The Globe and Mail reported that the real cost, including relocation, new power lines, and settlements with Trans Canada will exceed $1.2 BILLION. Moreover, the scandal behind the scenes with internal emails, code words to hide the negotiations, secret names like “Project Vapour”, and the clear suppression of documents all combined to make the continued leadership of Dalton McGuinty untenable.
This is nothing new to me. In 2004 when Dalton killed the Adams Mine landfill project he eliminated the only long term private sector landfill option for the GTA. Yes, there was a small settlement and the government has kept that a secret too.
However, the real cost of the Adams Mine decision was the unintended consequences, similar to the power plant decision, that resulted from a pure political decision. Specifically, the City of Toronto had to spend over $230 million on a small landfill with a capacity of only 10 million tonnes, and then York and Durham Regions had to sign a long term deal to build an incinerator, at a cost of over $250 million, to handle only about 150,000 tonnes of waste a year.
In total, DALTON’S DECISION on waste management has cost the GTA over $500 million dollars that was completely unnecessary. AND, we are still sending four million tonnes of waste to Michigan each year.
So what happened? In short, Dalton fell on his sword.
The reality is that these decisions, all politically motivated, become Dalton’s ‘Waterloo’. In the end history will show, as nice a man as he may be, his eight years of leading this province have cost us billions of dollars.
I am the opening speaker next week (Nov 7th) at the International Sites and Spills Expo being held at the International Centre in Toronto. I will certainly share a few more comments of interest on politics, the environment and the media. The keynote address is entitled: Lead, Don’t Follow:- The New Realities.
The following week (Nov 12) the Ontario Waste Management Association will be hosting two of my workshops; The Working With Workshop is a Leadership Experience and the Winning the War Workshop will offer the lessons learned from politics, the environment and the media when dealing with controversial projects. It would be great to see you there (see links below).
Ontario Waste Management Association:
International Sites & Spills Expo:
TRASHED! How Political Garbage Made the United States Canada’s Largest Dump