Saturday, October 12, 2012

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, October 12, 2012

In contemplating the disastrous consequences of the Ontario government’s two arbitrary gas plant closures, it does well to remember the performance put on by then-premier Dalton McGuinty before his abrupt resignation.

Never hesitant to play the Boy Scout, the premier prorogued the legislature rather than face questions about the gas plants, and then piously sought to blame the opposition for his troubles.

“I prorogued because the place was becoming overheated,” Mr. McGuinty insisted, citing a “spurious, phoney” suggestion that his energy minister had been in contempt of the legislature for failing to produce documents related to the scandal.

“Rather than do the people’s business, they allowed themselves to be consumed by that phoney contempt,” McGuinty said. In a CBC interview he declared that he’d acted to prevent further “shenanigans” by opposition parties that were “wasting time” in trying to get to the bottom of the scandal, rather than following his preferred agenda.

“I’ve tried to lead a progressive, activist government. I think government is a wonderful tool, but you’ve got to pick the damn thing up and you’ve got to work with it,” he said.

Oh brother. The words stick in the craw, never more so than in the wake of Tuesday’s revelations — finally, and against all Liberal efforts — that the ultimate bill for Mr. McGuinty’s own gas plant shenanigans will likely top $1 billion. Particularly galling is the finding of Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk that Mr. McGuinty’s government could have avoided much of the cost of cancelling the Oakville plant, but instead put party prospects and advice from political advisors ahead of the public interest and the provincial purse. (Source: National Post)