Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday March 17, 2004
Hamilton’s Provincial Duds
Perhaps Hamilton’s five representatives to Queen’s Park — Judy Marsales, Dominic Agostino, Marie Bountrogianni, Jennifer Mossop and Ted McMeekin — should be known as MIAs rather than MPPs.Harsh? Perhaps. But on the issue of the crushing costs to municipalities of downloaded social service, we have yet to hear any of our government members offer any significant support, let alone aid. While Hamilton pleads to an indifferent premier, our MPPs have been mostly silent.
Yes, the downloading was by a different Queen’s Park regime, and perhaps some or all of the “Hamilton Five” are working behind the scenes as Dalton McGuinty tries to balance promises with fiscal realities. But in the absence of any of them publicly championing Hamilton’s cause, Mayor Larry Di Ianni is left sticking his neck out as he proposes an economic ultimatum to the province. Without $19.5 million for social services, Hamilton will not balance its budget, he says.
Confrontation with the premier and his ministers has its risks, since municipalities essentially exist at the will and whim of the provincial government. But playing nice hasn’t worked for two past mayors, and the stars-are-aligned promise of having a unified caucus of Hamilton MPPs has so far not delivered in any consequential way. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)