Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday October 2, 2004
McGuinty’s Taxing First Year
A year ago Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty solemnly pledged to Ontarians in prime-time TV election ads that he would make Ontario a better place without raising taxes.
A year later, Ontarians who voted for the “choose change” motto and believed the party would follow through on its election commitments face a harsh and opposite reality.
Instead, over the next four years Ontarians will be paying $9 billion more in taxes thanks to a hefty health premium that now-Premier McGuinty continues to insist he had to implement because a huge deficit left him with no choice.
“You bet that put a crimp in our plans,” McGuinty said, still blaming the derailing of the rookie government’s plans on the multibillion-dollar deficit left behind by the previous Conservative government.
“We made a very difficult decision, not a popular decision,” McGuinty acknowledged in an interview as the Liberal government arrives at the first anniversary of its election today.
“It wasn’t the kind of thing designed to boost our political popularity,” he said with a smile of resignation after facing months of relentless criticism for breaking his marquee election promise. “It was designed to get more money so we could invest and improve the quality of our health-care system for Ontarians,” he explained.
“I’m proud to report we’re making some real, measurable progress.” (CP)