May 25, 2006

Where's the Leadership, McGuinty?

For the last few weeks there have been some very heady events happening within Ontario and Canada. Far from being the smallest is the Caledonia standoff which had until yesterday been ongoing for a month. More recently there has been the talk of Quebec and Manitoba standing up to Harper's anti-green agenda and going Kyoto alone. The response of Canada's largest and, arguably, most important province has been silence.

Recently for both local and national issues that are important to Ontario the premier has been absent. There has been a lot little news clips coming from the premier - reinstating Sorbora, confirming provincial/national squabble - but nothing of substance. Where McGuinty has been really noticeably absent is with Caledonia. Rather than have McGuinty there, John Tory has taken advantage of that fact and appeared more premier-like than his counter-part. This does not bode well given the fact that the provincial election is just over a year away.

Yesterday, McGuinty did make a quick sound-byte and jumped on Alberta's bandwagon of threatening to take away equilization money. This however amounts to nothing more than, "yeah, what he said" crap. The leadership of McGuinty is obviously waning and leaving a void of wont in its wake. Canada and Ontario are at a time when the values of Ontarians obviously clash with that of the federal government, especially since they're showing signs of comtempt for Ontario. This would be the perfect time for McGuinty to show some leadership and fight back rather than standing on the side lines, delegating his role on local issues and staying silent on federal matters that affect us.

May 16, 2006

CPC attacking anything green

Tories pull plug on popular EnerGuide

The Tories justified dismantling Canada's Kyoto committments by arguing the targets are too hard to reach and cost too much money. Despite still having six years to meet the targets, the Tories cut the funding and the programs that were researching ways we could do it. Therefore it's painfully obvious that the Tories have no real intention to ever try to meet any target, even ones they consider more realistic. But fine, whatever, even if we're to take their justification at face value and give them the benefit of the doubt - if there is any left - how do they justify scrapping the EnerGuide program which was cheap and working?

Apparently the Tories slashed the program in the budget and haven't offered any explanation as of yet. They also haven't presented an alternative, though it is likely they will soon be saying their oft-used statements of 'coming soon' or 'wait and see'. According to The Star, the Tories haven't just cut the program but they may be leaving many people in a lurch as well. Apparently there are many household who have yet to get their refund for retro-fitting their homes to make them more energy efficient, etc. despite making it in time for the previously set deadline to do so. The response from the Tories has been vague at best by telling people that they may get their refund, depending on how much they feel like giving out.

So what is the justification for pulling the plug on this program and leaving people in the dark? There isn't one though we can probably speculate it has something to do with the supposed plan to find $21 billion in cost-cutting by the the fall or next spring. It probably also has to do with the Tories being anti-environment, just as many Canadians already suspect. Afterall this is a government that is chairing Kyoto and telling its members that there should be more realistic goals while at home they trash the program completely. This is in addition to cutting funding to Ontario's projects that were aimed at cleaning up its energy sources and other pollution-cutting initiatives.

In my last post, I called a pre-budget poll meaningless in terms of being based on concrete actions. However, the poll was a good indicator of what people were expecting from the Tories. One area that people thought the Tories would bomb was the environment. Looks like Canadians were right.

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)