Today I read an excellent rundown of the Ontario Liberals record, it deserves to be a must-read for anyone who is considering voting Liberal in October.
From Ottawa Citizen
Premier Dalton Mc-Guinty’s new election speech should be dubbed Dalton’s Version. It leaves out large chunks of the truth, but it’s the past as he would like us to remember it.
In summary, McGuinty has improved Ontario’s health care, schools, electrical system and tax structure to position us as the best in the world. Sure, it has been expensive, but now the future will be ours. Unless, of course, people make the mistake of electing Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, who will destroy all this progress.
The premier’s account of his seven years in power might not accord with your own recollections, but it’s his attempt to buff up the past while putting an optimistic glow on the future. If he can pull it off, people might even re-elect him.
McGuinty certainly delivers the speech with conviction. He offered a version to party members here last weekend and to a business audience in January. He accompanies his talk with charts and graphs, which help create the impression that it was all based on facts. The art lies in selecting certain numbers to create an impression.
For example, the premier states that “1,200,000 more Ontarians now have a doctor.” That might well be, but the government’s own Ontario Health Quality Council says there are still 730,000 Ontarians without doctors and almost nine in 10 Ontarians say they are waiting too long to see their doctors, an indicator that has gotten worse in the last three years.
McGuinty says that the PCs reduced the number of nurses in the 1990s, but now his government is doing the same thing through the back door by refusing to cover the real wage increases our hospitals are facing.
On education, the premier notes a 14-per-cent increase in test scores, while failing to tell us they still fall short of his modest 2003 goal of having 75 per cent of students meet the adequacy standard. McGuinty would also have you believe that Ontario’s school system is one of the top five in the world based on a study that looked at selected systems.
The international testing numbers behind that study, which the premier also mentions, actually show that Ontario’s science, math and reading scores have been stable or slightly declining during Mc-Guinty’s big education revolution and don’t even lead the nation, although they are strong.
The premier tells us that his Green Energy Act has been a job-creating bonanza. In his speech, he refers to 20,000 jobs last year, up to 45,000 this year and “ultimately 60,000 in 2012.” As the Citizen revealed earlier this week, the actual job estimate so far is 13,063, and some of the companies the government cites say the job total is inflated. Most of the jobs are supposedly in the conservation industries. Even if McGuinty’s optimistic prediction comes true, that’s still less than one per cent of the total jobs in the province. It’s not the basis for a new economy
In fact the left-leaning Toronto Star initially compared the premier’s PowerPoint presentation to a pale Al Gore imitation. As Ontarians are beginning to realize Dalton’s Inconvenient truths have become Ontario’s reality.
Also don’t forget to read one of the best cases for Mike Harris I read recently.