McGuinty gov’t cuts a secret deal with public sector union

Call it a breach of public trust, dishonesty, desperation, alleged bribery, alleged corruption, or all of the above. The Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) Party is reporting that the Ontario McGuinty Liberal government has signed a secret deal with the Ontario public sector union, OPSEU, to give their members a guaranteed raise — AFTER the October 6th, 2011 election is over.

So, now we know that most, if not all, of Ontario’s public sector unions will be trashing the PCs at every turn over the next five months. I mean, we already knew that the Ontario teachers’ unions will be spending $3 million dollars to try to get the McGuinty caucus re-elected. We also knew that many of the public sector unions are part of the “Working Families Coalition.”  

However, as far as OPSEU goes, officials and members have been quiet — and isn’t that the point. They can help out simply by not rocking the boat so that McGuinty can brag that there was public sector union peace during both his majority mandates. Of course, what McGuinty won’t say is how his government got that peace —  by giving the unions whatever they wanted — with taxpayers money.

The Ontario PC news release states:

Records from the Ontario Labour Relations Board reveal that Dalton McGuinty cut a secret deal with leaders of the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) to give 38,000 employees an additional 1 percent top up to their salaries, and then hired lawyers to try to bury the evidence. Yesterday, a Dalton McGuinty spokesperson defended this breach of the public trust saying other unions would have demanded more in their collective agreements too, had they known about the secret sweetheart deal.”

So, now Ontarians will know precisely why the Ontario election is going to be even nastier than the recent federal campaign. PC Leader Tim Hudak, his team and supporters like myself, will be fighting uphill against the wind of an entrenched entitlement culture. 

Meaning that all Ontarians had better remember the old saying: He who pays the piper plays the tune.

Five more months to another Conservative majority government, this time at Queen’s Park. Things come in threes: Doug Ford was elected Mayor of Toronto.  Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party were given a majority mandate this week. And, Tim Hudak will soon be the next Premier of Ontario with a majority government of between 65 and 70 seats.

McGuinty gov’t spending $6 B more for 90,000 fewer students

As with the October 2007 Ontario election and the faith-based funding issue,  the 2011 campaign is going to be mostly about education.  Meaning, that once again, Ontarians can expect McGuinty-style smoke and mirrors.

I have no doubt, for example, that the McGuinty Liberals and their supporters, will spend a lot of time talking about their wonderful full-day Kindergarten and how the bad old PCs are going to freeze — not cancel — its rollout. Never mind that no one yet knows how much a province-wide full implementation of the ELP would cost. No need for accountability. It’s the Liberal “don’t worry, be happy” boondoggle mentality at work.   

Ontarians can also expect, as the Kingston Whig Standard article “Failing Grade for McGuinty’s Grits” outlines, that the McGuinty Liberals will talk a lot about the fact that 14% more Ontario students are graduating from high school than ever before.

However, what they will not be telling voters, of course, is that the reason for that increase is not because more students were motivated and inspired to stay in school, but because the system watered down expectations and academic requirements through McGuinty’s “success/no-fail” social promotion policies.

But, that is not all. What the McGuinty Liberals will also NOT want to tell Ontario voters is that:

  1. EQAO standardized test results (scroll part way down the page to the chart) have pretty much stayed stable over the last five years, with only “writing” going up slightly at the Grade 3 level (see also the Fraser Report Card);
  2. Between 2002/03 and 2008/09, the province’s public schools lost 90,000 students; and
  3. Costs for education went up nearly $6 BILLION, from $14.4 billion in 2002/03 to $20.2 billion in 2009/10.

Yet, where has all that $6 billion gone? If EQAO standardized tests have only remained stable (tests the teachers’ unions apparently hate), why was $6 billion more spent for 90,000 fewer students? It makes no sense at all unless most of it went to higher teacher salaries and benefits.

Which would explain why the teachers’ unions, as well as other public sector unions (including the Working Families Coalition) are going to be fighting an anti-Hudak, anti-PC campaign in favour of the Liberal Party of Canada. They can recognize a gravy train when they see it. 

The public sector unions also know that if they openly support the Ontario Liberal Party and they should win another majority government, the Liberals would owe the public sector unions big time. Meaning, that within months of a third Liberal majority, the EQAO office will be shut down putting an end to standardized testing.

“Change ahead?” Indeed! $6 billion dollars with little to show for it. Time for the Ontario PC Party to be elected to stop the Liberal education gravy train to nowhere.

McGuinty gov’t promises no new taxes!

Yes, you read that title right. Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s Liberal Finance Minister, said today that there would be no new taxes in the spring budget.  

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

As Tim Hudak, the leader of the PC official oppositions says: “He’s more likely to believe Charlie Sheen is going to kick his drug habit than (Premier) Dalton McGuinty won’t raise taxes.”

So, do the Ontario Liberals deal with the fact that they have continually broken such promises? No, they get offended for all those who have drug addictions. In fact, Duncan said that: “Hudak’s quip is immature and an insult to people struggling with addictions, especially on a day when the legislature is debating mental health issues….[and] owes people struggling with addictions an apology.”

Pardon me? The only apology that should be required is from Messrs Duncan and McGuinty for what they have done to the once great province of Ontario. They have, for example:

  1. Taken our once great province from Have” to “Have Not status during their watch,
  2. Implemented a huge health care premium (tax) in 2003 almost immediately after signing a pledge that they wouldn’t raise taxes,
  3. Legislated the HST, telling us that it would be revenue neutral,
  4. Tried to quietly implement hidden eco and green taxes, and
  5. Let hydro rates spiral out of control while sending out brochures trying to convince us that things are not as bad as we are being led to believe.

Plus, the distrust is not just coming from the Ontario Tories. The Star is also reporting that the Ontario NDP said today that:  “Duncan and McGuinty can’t be trusted on taxes given the Liberal’s track record of breaking such promises.”

Precisely! And, that is the narrative that is going into this year’s provincial election– the McGuinty government cannot be trusted!