Saturday, November 3, 2012

Uneasy Questions Over McGuinty and That Damn Gas Plant, and Everything Else

On my way to work tonight, my grandfather - who was literally about to mail a cheque to Tim Hudak after he dropped me off, just to illustrate where he stands - grilled me about the ongoing fiasco concerning the Premier and the gas plant that was once going to be put near where I used to live, until a bunch of NIMBYs wormed their way into the spotlight as an election issue for Oakville/Mississauga. Its an issue that has led to serious accusations, including something about criminal liability on the part of McGuinty, Energy Minister Chris Bentley, and others of the old inner circle that governed this province for nine years.

I haven't really paid attention, so I couldn't say much to my grandfather. I stammered out a few "I don't knows," because I don't. I feel I don't want to know too much about this issue, because the truth may degrade my party in my eyes. I kick myself for this sad case of purposeful cognitive dissonance, but ignorance is an attractive prospects sometimes.

At the very least I recognize my hypocrisy and deal with it - like how I feel McGuinty's proroguing is less egregious than Harper's, mostly because McGuinty isn't trying to save his own skin, and Harper was. But still, McGuinty himself confirmed that it was to avoid "opposition shenanigans" - something I heartily support, but I know from a Conservative point of view, Harper was using the same reasoning...

This gas plant issue is just... off-putting. The major issue is whether Bentley, and McGuinty by proxy, purposely left out 20,000 pages of documents relating to the gas plant cancellation issue (they originally released something like 30-35,000, so a total of 50-55,000 documents or so). These documents aren't more or less damning than you'd expect, though issues of the actual costs over this plant have cropped up. I'm not sure whether it'll really cost Ontario $1.3-billion - it seems a bit steep for a gas plant that cost less than a quarter of that originally - but clearly there is something there saying that, yes, this was a damn expensive move to satisfy a few NIMBYs in Oakville and Mississauga.

The delayed documents were blamed on bureaucrats. I could believe that.... but given how this issue slowly built momentum and people knew the proverbial shit was hitting the fan, I have doubts. Why would the government risk not getting their ducks in order when the Opposition was talking about it? And if they didn't think this was a good idea, why not? Why let an issue fester like this, then allow the risk of it being bungled to all hell and have a contempt motion brought against your Energy Minister?

Its disturbing to think that somewhere along the line, someone in the upper echelons made a conscious decision that would leave out 20,000 documents, even if those documents didn't add too much to the entire case. It makes you wonder if there is something in there, or if there is more left out....

I have enough issues as it is with this entire situation. McGuinty resignation as essentially killed off the prospect of dealing with the teachers - for better or for worse - and left this entire province in the lurch. I supported McGuinty's actions on this file, and I still have a general inclination towards action being taken. That goes doubly for dealing with the doctors.  But now the direction the government takes is up in the air. That's a problem. This gas plant is a problem. Everything provincially right now is a problem.

But, hey, thats why we'll elect a new leader to solve said problems. Kathleen Wynne looks ready to jump in, and Sandra Pupatello is also gunning. I'm torn between these two candidates at the current moment. I guess if I want my questions answered about where this government and province is going, I'll need to leave it up to these two to do it. I hope they're up to the task, because I'd like to answer my grandfather with something more than "I don't know" next time.

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