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Ontario Liberal MPPs should take a lesson from Alberta MLAs

By Christina Blizzard, Special to the Sun

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne meets with Alberta Premier Alison Redford at Queens Park on Jan. 30. Wynne, Redford and B.C. Premier Christy Clark have inherited a party that has been struggling at the polls.
Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne meets with Alberta Premier Alison Redford at Queens Park on Jan. 30. Wynne, Redford and B.C. Premier Christy Clark have inherited a party that has been struggling at the polls. Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun

TORONTO - 

Alberta Premier Alison Redford quit Wednesday amid allegations she racked up $45,000 in personal expenses for herself and members of her family.

It took about two weeks for outraged Albertans to tell her to pack her bags and be gone.

Her party leaned on her to go. Several Tory MLAs quit her caucus in disgust.

So what’s it going to take in this province before voters, taxpayers — and decent MPPs — tell the Liberals they’re done like dinner?

We’ve seen horrific abuses of public funds.

And $45,000? That’s lunch for this dreadful government that’s hired its buddies to plum posts, piddled billions down the drain in the gas plant scandal, the Ornge air ambulance boondoggle, eHealth and the $1 million they gave a cricket club.

What do we do?

We yawn — and re-elect them.

Why? This bunch is either corrupt, stupid — or incompetent. You pick. The only thing they’re good at is smiling and nodding and telling voters everything is hunky-dory.

Everything isn’t.

This week, PC leader Tim Hudak and his finance critic Vic Fedeli produced confidential pre-budget cabinet documents from 2013 that show the Liberals were told by senior staff there’s a $4.5-billion budget gap.

Instead of addressing that gap, the Liberals launched an offensive, accusing Fedeli of contempt for releasing confidential documents.

Fedeli responded angrily in the legislature.

“If anyone should be standing up, bringing a point of privilege, it should be us against every minister who attended the cabinet retreat where it was disclosed you have a $4.5-billion budget gap and then all stood in this House and told the rest of us, ‘We’re on track to balance the budget,’” he said Thursday.

“Premier, you knew what you were telling this legislature, the financial community and the public was exact opposite from the real financial picture,” he said.

And they were all public documents.

Parts have been blacked out by staff — but different staff edited them differently, so the Tories were able to piece together the contents.

Fedeli asked House leader John Milloy what it is the Liberals don’t want the people of this province to see.

Given their track record of deleting e-mails, you do have to wonder.

Milloy said the committee was urged to keep the documents private.

“Those documents were provided to the committee, but there was also an urging of the committee, which the committee accepted, to hold those documents in confidence without the express permission of the committee itself,” he told Fedeli.

“The fishing expeditions of the opposition have cost tens of thousands of dollars in staff time, have tied up the bureaucracy, but we recognize their right for those documents, so we have provided them,” he added.

What’s he saying? Opposition parties shouldn’t waste money demanding honesty? Why would anyone trust this government’s word?

This is the cabal that’s bumped up revenue by $60 billion since it took office — and squandered it all — and more.

They’ve destroyed our electricity sector with their failed Green Energy Act.

And they still can’t balance the budget. They’ve doubled the debt to a staggering $267 billion. If interest rates go up, the cost to service that debt could bankrupt us.

And the Liberals stand in the legislature, smile glibly — and pretend everything is fine.

So $45,000 for personal travel?

Here’s the deal: We pay Redford’s $45,000 — and we get to send Alberta the bill for the gas plants, for Ornge, for eHealth.

Perhaps they could send us some of those gutsy Tories who stood up to their own leader.

Redford could e-mail her offer to Wynne.

Oops. I forgot. It would probably be deleted.


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