In case you missed it, Premier Dad (or Dolton McSquinty, if you prefer) caused quite a stir yesterday with his comment “If I had my preferences, as to whether we have a rapidly growing oil and gas sector in Western Canada or a lower dollar benefiting Ontario, I’d tell you where I stand — with a lower dollar.” Suffice to say that any political points he might’ve scored at home with this statement have paled in comparison to the backlash it created in the national media—and you can bet that he’s not winning any new friends in Calgary.
In a Calgary Herald editorial entitled “String up that Ontario piñata one more time,” columnist Don Braid suggests that a part of Alberta premier Alison Redford must be delighted. “There’s nothing like the old Ontario piñata to get Alberta PCs swinging their sticks during an Alberta election campaign,” he writes, adding “Redford can now keep Dalton on a string for handy use in a few weeks.”
You can practically see the glee oozing from Braid’s keyboard as he rattles off this province’s deficit and debt figures, a whopping 16- and 251.9-billion dollars, respectively. This coming, of course, from a province that still doesn’t have a provincial sales tax, much less the HST, and whose now-retired premier once mailed each resident a 400-dollar surplus cheque. I conducted many a toast to King Ralph back in ’06, believe you me!
Braid then, giddy as a schoolgirl, brings up “his favourite” Ontario moment, back in ’79 when Premier Bill Davis “not only intended to seize Alberta’s energy revenues, but cap prices, as well.”—with the help of Trudeau, natch. Fortunately Brian Mulroney came along to end this decade of deep trouble!
In the Calgary Sun, columnist Michael Platt writes “Dalton McGuinty is frantic for someone or something to blame — even when the blame defies logic.” He notes that the 65,000 Ontario jobs the oil sands would create over 25 years pale in comparison to the 300,000 manufacturing jobs the province has lost under McGuinty’s near-decade of deep trouble and points out that the oil industry provided much of the revenue that funded last year’s 2.2-billion-dollar equalization payment to Ontario before comparing Ontario to the Costa Concordia.
But thank God for Tim Hudak, Platt concludes, quoting the provincial opposition leader no less than six times (including one partial quote) in the last eight paragraphs of his piece. “We’ve got a jobs crisis in our province and calling the oil sands an embarrassment as Dalton McGuinty’s government has done is wrong,” says Hudak.
Man, if I had a dollar for every time an Ontarian apologized to Alberta and/or posted “well, I didn’t vote for him!” on the Sun’s comment section, I’d be toasting McGuinty tonite.