Politics about making a difference

This year, Ontario will have its very first fixed-date election. Voters will go to the polls to elect their MPPs on Oct. 10.
If you didn’t know that before this month, you probably do now thanks to the constant stream of McGuinty government and Progressive Conservative party advertising on your TV.
New TV advertising isn’t the only sure sign a provincial election is just around the corner. On March 22, Ontarians will witness the launch of the first Ontario election platform.
That’s when the McGuinty Liberals unveil their pre-election budget—their final budget before voters go to the polls.
We know the McGuinty government will take this opportunity to make a lot of promises to try and make people forget all the ones they’ve broken over the last four years.
For example, two weeks ago, Dalton McGuinty told a $16,000-a-table Liberal fundraiser that his government finally would take action to address child poverty.
While black-tied party donors dined on ginger-and-black-pepper-seed-crusted filet of Atlantic salmon, accompanied by a medley of spring baby vegetables, McGuinty declared the time finally was right to unbreak Liberal promises to make life better for Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens—promises like ending the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement to Ontario’s poorest children.
Mr. McGuinty wants today’s hard-working families to give him another chance. He would have you believe, then, that public service is like screwing up your order at a restaurant.
“Yeah, I know I burned your steak. So, here’s a couple of stale bagels and some cream cheese. Now, let’s call it square, OK?”
Regrettably, Mr. McGuinty was not converted to the cause of child poverty after visiting a food bank, where the parents of growing numbers of Ontario children must turn for food.
He was not converted after visiting an overcrowded apartment that’s home to multiple families waiting for affordable housing. He was not converted by visiting a workplace where people work long and work hard for a minimum wage that leaves people in poverty.
No, Dalton McGuinty has made a cynical political decision. He has decided it’s time to try and make people forget the past.
So he’s going to make promises about keeping promises to try and placate people who have signalled they want to see real, positive action on the issues that matter most to them instead of more unreliable leadership and more misplaced priorities like the $40,000 pay hike he rushed through just before Christmas.
The unfortunate reality is that people can’t trust Mr. McGuinty’s upcoming pre-election budget. It’s a budget with a best before date of Oct. 10, 2007.
It will be another McGuinty book full of promises waiting to be broken—promises that can’t be believed.
As your MPP, I will fight for fairness for you and your family. When MPPs return to Queen’s Park on Monday (March 19), you can count on me to champion positive ideas, like a $10 minimum wage and a community jobs strategy.
Those will make your life more affordable.
I also will fight every day to improve your quality of life by fighting for real action on the environment, and better and more affordable health care and education for everyone.
After all, that’s what politics is about—making a difference, not making promises to break them.

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