Gong Show Re-run
I know it is the start of the summer but to have TV re-runs starting already.
Oh my, if we have re-runs politicially, this election will get quite boring soon enough
I have to admit that when I saw the story in the Globe and Mail, I almost bust a gut I was laughing so hard. Those Provincial Liberals are so funny. Who the heck are their comedy writers.
I know it is only a few months before the next election but seriously folks, did you see what Transport Minister Donna Cansfield said right after the big anouncement about all of this money that was going to public transit. I'll post the story below.
Here's a quiz though. Tell me what big Windsor story was this very was similar to. Do you remember the original Windsor Gong Show comedy with Ministers Duncan and Caplan? Well just keep on reading. The Gong show has returned. Now you know why those two Ministers really made that announcement here. It was a try-out for the big time:
- Buses, trains set campaign in motion
Transportation Minister revealed truth behind announcement when she said, 'Now let's get elected and get on with it!'
KAREN HOWLETT, Globe and Mail, June 16, 2007
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's vision to build transit systems snaking through the Greater Toronto Area has all the earmarks of a campaign goodie.
There was no hint in this year's provincial budget that the government was planning to spend $11.5-billion over 12 years on more than 50 rapid-transit projects. Nor is the spending included in the fiscal plan the government has submitted to the province's Auditor-General.
In fact, it was Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield who let the cat out of bag at the end of the event held at a Mississauga bus garage when she said, "Now, let's get elected and get on with it!"
Not surprisingly, cities around the GTA were ecstatic about a plan that promises to improve public transit, create thousands of new jobs and reduce gridlock. One press release lauded it as "the boldest, most visionary development" in the GTA.
Money for the project, announced out of the blue yesterday, will not begin flowing until 2010 - which is why there was no mention of it in this year's budget, a senior Liberal source said. Opposition members said the funding promise is ethereal because it will go up in smoke if the Liberals lose the Oct. 10 election.
New Democratic MPP Peter Tabuns dismissed the announcement as nothing more than a ploy for votes.
"The provincial election started today with a very big promise on the part of Dalton McGuinty. As we all know, he has a bad track record on keeping these kinds of promises."
Progressive Conservative MPP Joyce Savoline said even though the project would be good for public transit, she does not believe it will be accomplished. "Given Mr. McGuinty and his track record over the last four years, it's hard to believe that this wouldn't be another in a long list of broken promises.."
The scale of yesterday's transit announcement, however, puts it in a league of its own. In the past, the government has made major infrastructure projects contingent on Ottawa kicking in its share of the funds. But not this time. While the province is calling on the federal government to cover at least a third of the $17.5-billion project, it will go ahead with or without Ottawa, the Liberal official said.
Huge sums of money that the Province all of a sudden found to spend on infrastructure right before the election. Come on Mr. Henderson, we are waiting for your totally predictable column demanding billions for for Eddie's imaginary tunnel road ot the border.
However, when have we heard something similar before. Yes, right here in Windsor.
The facts are very similar...in 2005, Ministers Caplan and Duncan promised us hundreds of millions of dollars out of the blue for infrastructure for the border. It was $500M. However, like this announcement money would NOT start flowing until 2010 ie after the election. Interestingly now, the Province does not need Federal funds while in Windsor, the Province needed to spur the Feds on to action. Wow where did the Liberals get all of that new money?
You remember what happened next. The two Ministers had to apologize. Those Fiberals, they must think we are all stupid. What they have just said is that nothingwill happen here for many years but vote for us anyway:
- Minister sorry for speaking too soon: Border cash news catches mayor, Pupatello off guard;
Dave Battagello 05-27-2005
Ontario infrastructure minister David Caplan apologized Thursday for revealing a closed-door government decision to spend $500 million beyond 2010 for new infrastructure to fix Windsor's border problems.
The funding was announced by Caplan and MPP Dwight Duncan (L -- Windsor-Tecumseh) late Wednesday in a hastily arranged news conference inside Duncan's cramped constituency office.
It was done on the heels of the provincial government's release earlier in the day of its five-year, $30-billion ReNew Ontario funding plan for provincial infrastructure.
MPP Sandra Pupatello (L -- Windsor West), who was not present for the announcement, said Caplan was in Windsor for a private party function with Duncan when he decided to speak to the media about Renew Ontario.
It was during the news conference that the infrastructure minister "unintentionally" spoke about a February cabinet decision to commit $500 million to Windsor's border infrastructure beyond 2010, she said.
"Everybody knows Dwight Duncan and Sandra Pupatello have been working on (the border issue) since the beginning of time," Pupatello said.
The announcement should have been made in a more formal setting and through Premier Dalton McGuinty, she said.
"Minister Caplan regretted it and apologized this morning," Pupatello said...
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the border traffic debate levelled criticism at the province, questioning why the $500-million announcement for funding to alleviate local border traffic woes was not in writing, done with little fanfare and will not start flowing until after 2010.
"(Caplan and Duncan) had no specifics on spending," said Ross Clarke, general manager for Mich-Can, a proposal to build a bridge off Ojibway Parkway.
"They say it's available after 2010. Well, what kind of announcement is that?
"It's political posturing. Show us the money and then we will believe it. I don't want to throw cold water on it, but I don't see a whole lot of hope in this."
Whether the same government remains in control in five years is a huge question looming over whether the $500 million for Windsor will ever become reality, said Ed Arditti, spokesman for Ojibway Now, a local group supporting a new downriver crossing.
"I don't think this changes anything," Arditti said. "The $500 million is not part of their five-year plan. This government could be thrown out and if there is a new government they don't have to be committed to anything. This is just a political move."
Lee said part of Caplan's intent was also to spur the federal government into quicker action on the border.
"The federal government has indicated they are waiting for the binational (study) before making further decisions," he said. "Obviously we'd like to see them move more quickly on this issue. Any delays by any parties involved, we don't see that as a positive."
But Arditti countered: "What the province has just said is no new dollars until 2010. They just gave the feds five more years to do nothing. To me that makes no sense whatsoever."
Pupatello said the provincial government approval of $500 million for the Windsor border after 2010 is simply good preparation for the future.
"There will be some major spending on this in upcoming years so you have to plan for it," she said.
"The early numbers in the Schwartz report were not accurate. They were too low. This number ($500 million) is not set in stone.
"This will require a significant investment in infrastructure and we've got to have those dollars."