Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Dwight Duncan's Distress

Sandra Pupatello is having a major problem these days. Is she having the last laugh as Dwight is getting his legs kicked out from under him?

How does she show sympathy for the travails of her colleague, the Finance Minister, as her career is sky-rocketing as his is collapsing around him! How does she hide her glee at her career boost after all of the slings and arrows she has suffered taking the hits for Spanky in the media and the insult that she is being ignored by the Premier?

It must be nice for her working in the trenches dutifully for the Government without a complaint to see her stock rise as she becomes the powerhouse in Windsor as the star of Dwight Duncan is sinking fast.

Poor Dwight:

  1. Ontario deficit $6.4B higher than expected

    Ontario's deficit last fiscal year was much higher than the Liberal government predicted six months ago, officials said Friday.

    The province suffered the largest drop in corporate tax revenue in recent history, and instead of a $3.9-billion deficit, the province is now $6.4-billion in the red.

    That number is expected to soar even higher in 2009-2010.

    The government predicts an $18.5-billion deficit this fiscal year, a number that could grow when after fall update later next month.

  2. Top ministers okayed untendered eHealth contract

    Senior cabinet ministers rubberstamped a $30 million untendered contract with IBM for eHealth Ontario because government officials feared the funding was at risk if they put the work out for a competitive bid, according to secret documents obtained by the Star.

    Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government has steadfastly refused to release the 63-page contract with its 132 pages in background documents. Opposition and media attempts to gain a glimpse at the inner workings of eHealth through freedom-of-information requests have so far been thwarted...

    The IBM contract was approved last November by the management board of cabinet, an influential committee that oversees ministries' annual spending plans and is in charge of human resources, government real estate and information technology.

    Finance Minister Dwight Duncan chairs the committee, which includes minister without portfolio Gerry Phillips, Deputy Premier George Smitherman, Government Services Minister Harinder Takhar, Government House Leader Monique Smith, Citizenship Minister Michael Chan, and Consumer Services Minister Ted McMeekin.

  3. Mr. Peter Shurman (PC Opposition question at Queen's Park) : My question is for the finance minister. The McGuinty Liberals spent $430 million and climbing for a Windsor casino expansion project that wasn't supposed to cost more than $400 million. You spent $80 million more on building the Windsor Energy Centre, which wasn't supposed to be built at all. Now the public accounts show us that "to fund current operations and the continuing negative cash flow at Caesars," you have Ontario taxpayers on the hook for at least another $212 million. Here I thought the house wasn't supposed to lose. What are the profits the Windsor casino has generated since you attended its $2.3-million opening spectacle in June 2008?

Pshaw, that is nickel and dime stuff. A few miilion dollars of taxpayer money here, a few hundred million there. Let's get to the big, juicy stuff, the DRIC Road.

Do you think a letter such as this to the Opposition critic, ccing the media would have any impact:

  1. Subject: For shame--Dwight's biggest boondoggle

    "The loss to taxpayers is approaching a half-billion dollars. Aside from Windsor-Tecumseh, is there anywhere else in the province of Ontario where you, Minister, would actually consider building a money-losing casino and a matching energy centre?"

    I saw your questions of the Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, in Hansard.

    Windsor Casino----a mere pittance
    An energy building----pennies on the dollar in comparison.

    A half billion dollars...small time cash.

    You missed the biggest of them all----the AFP for the Detroit River International Crossing road in Windsor Ontario!

    We are not talking millions here but extra BILLIONS out of taxpayers pockets at a time when the deficit has almost doubled.

    Below are just three BLOGs I wrote outlining how much money the Ontario Government will waste on this project by taking money from taxpayers. And it will all be buried in MTO's budget so no one will ever discover it. It is worse than Highway 407.

    No one knows the real costs yet....just estimates of $1.6B based on "guidelines" when everyone knows the cost will be dramatically higher. It is a MegaProject running amok.

    They will be giving obscene profits to private industry using the AFP approach (ie a public private partnership) rather than building the road using the more traditional financing method.

    Of course the P3 concept is virtually dead with the economic meltdown but not to the Finance Minister (You might want to take a look at what OMERS have asked for re small pension plans and it may give you a hint since they have lots of cash to offer out on a guaranteed deal at a high rate of return )

Seriously, do you think anyone will follow up on this? Do you think anyone cares? Neither do I.

Heck, Dwight has come out of worse jams than this before and survived magnificently. Want to bet that he does so again! Already, his Gong Show Partner resigned taking the hit for E-Health.

Don't smile too broadly Sandra.