THUNDER BAY – Premier McGuinty is in Thunder Bay again. Honestly, who cares? The Premier will likely make some announcements, but as NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy stated, “It is obvious that his words mean very little and his promises even less.”
Today’s trip is likely a damage control effort by the Premier to bolster and sooth local Liberals.
If you start listing the promises made by the Premier, it would be wrong to say he has broken them all.
He has not.
But when it comes to trust, as seven in ten Ontarians now feel it is time for a new government. Ontarians have woken up, are smelling the coffee and the McGuinty Government is not impressing them. Dalton McGuinty, according to the latest polls, has put Ontario on the “wrong track”.
Today, amid the smiles for the cameras, and the back-slapping for a job well done that the Premier will share with his two MPPs and Liberal supporters, must also be the sinking feeling that for the Liberals the party is winding down.
The sad thing is that for the Ontario Liberals who will meet with the Premier in Thunder Bay today, they won’t stand up and demand change. They will fawn over their “Premier Dad” and thank him for coming.
Bill Mauro, the MPP from Thunder Bay Atikokan is likely the only Liberal who has worked to change the Premier’s mind, and been successful. Atikokan’s economy was stabilized by Mauro’s efforts to save the coal-fired generating station.
Liberal supporters should be asking Dalton McGuinty, Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle for a progress report on the Premier’s now three year old promise that “Ontario Liberals think Ontarians can – and should – lead the development of hydrogen alternatives for the world.”
In three years nothing has happened to keep that promise.
“It is obvious that his words mean very little and his promises even less.”
Liberal supporters however are more likely to be blinded by the warm glow of television lights, and the Premier’s smile.
It is likely that glow will end next October after the ballots are counted.
What is sad for Northern Ontario is that the Premier will expect everyone to smile and cheer for him, after his government forced through the Far North Act over the objections of almost every group in the region. What is equally sad is that most people have allowed Premier McGuinty to get away with behaviour we would not tolerate from a child.
Making sure the Premier understands that he can’t just jet into Thunder Bay, promise the moon and stars and jet off again doing nothing should be what local Liberal supporters tell their political leader. Otherwise those Liberal supporters will likely face a serious backlash at the polls next October.
The rhetoric will be ramped up for the Premier’s visit. The reality is that even though Dalton McGuinty will come to Thunder Bay and promise people whatever he thinks they want to hear, the truth is “It is obvious that his words mean very little and his promises even less.”