Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Will Ontario Liberals be consistent when municipalities ask for 'representation by population'?

In the St. Catharines Standard’s story “Councillor moves to keep big-city muscle in check” (Nov.21, 2007) City of Thorold Coun. Shawn Wilson “wants a resolution tabled at the Dec.4 Thorold council meeting asking Queen’s Park “to take absolutely no action” on St. Catharines’ plans to demand more representation at the Region.”

The Standard reported that Wilson has “already spoken to Welland MPP Peter Kormos, whom he said doesn’t support St. Catharine’s idea of representation by population at the Region”.

NDP MPP Peter Kormos’ provincial riding encompasses a small part of St. Catharines’ south end, so it’s nice to see his “support” on behalf of St. Catharines. There was no mention in this story by Standard reporter Tiffany Mayer of St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley’s position. Does Bradley favour stronger representation for St. Catharines at the Regional level?

Coun. Wilson wants Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal-run province of Ontario to “take absolutely no action” when it comes to St. Catharines’ demands for more ‘representation by population’ . However, this is the same McGuinty government which currently is itself demanding more representation for Ontario at the federal level!

As can be read in another St. Catharines Standard report on the same day (Nov.21, 2007), “McGuinty called ‘small man of Confederation’”, Ontario premier McGuinty “is demanding 21 additional seats in the House of Commons instead of living up to the province’s historic role as a nation builder”. Premier McGuinty said of Ontario that “we were under-represented in the House of Commons”. The report also states that McGuinty “appears to have an ally in (Liberal opposition leader Stephane) Dion”.

So, in regards to Coun. Wilson’s ‘take- no-action’ resolution, will the province of Ontario be consistent with its own rhetoric and support the idea of representation by population - as it is doing for itself at the federal level – or, will it show a double-standard and deny a similar plea from St. Catharines at the regional level?

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