Back on Nov 14, 2007 I wrote an article (see: Asking Liberal Transportation Minister Jim Bradley: Where is Niagara's GO Train?) outlining years of hot-air spewed by St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley. Even during the 2007 election campaign, Bradley intimated that the GO train was coming to Niagara. Gullible locals lapped up Bradley’s B.S.
Despite his lying, posturing, and obfuscation, Bradley - now Ontario’s Transportation Minister - still has not brought GO Transit to Niagara. Here’s a clip of a National Post story (Dec.13, 2008) about GO Transit expansion plans – there is NO MENTION whatsoever about bringing GO Transit to Niagara:
(click photos to enlarge!)
Keeping in mind the above, compare this next story from Niagara This Week (Nov.21, 2008), about Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff’s (when Iggy was still in Bumbledore Dion’s shadow) visit to Niagara – blathering the same bullshit which Good Ole Jimbo Bradley and Dalton McGuinty have been trotting out for years:
Liberal loser from the 2006 and the 2008 elections Walter Lastewka was there as well; for some thirteen years during Lastewka’s reign as MP, MPP Bradley along with Lastewka accomplished nothing…and now we see ambitious Iggy recycling the same tired old promises of yesterday: “if I’m elected, I would pump money here to help travelers…” bla, blah, blaahh
All Iggy is pumping are platitudes and worthless pledges.
Iggy went on to be crowned Liberal leader - conveniently without any party election! So what is the official Liberal platform regarding transit in Niagara? More vague “infrastructure” lip-service? Oh, how specifically clear; how clearly unspecific!! (as tactfully non-committal as Iggy's Dec. pronouncement that his Liberal's cuckoo-coaltion with the separatists - now under Ignatieff's own command - was a “coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition.” Yeah...)
Christina Blizzard noted in “Where is a real ‘Buy Canadian’ policy?” (St. Catharines Standard, Dec.20, 2008), that Transportation Minister Jim Bradley can’t even bring himself to fund streetcars being made in Canada:
“It has become a trademark of the Dalton McGuinty government.
Any time you want to make a bold, controversial move, come up with a report to justify your actions.
And so it came to pass Tuesday that Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant held a joint news conference with Rob Wildeboer of the automotive parts giant Martinrea and the Ontario Manufacturing Council to make dire predictions about what would happen if the Detroit Three automakers shut down.
Word of the day was "doomsday," with "devastation," coming in a close second.
Then again, it would have been news if they hadn't been pitching for a bailout.
According to this end-of-the-world-as- we-know-it report, a 100 per cent shutdown of the industry would result in the loss of 517,000 jobs in Ontario. Except, didn't the government agree already it would provide $3.3 billion in aid, contingent on what Washington tosses in the pot?
Meanwhile, the McGuinty government has steadfastly ignored other sectors of the economy. Northern Ontario has been devastated by the downturn in the forestry and pulp and paper industries. Yet there were no bailouts there. Whole towns were allowed to die.
Why are we talking about bailing out the car industry to the tune of $3.3 billion when the TTC is in negotiations that could award the most lucrative public transit infrastructure contract in the world to offshore bidders? We're talking real jobs and real vehicles.
Shockingly, the province's weak 25 per cent Canadian content rule doesn't even apply to the $1.25-billion deal to buy 204 new streetcars because the province isn't paying for it, says a spokesman for Transportation Minister Jim Bradley.
"We can't impose our policy on a project that we are not a part of," said Nicole Lippa-Gasparro. She points out that the TTC has its own 25 per cent content guideline.
This is all news to the TTC, who are expecting the usual one-third of the transit capital money to come from the province, with the feds and the city pitching in the other two thirds, as they are doing with the subway expansion to Vaughan.
"There is no commitment to funding at this point, but that is what we are looking at," said TTC spokesman Brad Ross. Besides, two cents a litre of the gas tax goes to the TTC.
All this fancy footwork could mean this massive project will sneak through with even less than that meagre 25 per cent requirement.
The TTC set the 25 per cent Canadian content requirement a year ago. Meanwhile, in March the province brought in a similar 25 per cent requirement. (By the way, this pales to insignificance compared to the 60 per cent domestic content rule required in the U. S. under its "Buy America" policy.)
The province's policy didn't come into effect until Sept. 1. In the meantime, the TTC aborted its Request for Proposals process, and commenced a "negotiated procurement," deal with two foreign companies, French giant Alstom and German manufacturer Siemens, as well as Montreal-based Bombardier, on Aug. 27.
So even if the province were to claim one-third ownership of this massive public sector contract, the negotiations started prior to its policy coming in to effect.
"The McGuinty government says there has to be 25 per cent content -- but in fact that is not the requirement," said NDP Leader Howard Hampton. "This whole project got underway before the government put in its minimal 25 per cent, so you could end up with a multi-billion transit contract where most of the work happens outside Ontario, outside Canada. You get less benefit in terms of jobs, less benefit in terms of economic stimulus, less benefit in terms of Ontario's future."
This contract could save jobs in Thunder Bay, one of the places hardest hit by the tanking forestry industry.
We're expected to put more than $3 billion into the auto sector -- with vague promises of an untried new product.
Meanwhile, the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay produces quality domestic vehicles -- and jobs to a hard hit part of the province in these tough economic times.
Everyone agrees we need the streetcars. What better way to boost the economy than to build them here in this province? Now.”*
So who knows what Iggy’s position is on Liberal "made-in-Canada" ‘transportation and infrastructure investments’ ?! Would it be much different from the same greasy, pandering, duplicitous level that been practised by Liberals like Jim Bradley? Will Liberal Iggy boldly tell Liberal Bradley that, if it were up to Iggy, Ontario, due to the current practices of Bradley's Liberals, would forfeit its federal transit funding?! (It is also interesting to consider the irony of "made-in-Canada" funding-requirements being imposed by a Liberal whose own career was made-not-in-Canada!)
Comparing Iggy’s recycling of Jim Bradley’s previous lies leads to this article by Doug Herod, “Don’t count on old election promises to save ER”, (St. Catharines Standard, Dec.20, 2008):
“Hospital restructuring in Niagara has been approved by the powers that be.
Finally. It's over. Don't be ridiculous.
Huffing and puffing won't end until certain politicians in south Niagara figure the last blood droplets have been wrung from various stones.
After the Local Health Integration Network, as expected, approved the Niagara Health System's restructuring plan earlier this week, the mayors of Fort Erie and Port Colborne wasted no time in conjuring up other options.
The possibility of taking unspecified legal action was raised, as was making overtures to Queen's Park bigwigs like Health Minister David Caplan and Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey, in particular, holds out hope that McGuinty will lend a sympathetic ear to his city's cause.
He expects the premier to "listen" and "truly respect" what Port Colborne is trying to achieve. And why is that?
Close to seven years ago, McGuinty, then the province's Opposition leader, pledged to Mayor Badawey that his Liberal party would fight to ensure the city has a hospital and emergency room that's open 24/7.
This had become an issue because then, as now, physicians staffing Port Colborne's ER overnight were lonelier than the Maytag repairman.
In light of the dearth of activity in the wee hours of the morning, consultants had recommended the NHS keep ERs open only 16 hours a day in Fort Erie and Port Colborne.
Then, as now, the plan created an uproar in certain circles
Against this backdrop, Liberal Leader McGuinty sashayed into Port Colborne in February 2002.
"I met a woman in emergency here today who was admitted Monday suffering from a heart attack," the Welland Tribune reported McGuinty as saying.
"Her husband drove her to the hospital. She asked me to fight to keep the emergency department open because she didn't think she would have made it to Welland."
McGuinty added that having a 24/7 emergency room and hospital is essential to a city, especially one like Port Colborne, which is trying to grow.
"It's not just important, it's very important for a community to be competitive in attracting families and industry."
So, there you go. McGuinty made a promise.
I hate to break the news to Badawey, but, sadly, during the 2003 provincial election campaign, McGuinty also said he wouldn't raise taxes.
Then again, Badawey probably remembers that broken vow. After all, he was a Liberal candidate in the 2003 campaign.
That's the thing about having opposition politicians roll into town to comment on the local injustices of the day. They'll say anything to curry favour with the disillusioned and the disaffected. What the heck, it's not as if they're in a position to implement their commitments.
Alas, if and when they form a government, all bets are off.
Now, I'm not saying these back-tracking politicians don't deserve to have ridicule and scorn heaped upon them. On the contrary, I encourage such heaping.
It's just that anyone who actually takes these gals and fellas seriously at the time of their grave pronouncements should give their heads a shake.
They're out-of-power politicians seeking votes, for crying out loud!
I mean, if McGuinty can blow off in mere weeks a major, high-profile commitment like not raising taxes, brushing away the ER vow of six years ago will be a piece of cake.
Indeed, unlike 2002, the plan is to have emergency service in Port Colborne available 24/7.
It'll be under the name of an urgent-care centre, which is only reflecting the reality that Port Colborne hasn't had a full-service emergency department in years.
No doubt, when asked, McGuinty will refer to this as progress.
So much for getting blood from that stone."
Opposition politicians rolling into town, saying anything to curry favour - that pretty much describes standard Liberal operating procedure employed by McGuinty, Bradley, and now Ignatieff.
But whether on health-care, transit, or global-warming, don’t count on too many Liberal-friendly media types to ridicule or scorn Liberal bluster, duplicity, backtracking, and lies; it’s much more politically-correct to spin the alleged "hidden agenda" of the Conservatives.
By the way, in honour of all the “global warming” that we have experienced here in Niagara recently …um, with all the snow… here’s a reminder of political entertainer Stephane Bumbledore Dion’s climate-crisis comedy act.
This hilarious postcard, sent to Niagara households in Apr. 2008, courtesy of Ken Dryden (what’s Kenny got to do with Niagara, anyway??) was part of the famed LIBERAL POOP-O-GRAM series of postcards mailed out by Dion, and was a precursor to the unveiling of his disastrous Green-Shift policy later in the summer of 2008:
(click on photos to enlarge!)
Despite the ridiculousness of it all, many people (like Kyoto-pusher Jim Bradley) still believed Dion's "green" crap. You see, if we had all just voted for Superhero Global Climate Changer and Kyodiot Clown Bumbledore Dion and his Liberals, then they would have stopped - if not miraculously REVERSED - global-warming, bringing us . . . even more snow !!?
Is this the Liberal snow-job Iggy intends to continue pursuing?