Reporter Don Fraser (St.Catharines Standard, Jun.22, 2011) manages somehow to hit all of Jim Bradley's Liberal election talking points...
"If Ontario's premier has his way, Niagara will see public transit expansion before any new mid-peninsula highway.In an exclusive interview with The Standard, Premier Dalton McGuinty said expansion of GO Transit train services through St. Catharines and Niagara is "simply a matter of time."
"The question is not whether, but when," McGuinty said, adding ridership numbers are an important consideration.
"We rely on the people at GO Transit to give us the best advice on these matters."
And while Conservative Opposition Leader Tim Hudak has pledged to build the $1 billion-plus mid-peninsula corridor, McGuinty threw cold water on it as a priority.
"We don't think it's warranted at this time," McGuinty said.
"We think we have an obligation to protect the environment," he said, adding he believed these concerns are important to Niagara.
"(And) based on the studies that we've seen, it's just not warranted."
McGuinty made his comments after touring General Motors' Glendale Ave. engine plant Tuesday morning, where he met with workers and officials.
His stop in St. Catharines also included a speech delivered to the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce at the Quality Hotel Parkway Convention Centre.
Following the brief tour at GM, McGuinty praised the plant's employees for the automaker's dramatic turnaround— one made possible by massive government loans, including from Ontario.
"We decided it was important to use some taxpayer money and invest in the future of this factory," McGuinty said at a media gathering inside the plant.
I'm absolutely delighted that we did."
McGuinty added that GM has paid off that loan and invested millions into the future of the St. Catharines operation.
"The fact of the matter is, because we all put something on the table, we are stronger here together," he said.
Later at the Parkway event, McGuinty discussed his plan to focus on five main areas in the run-up to the October provincial election: education, health care, infrastructure, electricity and taxes.
"Ontario was not an overnight success," he said, adding the same hard work that unites families and workers will help the province overcome challenges.
As for education: "I believe the single most important thing we can do to ensure we have a highly competitive workforce ...and ensure our children enjoy rich, full, happy lives is to invest in their skills and education."
Here, McGuinty pointed to things like lower class sizes, higher graduation rates, improved access to post-secondary education and full-day kindergarten as successes.
And health care improvements aren't just about new hospitals, shorter wait times and new doctors and nurses, he said.
"Too many Ontarians are getting sick from preventable illnesses, in fact a full 25% of the health care budget ... goes to treating preventable disease," McGuinty said.
"I'm talking about things like smoking, diet and inactivity."
McGuinty said major infrastructure building, including roads, schools and hospitals, will help families and the economy.
But he also painted a stark picture of the province's aging electricity infrastructure, which must be refurbished and ramped up to meet demand.
A long-term energy plan will rebuild 80% of the system over the next 20 years, he told the group of 220.
"This is a massive undertaking," he said. "It is a very expensive proposition, and there's no getting around it."
Clean energy and being a big player in harnessing wind and solar power will help Ontario achieve energy goals and create new jobs, he said.
Tax reform is also key to Ontario's success, he said, adding a value-added tax like Ontario's HST (harmonized sales tax) is now a world standard for successful economies.
"We need to keep up with the competition, and this is why tax reforms are so very important," McGuinty added.
In a dig at the "opposition," he said it promises to "give us more, charge us less and pay down the debt."
"Our plan for eliminating the deficit will be responsible and proven," he said.
"It will be based on our record. We eliminated the previous government's deficit." "
... and yet, there wasn't even one word in this "exclusive interview" (!!!) from McGuinty or Bradley about the C. difficile outbreak in St. Catharines!!!
[Can't stray from the Jimmy-Feel-Good script with embarrassing questions and risk spoiling the Standard's not-too-subtle Liberal electioneering campaign!]
Did anybody actually ask these Liberal liars any questions?!
This story is half a story, with no critical analysis of any of the Liberal's claims; it amounts to nothing but regurgitated Liberal Party election talking-points, taken at face value by the reporter.
When did the St.Catharines Standard's "reporters" become Liberal stenographers? Was anything which these Liberals said challenged?
These Liberals came to the Standard; so, what did the Standard actually ask them?!?
A slimy McGuinty disingenuously claims GM "has paid off that loan" - but, did any St.Catharines Standard reporter ask about the rest of the loaned bailout billions which GM received from taxpayers, and which just happened to be converted from debt into shares? What an interventionist-government shell-game!
Then, when McGuinty - Ontario's Premier Liberal liar - let out that whopper about his Liberals eliminating the "previous government's debt", and talking about his "record", why didn't Fraser use that wide-open-opportunity to CHALLENGE McGuinty on his record: a record of lies, of tax-increases and of increased debt!!
Really - why couldn't Don Fraser bother to ask about any of this?!? McGuinty doubled Ontario's debt, while outright lying (during two elections!) that he wouldn't raise taxes - all the while increasing government spending by 77%! Fraser just let McGuinty's Liberal propaganda pass unchallenged!
What's with this paper's pathetic and deliberate lack of policy analysis; will that be forthcoming - ever?!
In the Standard's printed edition (which came out later on Jun.22, 2011) reporter Fraser actually asked one question of Dalton McGuinty regarding the C. difficile outbreak in St.Catharines:
Q. St. Catharines General Hospital has dealt with a string of C. difficile patient deaths recently. Ten with the infection have died.Is the province aware of this and is there any way it might intervene?
A. We've learned through these outbreaks in the past, and have made C. difficile a reportable outbreak that must be conveyed to the public health unit.
We have also adopted protocols which are recommended to all of our hospitals.
We also have the equivalent to a SWAT team (Infection Control Resource Teams to provide rapid, on-site assistance with outbreak investigation and management in hospitals), which I believe the hospital or public health unit has asked for.
We will make it available to them and ... they are to play a supportive role.
I know the public health unit and hospital officials are working together as aggressively as they can to help manage this and turn it around."
That's it - that was the St.Catharines Standard's only C. diff question: 10 C. difficile patients (as of Jun.22, 2011) are dead in St.Catharines, in McGuinty's Liberal-run health-monopoly, and yet, there was only one question and one answer on the C. diff issue!!
Why should anyone trust the claims of these Liberal liars on this C. diff outbreak, when back in 2008 the same Liberals hid from a public inquiry when 500 Ontario C. diff patients were killed in the Liberal-run health monopoly?
Apparently, the Standard is more than satisfied with its enormous one-question-investigative effort - "Lookit - we actually asked McGuinty about C. diff. What more do ya want?! vote for Jim Bradley!"
And, by the way: where was Jim Bradley in all this?!
That little shit's weasely head is seen popping up in the GM photo, but there was nothing at all in this story from Jim Bradley himself !! Nothing whatsoever!! Somehow, throughout this grand GM tour and this "exclusive interview", Jim Bradley was - amazingly - completely
This kind of politically-friendly media manipulation takes serious planning.