By Gerry Barker
March 18, 3019
We elected two men to represent our interests. Sitting in the Ontario Legislature is Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party. With only himself in the Legislature, his party is not an official party under the rule of the Legislature.
The other is Liberal MP Lloyd Longfield, a backbencher in the Trudeau government who is facing re-election this October.
Now, as I understand it, last time the election of the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario June 7, split the cozy relationship between the Ottawa Liberals, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Queen’s Park Liberal government of former Premier Kathleen Wynne.
With recent events involving the SNC Lavalin affair, is this a good time to be a Liberal?
MPP Mike Schreiner, after spending $119,000 to get elected, has metaphorically become the Maytag, repairman in the Legislature after accepting his huge victory in Guelph. Now that he’s there he has no power, no support in the Legislature and no influence.
In the lyrics of the Irish Rovers: “Wasn’t that a party?”
But Schreiner is there for four years and Guelph voters, by a wide margin, put him there.
Along comes Mr. Longfield who blames the provincial government for “not being open for business.”
That’s rich coming from a federal MP who sat in the House of Commons for almost four years saying nary a word condemning the Liberal government of Premier Wynne for not keeping Ontario open for business.
What’s that expression? If you want to win an election start a fight.
That nervous rattle you hear among the Trudeau Liberals is the dessention of voters over many areas of Liberal power. Starting with The SNC Lavalin fiasco that has cost the party it’s Attorney General and Justice Minister and the Minister of Health.
As this is being written before the third cabinet shuffle in two months, what does it tell you about the internal management and stability of theTrudeau government?
The genesis of political finger pointing
Last year, the federal government signed a bilateral agreement with the province to distribute $10.4 billion of federal funds to Ontario municipalities.
To try and understand this, our city has one of the municipalities selelcted to receive funding for a number, including the new $63 million South End recreation Centre.
Mr. Longfield is said to be asking Mayor Cam Guthrie to pressure the provincial government to release the funds.
It is obvious that the city has been working diligently to move its projects forward.
Enter stage left: Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner who would be the logical contact to get things moving on the provincial level. Instead, Longfield wants the Mayor to act without mentioning the Green Party leader who represents Guelph.
What does Longfield know that we don’t?
The bilateral agreement included splitting the Federal money into four areas: Northern and rural; public transit; green initiatives and community; culture and recreational projects.
It comes to mind the Federal money that was spent by the Harper government in Cabinet member Tony Clements’s Muscoka riding to spruce up the community for a visit by members of the G-20 meeting in Toronto. We all remember how that turned out.
Perhaps the Mayor should contact Mike Schreiner to help jump-start this funding.
The only problem, will the Tories listen to Schreiner?