Adam R. echoes many of my privately held opinions about Dalton McGuinty.
Two thoughts I want to expand on:
Based on some recent speeches, and private conversations, McGuinty seems to understand that recovery from the current recession is going to happen regardless of what he does. But he's expected - mandated, even, by joint federal-provincial initiatives - to spend copious amounts of "stimulus" money in next month's Ontario budget.
This is a big chunk of the Federal Budget that I have specific concerns about. Harper and Ignatieff have basically passed a budget that mandates Provinces go into deficit in order to receive their share of funding promises. It'll take a premier with stones of unimaginable magnitude to present a fiscally conservative budget in the coming year. By attaching the requirement that provinces provide 30% of the funding for municipal projects, HarpNatieff have set the stage for conflict between the provinces and the municipalities in their jurisdictions. If a province decides to "opt out" and decides deep deficits aren't worth the risk, all its municipalities get screwed. Why couldn't the feds just promise funding to municipalities without involving the provinces? Setting up the premiers to take part of the blame for deficit fall out or failure of the budget to stimulate the economy?
Anyway, I agree with this:
I must confess that I don't share the distaste of some colleagues and acquaintances here in Ontario for Family Day. It's a day off. In February, second only to January in the most-depressing-month-of-the-year sweepstakes. How is this not a good thing?
That being said, the holiday speaks rather neatly to Dalton McGuinty's management style in his first five years in office. It's the sort of low-risk, low-reward form of populism McGuinty has used to curry favour with Ontarians while competently but unambitiously going about the quiet management of the province's affairs.
Many of the Ontario governments initiatives slip under the radar and are under reported. Which I guess is true for any government, competence is boring and unexciting, and as such isn't worth talking about. Transit, waste management, investment in emerging technologies, these areas hold potential for us Ontarians. So far its thumbs up from me for McGuinty.