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May 8, 2005
Has Martin Bought Ontario?

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has desperately looked for ways to fend off a call for elections, trying to delay all efforts to remove the Liberal government for its massive embezzlement and electoral-fraud scheme in Adscam. Last week he cut a deal with NDP leader Jack Layton to take $4.6 billion more in taxes from Canadians and redirect them to NDP's legislative priorities. Now the price tag for Martin's continuing political career has gone past the $10 billion mark, as Martin cut a deal with Ontario to send $5.7 billion over the next five years to the Liberal power base he so desperately needs:

Ontario will be getting an extra $5.75 billion in federal financial support over the next five years -- money that will mainly go into immigration, skills training and post-secondary education. ...

McGuinty inherited a huge deficit from the former Progressive Conservative government. He started a campaign to ask the federal government for at least $5 billion in funding this year -- money which could help manage the pain of eliminating that deficit. The next Ontario budget is to be delivered on May 11. ...

McGuinty claims Ontarians send $23 billion more to Ottawa than they get back -- the "fiscal gap." The feds have previously dismissed McGuinty's argument. Prominent pundits like the Toronto Star's Thomas Walkom have also questioned it.

But the political math is simple for Martin: His party currently holds 74 seats of 106 in Ontario. He'll need every one of those if he hopes to stay in power after the next federal election.

This appears to again be a legal means of doing on a grand scale what Adscam did for the Liberals on a smaller scale -- use government money as payoffs to keep their grasp on power. Will it work? Ontarians probably like the idea. Recent polls show that 60% of voters in the province approve of McGuinty's efforts to get the cash flow reversed. However, for the western provinces, such a blatant payoff to the Liberal power base will come as a bitter pill. Many Albertans will object to the deal, as they perceive their fiscal imbalance as far more significant than that of Ontario. Other Canadians will protest just the crass pay-and-play nature of the deal.

Martin does not appear ready to accept responsibility for the criminal behavior of his party in regards to the Sponsorship Program. He's now spent $10 billion of Canada's money avoiding the judgment day that such corruption and graft deserves. He spoke to the nation two weeks ago in an unprecedented, nationally-televised political speech, asking for more time to allow the facts to be absorbed before a call for new elections. If Canadians follow his advice, the Liberal Party will have the time it needs to completely loot the federal coffers, assuring either continued Liberal rule or a giant headache for the government which follows it.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 8, 2005 9:42 AM

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» Martin cuts a deal with McGuinty from Stephen Taylor - Conservative Party of Canada Pundit
Prime Minister Paul Martin has signed over a paltry $5.75 Billion over to Ontario to "address" the fiscal imbalance between Ontario and Ottawa. First, that's $5.75 Billion over 5 years... just over $1 Billion a year back to Ontario. Second, McGui... [Read More]

Tracked on May 8, 2005 6:19 PM

» Links of the Let's-Pick-on-Canada Day (050905) from
The next two weeks will be extraordinarily hectic with classes and development work (that's good news), so one post a day will likely be the most you'll see here. But of course they will be good ones, starting with this mini-linkorama highlighting t... [Read More]

Tracked on May 9, 2005 9:10 PM

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