Is There Anything This Liberal Government Does Right?

May 8, 2010

Take heart Torontonians and all other Ontario municipalities. It appears the provincial government’s disregard for us is nothing personal. Clicking through the Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller’s May 3rd report card on Ontario’s conservation efforts, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are as boneheaded and retarded (strictly in the traditional sense of that word rather than the pejorative usage of it) about the environment as they are the running of cities.

Alerted to the existence of the report in this week’s NOW magazine, we took a moment to leaf through the document. While recognizing the power of out of context quoting, it is difficult to ignore a definite trend throughout the report’s pages. Referring to the government’s approach to conservation as unfocussed or slapdash would be putting it mildly.

Behold the Bullet Points:

  • Several other provinces and Ontario municipalities have energy conservation strategies but Ontario does not.
  • Accountability, transparency and public participation are essential to maintaining energy consumers’ support for conservation. Under the current (and possibly under the future) regulatory framework, it is not clear that meaningful public scrutiny can occur.
  • What is needed is a policy of resource optimization – a “smart” energy strategy [bolding ours] that designates the use of each fuel to its most appropriate application(s).
  • The ECO [Environmental Commissioner of Ontario] believes that the Ontario government’s approach to energy conservation policy and planning has, to date, been largely uncoordinated. It has been hindered by the lack of both a clear definition of conservation and an explanation of the goals to be achieved through energy conservation.
  • Accountability, transparency and public participation are essential to maintaining energy consumers’ support for conservation. Under the current (and possibly under the future) regulatory framework, it is not clear that meaningful public scrutiny can occur.
  • The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure commit to a period of policy stability [bolding ours] to allow for implementation and evaluation of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009.

And in case you missed it the first time, the Environmental Commissioner will say it again, in bullet form.

  • The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure commit to a period of policy stability [bolding ours] to allow for implementation and evaluation of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009.

So what exactly is it that this government does well? The environment is a fairly substantial portfolio, one might argue, and the McGuinty government is getting a failing grade in terms of oversight, strategy – you know, that whole vision thing – and coordination of policy. Government stuff, in other words. Seven years into their mandate and they’re still flailing.

Maybe we should be hearing more from our mayoral candidates about how to distance ourselves from Queen’s Park which, for the last 15 years or so has fluctuated from destructively malicious to astoundingly incompetent, and less about how we as a city need to pull up our bootstraps. It seems to me that in light of the staggering ineptitude of our provincial government recently, our local representatives have been doing alright. Except for maybe Rob Ford.

snidely submitted by Urban Sophisticat