Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why do Conservatives hate Ontario?

Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty famously called Ontario the worst place in Canada to invest. Helpful to remember on a day when we get more bad news for the province's beleaguered manufacturing sector. And now its transport minister John Baird talking down Toronto:

In an unguarded moment, Baird told aides Toronto stood alone in not meeting the technical criteria for federal cash, yet was complaining about Ottawa dragging its feet.

"Twenty-seven hundred people got it right. They didn't. That is not a partnership and they're bitching at us," he said.

"They should f - off."
Stay classy, John Baird. And once again, we see the Conservatives showing an impressive aversion to accountability for their own words and actions. Much like the Raitt tapes, the Conservatives are saying Baird's words were private and not meant for public consumption. Never mind the fact he was at a major conference with hundreads of representatives of Canada's municipalities, and made the comments as he (accidentally, he says) walked into the media room, where he was overheard by a reporter.

Whether Baird meant the comment to me heard or not, it doesn't change the fact that he was. It doesn't change the face that he said it. And it doesn't change the face that the feeling is mutual, John. So instead of whining that it was a private comment, man-up John and either own it or apologize.

Oh, and by the way my Conservative friends who will dismiss this little story, I ask you to consider what your reaction would be if take this story but change it to a Liberal minister speaking about Alberta. Would it be a non-story then?

John should just apologize, and move on. Work with Toronto to address whatever issues there were with their application so Canada's largest city can get the stimulus and transit assistance it needs. His comments do, however, speak to a pattern of disdain for Toronto and Ontario within the CPC party that won't be easily forgotten.

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