We’re being short-changed and we should be furious


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Less than 72 hours after reader Bob McCaig last week regaled us with the tale of Madame McGuinty’s Teflon Academy (read here), what does the inspiration for this naughty narrative do but up and quit.
Not content to just step down, Premier Dalton McGuinty prorogued the legislature – effectively shifting the province into neutral.
Where does that leave us?
Short-changed, insists Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek.
We talked to him Friday to gauge his level of frustration with a premier who places himself ahead of those he serves.
“There is so much work that has to be done,” Yurek points out, “especially with the jobs problem in our riding. It’s huge. I’m sharing in their (constituents’) frustration. I’d rather be working in Toronto, trying to get this province fixed. But they’re not willing to deal with the issue.”

Nor are the Liberals willing to establish a date for a return to the business of working to reduce this province’s massive debt.
“He (McGuinty) can call us back any time. Typically, you’re supposed to give a date when you’re returning, and he didn’t. He can bring it back, but when he does, it’s a new session, there’s a new throne speech and a new budget that has to be tabled.
“So, we can’t pick up where we left off. There’s a huge list we have to deal with. I think only seven bills were passed over the last year.”
And, there’s no guarantee some or all of that pending business will again ever reach the discussion stage.
“We start from scratch,” Yurek explains, “and we have to start introducing everything and debating and go from there.”
With the prospect a new budget could provide the impetus for a non-confidence vote and we’re back to the polls.
“An election is quite a possibility,” Yurek agrees, “but, I’d rather the premier change his mind and start up again. Make some sort of deal so we can keep on working. Tim (Hudak) has sent a letter to the premier asking him to reconsider and the fact he didn’t have a date for when we return. The Opposition wants to get back to work.
“There is a whole slew of problems that need to be dealt with that are now put off until who knows when.”
So, what’s the level of frustration among constituents?
“They have expectations of when they elect a government they will go and do the job,” Yurek points out. “And, that’s not happening. They’re feeling short-changed.”
As Yurek rightly suggests, McGuinty could have easily tendered his resignation and allowed the legislature to continue functioning until a new leader and premier is chosen by the Libs.
With the party under attack on so many fronts, how convenient to call a lengthy time out.
Brought to you by the Teflon Academy.

DOING SOMETHING WITH HIS LIFE

Maybe you’ve seen them posted up around the city. There’s a good possibility they have left you feeling uncomfortable.
And that suits Jason McComb just fine.
The fact sheets, under the banner Homeless Happens!!!, provide an insight from a disabled homeless man – by choice currently, but involuntary in the past,
Jason hopes to raise awareness for the rights of the homeless, dispel myths and stereotypes often placed on Canada’s homeless.
There’s a good chance you’ll eventually bump in to Jason if you spend any time downtown.
Do yourself a favour. Stop and talk to him. Better yet, engage him over a coffee and a bite to eat.
If that makes you feel uneasy, at least visit his website here.
There you’ll find Jason is a slice of real life.

THE LAST WORD

An ad in Thursday’s T-J gave pause for thought: “If our lives had followed a brighter path, today we would be celebrating Emily’s 20th birthday.”
A reference to Emily Morgan and the cold reality it has been nearly six years since the following words were penned in this corner.
“Ten days ago we talked with Emily’s mother, Dianne Morgan, just before she left to visit her remarkable daughter at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto.
“Emily at that time was battling a lung infection which had temporarily silenced her voice. And nothing could have been more frustrating for the vivacious Port Stanley teenager than to be unable to chatter away incessantly.
“The hope was to have her jot down her thoughts and feelings, much as she had done for T-J readers in July, 2005, when she composed Emily’s Journal during the XV World Transplant Games.
“However, as we were to learn last Saturday morning, Emily’s smile, eternal optimism and unconditional love were urgently required elsewhere.
“After a quick review of many conversations with Emily, we realized in fact she had left a very important message for faithful readers.
“‘Please talk to your family today about being an organ donor,’ she stressed in the first entry of her Transplant Games journal. ‘Don’t take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here.’
“Isn’t that just like Emily to get in the last word.”
You remain an inspiration, Emily.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“With everything that’s going on, we need our government working for us, not sitting with their hands tied, not being able to do anything.”
St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson reacts to Premier Dalton McGuinty’s announcement he has prorogued the Ontario Legislature.

City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to ian.mccallum@sunmedia.ca.

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