Liberals can take rest of summer off

By Michael Den Tandt, Sudbury Star

It’s Tim Hudak’s to lose. Indications are he doesn’t intend to. He’ll run a cautious, scripted campaign. And on Oct. 6, thanks in large part to the abject failures of Dalton McGuinty but also because of historical forces bigger than either man, the grumpy Ontario electorate will make it a hat trick — and Hudak will be premier.

The message, to all and sundry: Time for the state, with its overweening notions of what is best for us, to take a humble step back.

Ordinary people, with the powers of speech that modern technology brings, and the bloodymindedness that the knowledge of injustice and waste brings, are coming into their own.

The first signal was Rob Ford’s victory in Toronto last fall. None of the experts thought he had a chance. Standing next to George Smitherman he looked like a different rung on the evolutionary scale. No offence intended.

Ford cared more about coaching football than courting the CBC; he had simplistic solutions to complex problems. He spoke in bumper-sticker slogans. This wasn’t the kind of guy who could become mayor of a huge, sophisticated, multi-racial, cosmopolitan city like Toronto.

Yet he won — by a lot. It was a massive repudiation of David Miller’s vision of Toronto, which was fundamentally a centre-left, statist vision.

Then came the federal election.

Ford’s win, some surmised, would help Michael Ignatieff in Toronto. By the time May 2 rolled around, Ford would have imploded, of course — bull in a China shop. The anti-Conservative backlash would propel Ignatieff to, if not victory, perhaps seat gains in Ontario.

Oops.

That didn’t happen, either. Ignatieff didn’t simply lose. He was overwhelmed, owned and poned as the kids like to say. Harper had for years made a science of wooing main street, the Tim Hortons crowd. He and his braintrust figured there were many more of these folks across Canada, including in the big cities, than the mainly retired sophisticates who’d lean towards urbane Iggy.

They were right.

Which leads us to poor Dalton. After eight years, October was going to be a long shot at the best of times.

Two majority terms is enough for any leader. But Dalton has made things worse for himself — much worse — by staying on wrong side of the shift.

He’s a big-government guy who knows what’s best for us all — Premier Dad — at a time when Ontarians seriously want to be left alone. This is why McGuinty faces, not just a loss on Oct. 6, but a historic wipeout.

Recent polls confirm it.

Hudak, whether because of his own instincts or those of his people, senses the drift. There are no bold promises to roll back signature McGuinty polices such as all-day kindergarten.

Instead Hudak offers to do for McGuinty Ontario what Japan did for the automobile — make it work better.

It’ll be fundamentally the same set of policies, but less irritating. There will be no more attempts by Queen’s Park to tell us what we should do in our cars, or what type of foods we should eat.

And industrial wind turbines will not be forced down the throats of rural Ontarians.

What’s emerging, at all three levels of government, is a kind of neo-liberal, centrist Conservatism — with a suddenly centre-leaning New Democratic Party quite happy to play understudy.

Ontario Liberals, sensing this historic tide, may well take the summer off.

There’s not a lot they can do now to change it.

19 thoughts on “Liberals can take rest of summer off

  1. If you have any doubt about the immense scope of this battle. look at this picture at the link below. In it, Achim Steiner of the UNEP is holding a brochure entitled “Towards a Green Economy”, which recommends investing in green technologies to encourage economic growth. We are not just fighting a provincial government that has joined with corporations to reduce rural Ontario to a resource exploitation zone, we are resisting a UN-mandated agenda.

    http://www.thepoliticalgirl.com/2011/02/spotted-lisa-jackson-at-un-environment.html

    • Nice work Lynne! The photo of Achim Steiner & Lisa Jackson together dosen’t lie now does it given the “props” they are holding?

  2. They were so arrogant to end the legislature a day early. Now they can take a permanent vacation. Imagine what would happen to us if we told our employer we were starting our vacation a day early and went AWOL for the next five months.

  3. Getting rich from Green Energy is just as stupid and destructive as the belief that we could transfer our manufacturing industries to China, Japan and India and get rich from our service industries.

    • A service based economy amounts to nothing more that doing one’s own and another’s laundry. A step backwards by ~100 years for the North American economy and a great reduction in living standards for all except the very wealthy.

  4. Perhaps someone who has looked at these wind leases could answer a question for me? Given that many thousands of properties have been leased by wind companies and that not all leaseholders will actually get a turbine, and given that many of these companies installing IWTs are also affiliated with natural gas, which is touted to be the fuel of the future, do these wind leases contain clauses which would allow the wind company to change the use of the lease from wind to natural gas drilling? If so, could the next stage of this rampage on rural Ontario be natural gas drilling/fracking on leased land? Just wondering.

    • Mineral rights (oil, gas etc.) are a different issue.

      Mineral rights land claims have been suspended in Southern Ontario — unless something has changed. I know I have been away for a few months but I suspect I would have noticed that change.

    • If only it was drilling, which is bad enough, but it is the extraction of shale gas by using fracking that worries me.
      Lots of groundwater has been ruined by using this method. A few States even have a moratorium in place in regards to the extraction of shale gas. Apparently the prime area for shale gas in Ontario is from Norfolk county and then up into Collingwood.
      Just 2 or 3 weeks ago there was an article in the Hamilton Spectator about this. A lady from Alberta showed how she could light up the top of a 2 litre pop bottle filled with water, as the fracking had forced methane into her well water via the groundwater which replenishes her well. I believe she is suing the gas company and the government. And this too is supposed to be green…… Green as in “Show me the Money!”

  5. Could someone look back into their files and reference T. B. Picket and land leases in Texas. I recall an article that he is hanging onto the leases for the water rights. This is a request not a fact.
    Thanks.

    • After just a quick search, I have found that wind turbine leases and mineral/oil/gas leases go hand in hand down in Texas. Here is one example:

      “We are wanting to put together an investment group who are familiar with mineral-oil/gas, wind turbine and cattle ranching. The ranch will backround about 2300 stocker cattle during the summer. The existing wind turbine lease is operated by a multi-national European company and they are wishing to expand the field. The ranch adjoining is also available and the wind rights are included in the sale for $230/acre. We also anticipate acquiring all mineral rights with the ranch and possibly explore deep formation gas wells.”
      http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/opportunities/wind-turbine-existing-lease-cattle-ranching-investors-needed-55139.aspx

  6. From a US legal site:
    “Wind agreements typically require that all future contracts by the landowner that impact the land include a reference to the wind lease and subordination clause. Thus, farm leases, hunting leases, oil and gas leases, right of ways and mortgages entered after the effective date of the wind agreement must address the rights of the wind company.” So, I take it that the wind company can prohibit the landowner from signing a gas or oil lease, once the landowner has signed a wind lease. I guess in that way they can ensure first dibs on any oil/gas exploration.
    http://www.mcafeetaft.com/Resources/Attorney-Articles/Articles/Wind-law-negotiations-from-landowner-perspective.aspx

  7. Mineral Claims in Ontario, Private Lands:

    http://www.osler.com/NewsResources/Details.aspx?id=2270

    Staking Claims. Bill 173 divides Ontario into “North” and “South” and addresses conflicts where owners of private surface rights do not hold mining rights on their lands. In Southern Ontario, for lands for which surface rights are privately owned and for which mining rights belong to the Crown, the mining rights will be deemed to be withdrawn from prospecting, staking, sale and lease. This provision came into force on October 28, 2009. In Northern Ontario, in the case where surface rights are privately owned and mining rights belong to the Crown, surface rights owners will be able to apply to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines for an order to withdraw the mining rights belonging to the Crown from prospecting, staking, sale and lease. In both cases, pre-existing mining rights will be unaffected.

    ..and indeed there were additional changes while I was gone — including “map-staking”.

    Unless you gave up your mineral rights… It’s not an issue. They are held separately from land rights — but if you did…

    Northern Ontario is NOT part of the shale group — it is only an issue in Southern Ontario from two perspectives 1) there is gas here in the shale, 2) the mining rights are different.

    hth

  8. I should add a note here, that north of a line from say Barrie to Coboconk to Bancroft to Ottawa — the character of the land changes. As you go into the Northern Province the land is based on lavas, and Granites etc. — unlikely that there are gas/oil deposits. Fraccing Granite is tough and pointless. Only in the south do we have limestone and old sedimentary deposits… Here there is a point as there MIGHT be gas in commercial quantities. People who walk the Bruce trail can tell you of blue flames along the trail. I recall one near Stoney Creek for example…

    A not quite accurate description of the Geology I know — but I hope you get the idea.

    The other issue is that properties here are quite small by Alberta, Saskatchewan or Texas standards. I have traveled all those areas and some properties are measured in the Hundred-Section range. There it is a lot easier to assemble a decent claim for mineral exploitation — if the owner is willing.

    Mineral rights are not equivalent to property rights — even if you do register a claim — you still have to negotiate access rights to exploit the claim. Course if you gave away those rights… or gave up the mineral rights — you’re cooked — with gas maybe.

    So could a IWT agreement mess you up? Maybe — depends on how careless you were.

  9. People in TO don\t care about our plight.. they care about money and cost of living
    What surprises me is that the UN is always being quoted…the UN consists of countries tha would happily wipe us off the face of the earth. They will be overseeing Evironmnet issues and handling money?
    We have to continue ..regarding MONEY and exposing corruption

  10. Never thought I would see an article in The National Post that apologized for McGuinty and claimed he was just “misunderstood”…

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/06/29/kelly-mcparland-whats-a-nice-man-like-mcguinty-doing-at-the-bottom-of-polls/

    Despite this… He tries to trick voters with secret deals and shallow accounting tricks, reinforcing the impression he can’t be trusted. He misjudged public enthusiasm for green energy, throwing public dollars at it by the armload without appreciating that few Ontarians view wind or solar power as anything more than a pleasant sideline to the real sources of energy. One program after another offers evidence that, once the big announcement has been made and the headlines garnered, the government stops tracking how much money is being spent and what it’s spent on.

    Isn’t that enough?

    And “pleasant sideline”? — Is not the waste and stupidity and negative health effects of wind turbines enough to make anyone realize that the use of the word “pleasant” might just be a real irritant? Guess not.

    • eight mostly unremarkable years of running the province?

      whatever , who is Kelly? obviously a Liberal driven article. aka a lie. eight unremarkable years of sending us into a province of have not single handedly in such a short time!!!!!

  11. The picture in this link says it all…
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/silly-money-green-stew/

    A short quote to set the stage…

    “The mindless will do anything to go green. It doesn’t matter one bit how little financial sense it makes. It doesn’t matter that peoples lives are destroyed, its for the better, because they say it is. The article linked is actually about destroying farmers in favor of disrupting birds, but the end of the article has this little quote:” etc.

    Priceless — the picture that is…
    Cut an paste the link if you cannot wait… from: http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/image1.png

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