Saturday, November 13, 2010

So, WTF Has Dalton Done So Far?

You Blogging Tory fans are in for a real treat today, because for my next trick, I am going to take apart every single one of the talking points on the Liberals' new website, WTF Has Dalton Done So Far. No, seriously, that's actually the name of the site. I guess this site exists because of a perception that exists among, um, everyone, that Dalton isn't doing enough.

I don't expect too many of you to visit it, so I'll summarize: The aim of the site (besides getting people to ask the very valid question of exactly what Dalton's claim to fame is) is to highlight so-called accomplishments of Dalton's government. If you're not impressed by a particular talking point, you can click a link to get another one. The link changes too, to read something snotty like "Meh, what else?" or "Boring, what else?", thus accurately summing up the electorate's reaction to Dalton's acheivements.

Anyway, enough preamble. Let's do this thing!

Positioning Ontario as North America's 'clean water technology capital' to tap into a $400 billion global market. Dalton's Water Opportunities Act, which is supposed to help us tap into this market, has a small problem: It completely fails to take into account the costs of treating and distributing water. Oh well.

More high school students are graduating thanks to targeted programs designed to keep kids in school. You know what I want to know? How many of these kids who are graduating are prepared for university? How many of those kids go on to drop out of university?

Made it easier for internationally-trained professionals to get licensed in Ontario. This only affects engineers, and the bill that made this happen annoyed environmental groups worried about public consultations into industrial activities. Why is Dalton pitting Ontarians against one another?

Lowered class sizes so that 90% of primary school students are in classes of 20 kids or less. "A new study finds that Florida's 2002 constitutional amendment mandating a reduction in the size of classes in school districs throughout the state had no discernible impact upon student acheivement."

Helping more than 120,000 newcomers each year improve their English skills and get to work. These language training programs are patterned after federal government programs. So is Dalton saying Stephen Harper had a good idea? :O

Shorter waits for cataract, cancer and cardiac surgery, joint replacements and MRI and CT scans. At a much higher cost.

Turned Ontario into a have-not province. Whoops! How did that get in there? ;)

Protected 1.8 million acres of greenspace (farmland, forests, and wetlands) around the Golden Horseshoe, including the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine. And to prove how much they care about the Golden Horseshoe and the Niagra Escarpment, they provide a link to a Toronto Star article with a picture of ex-Mayor David Miller and a prominent quote from former Communist Party President and current Toronto city councillor, Paula Fletcher. 

2,000 more police officers on our streets to keep our communities safe. Boy, I sure hope Caledonia is one of those communities.

Reformed our outdated tax system to bring 600,000 new jobs to our communities over the next decade. Introduced HST to help business, but provided tax benefits to help people - most households will see a reduction in taxes or break even. Saving businesses money so they can lower prices for consumers and compete with low-cost foreign imports. For the people reading this blog who don't like the HST, the problem with these statements is obvious. The people reading this blog who DO like the HST usually give Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty credit for it. Like Liberal Robert Silver, for example.

Won the right to host the 2015 Pan-Am Games, which will attract 250,000 visitors and create 50,000 jobs. Just remember, Dalton: If there are cost overruns or problems with security, you can't blame Harper this time around like you did for the G20. But you won't be Premier in 2015, so never mind.

Protecting children from dangerous second-hand smoke - a cause of respiratory illness, middle ear disease, respiratory tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome - in cars. After smoking is made illegal, though, don't expect the government to do anything about the underground trade in cigarettes. It's not like they put 2,000 police officers on our streets to keep our communities safe, or anything.

Creating thousands of good jobs, building high-tech manufacturing plants, and attracting billions of dollars in green energy investment to Ontario through the Green Energy Act. Would that be the Green Energy Act that the United States, Japan, and the European Union are currently complaining to the World Trade Organization about?

Phasing out dirty coal-fired plants to protect people's health and our natural environment - and replacing it with clean, renewable sources of electricity. They did promise to eliminate coal fired plants entirely by 2009, but, well, ya know. And then they tried to build a "clean" gas plant in Oakville instead, but, well, ya know. 

Launched full-day kindergarten to give kids the best start in school - and help working parents. Dealt with here.

Cut the price of generic drugs in half by eliminating waste in the pharmacy system, making medicine more affordable. I know Dalton doesn't like pharmacists, but I didn't expect him to refer to them as "waste" that needed to be eliminated.

Electronic medical records for 5 million patients, meaning less chance of error and faster test results. Yeah, pay no attention to that whole "E-health" thing. Totally overblown. 

Built a reliable energy supply by adding 8,000 MW of new electricity to the grid (enough to power millions of homes). Too bad that tidbit got buried in the middle of an article about how Dalton screwed over Northerners. And how did he screw over Northerners? Well, he "Offset higher energy costs for 300,000 Northerners with a credit of up to $200 each," which is almost enough money to heat your home for a few hours in Dalton's Ontario.

Reduced emergency room wait times by almost 25% so the sick and injured get the attention they need. I guess you do have to work fast when your emergency room is located in a hospital garage. Still, that's better than closing the ER entirely. 

Shorter wait times for cancer radiation treatment, and more patients are now receiving treatment. The actual report says,"The Ontario averages [...] are still approximately 10 percentage points from meeting the targets." Oops.

Froze MPP salaries and public sector wages to help cut government expenses and reduce the deficit. Hey, you know what would really help reduce government expenses? LESS SPENDING. Of course, Dwight Duncan thinks he can balance cuts with spending and everything will be okey-dokey.

Increased the number of wind turbines in Ontario from 10 in 2003 to almost 700 now, reducing our reliance on dirty coal. And placed themselves in the pockets of special interests while doing it!

Helped 1 million more Ontarians find a family doctor - meaning that every half hour for the past seven years, eight new patients got a doctor. Helping Ontario, as a province, find more doctors isn't going as well.

And finally....

Bringing the International Indian Film Academy Awards (the Bollywood equivalent of the Academy Awards) to Ontario in 2011, which will attract 40,000 visitors.

.....yeah, I'm OK with that one. Can't find anything wrong with an award show. Unless they find a way to give Avatar the Best Picture award. God, I hated that movie.


  1. Even if you see all these as "good" accomplishments, that really isn't much accomplished for two terms of governance.

    Maybe that's a good thing then, imagine if Dalton had been more ambitious....

  2. Hey! Turning Ontario into a have not province is quite the accomplishment! The signature accomplishment of Dalton's reign, I'd submit! ;)