September 28, 2011
Premier hints at new spending promises
By Antonella Artuso, QMI Agency
BRAMPTON, Ont. - Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty is broadly hinting he'll roll out new job creation spending promises in the dying days of a tight election race.
The worsening global economic crisis may require that he dip into a $1.7 billion annual "rainy day fund" built into his budgeted platform to pay for economy-related initiatives, he said.
"We anticipated this might very well be the case," McGuinty said during a campaign stop at IT company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. Wednesday.
Politicians around the world are coping with daily doses of bad economic news.
But McGuinty's pronouncement also comes just one day after a hard-fought battle with his key opponents in a televised leadership debate, and as polls continue to point to the election of a minority Tory or Liberal government on Oct. 6.
McGuinty has maintained throughout the campaign that he has the most modest promises of the three main parties -- adding up to $1.5 billion by the fourth year of a mandate.
When asked about the dangers of a double-dip recession, McGuinty has repeatedly remarked that his plan includes a "prudent" $1.7 billion annual contingency fund.
McGuinty is now signalling that the time is at hand to tap into that reserve fund.
"Now what about that global economy? It would be nice to say that the clouds that have been gathering have been dissipating, but in fact they are not. They continue to gather," he said. "We tend to be proactive in government to ensure that we address those developments in the economy, the global economy, as quickly as we can."
McGuinty also warned that Ontario will have Conservative budget cutters at the provincial and federal level if PC Leader Tim Hudak assumes power.
"If we've got one guy here in Ontario that's focused on cuts, we've got another guy in Ottawa who's now talking about looming cuts -- you know, that's double the cuts," McGuinty said. "And I'm very concerned about the impact that's going to have on our province. So we're going to need a strong Ontario champion to speak up for our interests."
Harper famously opined during a barbecue in Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's family backyard this summer that he would like to see Conservatives at the federal, provincial and municipal level.