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Dalton McGuinty has resigned
October 15, 2012 4:24 PM   Subscribe

In a surprise move, Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty has resigned. CBC National Post Globe and Mail Toronto Star.

The Premier has been embroiled in a number of battles recently:
Cabinet members are facing a contempt motion over lack of disclosure related to the cancellation of a gas plant, which cost Ontario a significant amount of many and was, according to opposition, decided for political reasons due to a set of by-elections, in which the Ontario government failed to achieve a majority government.

Ontario teachers have been in slowdown/unofficial "work-to-rule" due to disputes over the Putting Students First Act, which, among other things, prohibits a strike by teachers. A court challenge to this Bill has been launched.

Mr. McGuinty will retain his seat in the Legislative Assembly, and will remain Premier until a successor is chosen.
posted by Lemurrhea (92 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
As an Ottawa resident, whenever I remind myself he's a Liberal Party member, I immediately picture a wolf dressed in a really roughshod sheep costume.

Good riddance doesn't even come close.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:30 PM on October 15, 2012


I'll support whichever Liberal leadership candidate promises to make Ontario's liquor laws into something that's not straight out of the Warsaw Pact.
posted by thecjm at 4:32 PM on October 15, 2012 [14 favorites]


Crazy! That man has endured a decade of louder controversies, and still kept the confidence of government. Maybe he's tired of it all? Maybe he balked at a term full of fiscal restraint? I don't get why so sudden!
posted by Popular Ethics at 4:32 PM on October 15, 2012


Proroguing and resigning? Talk about trying to dodge scrutiny.
posted by asnider at 4:34 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good riddance doesn't even come close.

Dalton has done one thing that will forever hold my respect. He promised to wean the province off coal power, and ten years later he's effectively done it. Doing so has always meant that we would have to pay more for electricity, and indeed power bills have more than doubled in this province. Other politicians would have let that promise lapse (most voters would still choose lower power bills over cleaner skies), but I think he really believed in it.
posted by Popular Ethics at 4:37 PM on October 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have electric heat, so I'm still not sure how I feel about that. :P
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:39 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


As long as that creep Hudak doesn't become the next premier, I don't care what else happens. Horvath and the NDPs are going to have to step up their game, because the Liberals are set up for a big-time collapse here.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 4:41 PM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Huh. I would've expected to hear of Hudak's stepping down as party leader after the Kitchener-Waterloo by-election last month, before McGuinty.

please reassure me that Hudak will not be our next premier
posted by flex at 4:41 PM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Expect big news in that missing syrup story any day now.
posted by klangklangston at 4:42 PM on October 15, 2012 [24 favorites]


It is really, really hard for me to be optimistic about McGuinty stepping down. As far as I'm concerned, right now that's about as good as handing the Tories the next election, and if that happens, Toronto is SCREWED.
posted by chrominance at 4:46 PM on October 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't know whether to be relieved or terrified. But considering how things have been going lately, I'm gonna lean towards terrified.
posted by windykites at 4:49 PM on October 15, 2012


I wonder what the real story is, because the gas plants documents business sure isn't it. There's been far bigger scandals that have come and gone to little effect. My guess is either a) he doesn't like being in a minority situation, or b) there's a much larger bomb waiting out there. Probably both.

I was never a fan of McGuinty, and thought that he was flat-out wrong on too many issues, but I will admit that he was a worthy heir to the bland-Bill-Davis style of governance that Ontario does reasonably well by. I won't miss him, but I am concerned for who comes next.

I'm glad of one thing, though -- it's still too early in Michael Bryant's comeback for him to throw his hat in the ring.

Also -- proroguing the Legislature? Fuck you. But thank you for giving us yet another instance where the Grits and Tories aren't all that distinguishable.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:50 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


which cost Ontario a significant amount of many and was, according to opposition, decided for political reasons due to a set of by-elections, in which the Ontario government failed to achieve a majority government.

This isn't quite right. First of all, it's not an opposition conspiracy; anyone with half a brain knows that McGuinty cancelled those plants to try to hold on to a few seats in the general election. He kept the seats, but was one short of a majority government. The cancellation, in addition to being terrible energy policy that caved into blatant NIMBYism, cost hundreds of millions of dollards in penalties to the companies that were developing the plants - that's taxpayers' money paying so that the Liberal party can hang on to a few seats. It's vote-buying at its most offensive.

Then the opposition, in a majority position after the election, demanded documents related to the cancellation. The Energy Minister took the not-unreasonable position that disclosing the government's confidential files while it was in the midst of arbitration with the companies over cancellation penalties would not serve taxpayers' interests. The opposition just wanted to embarass the government. These are the same opposition parties who also said they would have cancelled those gas plants so...a pox on all their houses.

Ironically, the best thing about McGuinty was the investments he made in infrastructure.

The worst was his inability to control the province's spending (don't want to anger those unions) and his approach to government that said that another law is all we need to solve a problem. The most memorable of these, for me, was McGuinty's response to a high-profile accident in which a bunch of young people got drunk and drove, resulting an an accident that killed three of them. They'd decided to violate some perfectly sensible laws against drinking and driving; so what was McGuinty's response? To try to pass more laws that, if followed, would have stopped the accident, the most ludicrous being a provision that would have banned groups of teenagers travelling together, thus vastly increasing the likelihood that an individual teenager, unable to get a lift from friends, would drive drunk on his own. Chris Selley wrote a great article on it which I can now only find reproduced in a comment by afransen in this thread. And then there was the whole ban-sushi thing. They backed off on both of those, but the nanny-state, legislate-everything instinct was a Dalton specialty.

One thing he didn't back down on, and which results in continuing injustice, is his ridiculous war on reasonable highway speeds, in particular the law that allows cops to seize your car if you're doing 50 over the limit, because you're "street racing." In McGuintyesque fashion, it has nothing to do with racing - you can be on your own, on the 407, on a clear day, with open road ahead of you, and you'll lose your car and your license for seven days if you decide to go 150. Rather than actually prohibit street racing - which is dangerous - it imposes massively draconian penalties on people driving speeds that, while fast, are totally safe in most conditions in most vehicles. But just try repealing these sorts of stupid laws - you're tarred as being unconcerned with the deaths caused on the roads, when, in fact, the biggest risks are being created by the massive disconnect between the law and reason, which leads some idiots to think it's reasonable to drive 115 in the left lane, forcing people who acutally have places to go to pass them on the right. But I'm sure McGuinty feels good knowing that people passing trucks on two-lane roads are having their cars seized by brain-dead, power-drunk cops, because he gets to do a photo-op. Cynical, stupid, authoritarian, all wrapped up in a warming, caring blanket - very McGuinty. So long, Premier Dad. Maybe we'll get someone less paternalistic next time.
posted by Dasein at 4:53 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who do the Liberals have who's plausibly in contention for leadership?
posted by flex at 4:57 PM on October 15, 2012


I'll support whichever Liberal leadership candidate promises to make Ontario's liquor laws into something that's not straight out of the Warsaw Pact.

Enjoy your doubled Ontario Health Premium!
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:01 PM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


it's still too early in Michael Bryant's comeback for him to throw his hat in the ring

I'm sorry, is this an actual possibility for the future? Because if so, I'm not sure I want to live on this planet anymore.
posted by chrominance at 5:02 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


My guess is either a) he doesn't like being in a minority situation, or b) there's a much larger bomb waiting out there. Probably both.

Certainly the minority government is a real problem, and that's probably why he prorogued, if only to give the next Liberal leader a chance at being relevant after the next election.

Without prorogation, I bet you'd have a no-confidence vote pass as soon as the NDP (my opponent's wage-freeze bill goes too far!) and the Tories (my opponent's wage-freeze bill doesn't go too far enough!) can get their campaign machines in gear.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:07 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, is this an actual possibility for the future?

What else could his comeback tour have been about, if not for political rehabilitation? He didn't need to write his book and pimp it if he was only headed into some nice, quiet office on Bay Street, he didn't need it for making amends, otherwise he would have assigned the profits to charity or -- here's an idea -- Darcy's family or a named scholarship.

In the lack of viable alternatives, and given his personality bent as an A-type of the first order, I'm convinced it was only for political rehabilitation. I hope I'm wrong, but I really, really don't think so.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:07 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Enjoy your doubled Ontario Health Premium!

We can endi the LCBO's (and Beer Store's) monopoly and continue to have a sin tax and price floors on liquor.
posted by thecjm at 5:13 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping Bryant is just that much of an egotist that he felt he needed to be absolved in the public eye. But your argument makes sense.
posted by chrominance at 5:13 PM on October 15, 2012


We can endi the LCBO's (and Beer Store's) monopoly and continue to have a sin tax and price floors on liquor.

And you'll get less revenue if you don't use the LCBO's bargaining power to squeeze lower wholesale prices from manufacturers (and the fact that the LCBO hasn't done this is absolutely insane, but ending the monopoly will stop anyone from doing this as effectively).
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:19 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel some sympathy for McGuinty, for trying to steer a moderate course in complex times is a thankless task. But that looming deficit, ouch.

I have electric heat, so I'm still not sure how I feel about that. :P
You live in Canada and you have electric heat? Sorry about that.

you can be on your own, on the 407, on a clear day, with open road ahead of you, and you'll lose your car and your license for seven days if you decide to go 150
It's called the 400-series highways, not the Autobahn, so just don't drive so fast and recklessly endanger lives, come on.
posted by ovvl at 5:19 PM on October 15, 2012 [11 favorites]


Dalton has done one thing that will forever hold my respect. He promised to wean the province off coal power, and ten years later he's effectively done it. Doing so has always meant that we would have to pay more for electricity, and indeed power bills have more than doubled in this province

This. Whatever else you say about McGuinty, his government's Green Energy Act - a near-exact copy of Germany's revolutionary feed-in tariff - is the single most important piece of legislation passed by any North American government at any level thus far in the climate change era. If the act can survive whatever political shitstorm comes next, it'll be remembered generations from now as the most important thing that anyone did during the years McGuinty was premier. I'm grateful to him for that at the very least.
posted by gompa at 5:20 PM on October 15, 2012


it's still too early in Michael Bryant's comeback for him to throw his hat in the ring

I'm sorry, is this an actual possibility for the future? Because if so, I'm not sure I want to live on this planet anymore.


No, it's not a possibility. I mean, Bryant might try to run for something at some point, but he won't succeed.
posted by orange swan at 5:20 PM on October 15, 2012


you can be on your own, on the 407, on a clear day, with open road ahead of you, and you'll lose your car and your license for seven days if you decide to go 150.

...sorry to derail, but get off the fucking road. I'm tired of seeing the political process revolve endlessly around cranky AM radio talking points like speed limits.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:21 PM on October 15, 2012 [29 favorites]


In BC we had an unpopular Liberal premier step down with three years to in his mandate, in order to give his successor time to build up a legacy for the next election. It's not working out too well over here for the Liberals.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:22 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


which leads some idiots to think it's reasonable to drive 115 in the left lane, forcing people who acutally have places to go to pass them on the right

It is reasonable to go 115 in the left lane. The idiots in those situations are the ones passing people going 15 over on the right. If you hit 150, you are going too fast. How well you think you can control your car is irrelevant.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:24 PM on October 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'm really hoping that Tim Hudak's inability to organize a piss-up in a brewery remains true to type for the next little while.

I don't think that Bryant has any chance as a leadership candidate. If he even tries, I will make it a personal mission to follow him around and call him a murderer.

The NDP really has to figure out how to play this. I'm thinking they need to position themselves strongly against the federal government.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:39 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is reasonable to go 115 in the left lane.

Terrified American here. That is kph, right? Or are y'all death racing to work every day?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:43 PM on October 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think that the NDP could pull something off, but only if they run well in the suburbs, and they dont tend to.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:46 PM on October 15, 2012



Terrified American here. That is kph, right? Or are y'all death racing to work every day?


everything's farther away here, so we have to drive faster.
posted by windykites at 5:58 PM on October 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Suggestions now that McGuinty is actually quitting so he can run for the federal Liberal leadership, something he was very careful not to deny during tonight's press conference. If this is indeed the end game, and the provincial Liberals end up falling to the Tories, I think it's going to look very bad for McGuinty. Either he's crazy, or he's been reading some convincing numbers.
posted by chrominance at 6:00 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


[Folks maybe let's wind down some of the Get Off My Highway derail?]
posted by jessamyn at 6:01 PM on October 15, 2012


Terrified American here. That is kph, right? Or are y'all death racing to work every day?

Yes it's KPH. The day after Mike Harris was elected as Premier of Ontario in 1995, he instantly pulled the plug on NDP Bob Rae's (hated by commuters) "Photo-Radar" of automated speeding fines sent by mail from camera systems on freeways. On that day, the GTA traffic flow crumpled into the vaguely sort of death-race-1995-Ontario style of traffic. But yes, there's also a lot more volume since then too.
posted by ovvl at 6:08 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Glen Murray ends up the next Liberal leader. Bryant is still a pariah, even if his Navigator buddies and Steve Paikin are trying to convince everyone that he isn't. Finance Ministers tend to be seen as leadership candidates, but Dwight Duncan is going to be carrying the weight of the current deficit on his shoulders. I don't see Sorbara coming out of retirement.

Murray has really been towing the party line since he came back from Winnipeg, even if the Libs are going against his personal politics. If he can avoid being seen as an outsider I think he's got a good shot.
posted by thecjm at 6:14 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it does turn out that McGuinty is planning to run for the federal leadership, this may be one of the most ill-considered political moves since Æthelred the Unready said "If we pay the Danes off, I'm sure they'll just go away."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:17 PM on October 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Introducing all day early learning is what was best for children; in the long haul good for the education and social systems in Ontario. It's rare that I can point to something so tangible in terms of overall success of a political leader, but I'm handing that success directly to him. Until recently, I'd say he was very strong on education overall.
posted by mwark at 6:29 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bryant is still a pariah, even if his Navigator buddies and Steve Paikin are trying to convince everyone that he isn't.

And the mere idea of Bryant... Oiy.
posted by mwark at 6:30 PM on October 15, 2012


Well, not my ideal PM but I'd much rather see Dalton McGuinty leading the federal Liberals than Justin Trudeau. Justin just doesn't have it.
posted by Flashman at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Pay to the order of Iron Balls McGuinty, one dollar and nine cents!"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2012


Introducing all day early learning is what was best for children

I disagree. Adamantly.
posted by windykites at 6:55 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone in Ontario who thinks that Dalton McGuinty will somehow appeal to more Canadians across the country than Justin Trudeau seriously overestimates how much interest other Canadians have in Ontario politics. Trudeau, in my opinion (I'm a card-carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada btw, poor me), is not an ideal candidate, but at least he has name recognition across the country.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ol' strutting in the window McGuinty. He always shewed you the goods, you just never knew how empty your wallet would be in the morning. Sad to see him go; predictability is a tremendous asset to have in a politician.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2012


I'd take Trudeau if he'd switch to NDP or Green. The lib baggage kills him for me.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


He always shewed you the goods, you just never knew how empty your wallet would be in the morning.

... and you say you're an NDP or Green supporter?
posted by docgonzo at 7:18 PM on October 15, 2012


I suspect McGuinty would continue to turn people off the Liberal party, getting to irritate Canadians from sea to sea to sea. I think Trudeau is doing this a little early, but I guess he figured it's now or never -- either we'd get another Chretien who took over the party for ages, or we'd get another Mulroney who destroyed the party entirely.
posted by jeather at 7:21 PM on October 15, 2012


People in Ontario and Quebec underestimate how much the praries don't trust Ontario or Quebec, or Trudeau--if they are going to pick up seats in Calgary or Winnipeg, Justin or Dalton aren't gonna make it.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:30 PM on October 15, 2012


I would wager that the federal Liberal party has been effectively destroyed. There's no coming back, unfortunately.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:31 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Trudeau, in my opinion [...], is not an ideal candidate, but at least he has name recognition across the country.

Name recognition which is equally polarizing -- as many for as as many against. And aside from name recognition, he has what to offer? Youth? Swagger and hair? If his name were Justin Tremblay, what would be the attraction to his leadership?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh.

It would be interesting to see a McGuinty vs. Trudeau leadership race (though as a Liberal, I'm not a McGuinty fan, and unsure about Trudeau). A lot of Trudeau's advisors have been involved with the McGuinty as well.
posted by Dismantled King at 7:35 PM on October 15, 2012


And aside from name recognition, he has what to offer?

Like I said, Trudeau is not an ideal candidate. On the other hand, I believe he is open to working with the NDP in some way.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2012


Terrified American here. That is kph, right? Or are y'all death racing to work every day?

It is kph, but Germans drive 115 mph regularly, and their highways are perfectly safe. The idea that speed is inherently dangerous is crap - it depends on the road, the car and the driver.

It is reasonable to go 115 in the left lane. The idiots in those situations are the ones passing people going 15 over on the right. If you hit 150, you are going too fast. How well you think you can control your car is irrelevant.

Either you've never driven on the 401 or you don't know how to drive - 115 is slow, and creates nothing but lines of cars stacked too close together in heavy traffic.

In heavy traffic, yes, 150 is too fast; in clear traffic, in a good car, it absolutely isn't. Just becuase we're used to driving like cars haven't advanced since the 1940s doesn't mean it's a reasonable way to drive.
posted by Dasein at 7:41 PM on October 15, 2012


[Folks maybe let's wind down some of the Get Off My Highway derail?]

Respecfully, I think that it's fair game to talk about any aspect of Dalton's legacy. His heavy-handed road legislation (both passed and attempted) was a fairly major aspect of his health and safety schtick. He even passed a law that let police crush cars that had after-market modifications, regardless of how they were driven. The problem was real; the response was out of line. If people would rather talk about coal power, cool, but I think cars are fair game, too.
posted by Dasein at 7:44 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Germans drive 115 mph regularly, and their highways are perfectly safe. The idea that speed is inherently dangerous is crap - it depends on the road, the car and the driver.

German highways, cars, and drivers are much more rigorously tested than in North America. No speed limit is fine (but the majority of Autobahnen have a speed limit), but only if you know that there's not a rust bucket up there that's going to have a mechanical problem and make you swerve suddenly out of the way at 180 km/h.

And of course speed is inherently dangerous. A car going 115 has a third more energy than a car going 100. If it hits something, well...energy is neither created nor destroyed, so where do you think that energy ends up? There's a reason Toronto's medical officer of health has recommended lower speed limits on city streets. It saves lives.

And raising the speed limit when the road's at capacity does absolutely nothing in terms of how many people that road is going to get from point A to point B in a given amount of time.

Either you've never driven on the 401 or you don't know how to drive - 115 is slow, and creates nothing but lines of cars stacked too close together in heavy traffic.

Wrong on all counts. People who whip around constantly, trying to get to any open space they see, are much more dangerous than someone doing 80 on the 401. And someone going 80 on the 401 is barely any danger at all compared to someone going 174 on the Gardiner.

I'm really worried that this whole thing will end up with Hudak as premier, and Toronto will be stuck with a 1974 subway system for another thirty years as a result. At that point the 100 km/h speed limit on the 401 will be merely theoretical.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:59 PM on October 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


I routinely drive at 130 km/h on expressways in rural Japan, but I can't imagine ever driving at those sorts of speeds anywhere in British Columbia. The roads aren't designed for it in Canada, the roads are congested, people don't know how to drive properly on highways, and there are deer and moose.

I guess Ontario must be different than BC though.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:11 PM on October 15, 2012


German highways, cars, and drivers are much more rigorously tested than in North America.

I agree - but that doesn't make 100 a sensible limit; it may mean that 200 is too high here.

People who whip around constantly, trying to get to any open space they see, are much more dangerous than someone doing 80 on the 401.

The person driving 80 is the one causing people to whip around. This is what people don't seem to get - someone going fast in a straight line is not dangerous if the lane is clear or traffic ahead is moving at the same speed. The danger is in speed differentials, caused by poor lane discipline. People hog the left lane because they think they're going fast enough, and haven't been trained to move the hell over, unlike in much of Europe, where people know how to drive.

I'm not saying that all roads are right for no limits - 174 is too fast on the Gardiner - but the limit on the 400 series highways should be 130 in the dry, 110 in the rain, 100 in the snow. The way you know that 100 is a ridiculous limit is that the cops give a 25% tolerance before they'll even think of ticketing you, unless they're trying to meet a quota. Reasonable limits might encourage people who want to drive slowly to get into the slow lane for a change.

And if you're going to seize someone's car, they should be doing something actually dangerous, like street racing.
posted by Dasein at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


On a different note, I think it's worth remarking that McGuinty, like Harper, is using prorogation to keep the legislature from meeting. It's pretty disgraceful - he doesn't want the committee to be able to continue its work on the contempt motion, so he's shutting down the whole thing. Michaelle Jean should have refused Harper, and David Onley should have refused McGuinty. It's a totally improper use of the power of prorogation.
posted by Dasein at 8:19 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Staying on topic, while addressing the issue of higher speeds on highways - isn't it true that higher highway speeds result in increased fuel consumption, and increased greenhouse gas emissions? This would seem to be relevant in regards to all the work Ontario has done over the past decade to move to a greener economy.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2012


Granted I was only in Ontario on what was probably a terrible traffic weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving + Kitchener's Oktoberfest), but I was impressed by how crowded your highways get. Stop and go traffic miles outside Toronto at 2PM on a holiday Monday? Really?
posted by maryr at 8:29 PM on October 15, 2012


It must get tiring to be portrayed as a pork premier while he's done more to cut away from government than anyone in recent memory. His government has been (through necessity) lay off and freeze salaries in a way that will effect the OPS for an incredibly long time. You know things are desperate when they seriously talk about freezing DOCTOR salaries.
posted by Yowser at 8:33 PM on October 15, 2012


It's a totally improper use of the power of prorogation.

Agreed. If there is no state of war, insurrection, or some other fundamentally existential crisis, prorogation should be off the table. Instead, suspending the democratic process has become a matter of course.

As when Harper did it -- twice -- I say 'let the peoples' representatives meet, and let the chips fall where they may'. Suspending the democratic process to preserve any one party's hold on power should be deeply offensive to everyone, regardless of their political affiliations.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:33 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Stop and go traffic miles outside Toronto at 2PM on a holiday Monday? Really?

Ontario: Yours to Discover.
posted by ovvl at 8:48 PM on October 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


The person driving 80 is the one causing people to whip around.

And the whipping around is the actual dangerous activity. A couple of weeks ago I had the lovely experience of checking for an empty spot (lane ends, merge left), starting to merge into it, and being honked at by someone who was probably going a good 50 km/h faster than I was and appeared out of nowhere. Bad drivers like that (as well as other bad drivers) are all too common in the GTA.

Stop and go traffic miles outside Toronto at 2PM on a holiday Monday? Really?

Name a time between 5:00 am and midnight, and I have seen a Toronto traffic jam at that time.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:56 PM on October 15, 2012


> I'm really worried that this whole thing will end up with Hudak as premier, and Toronto will be stuck with a 1974 subway system for another thirty years as a result.

Yep. An awful lot of people in Ontario have either seemingly forgotten the name "Mike Harris" or want to vote Hudak in so he can finish the job.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:00 PM on October 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Saying that someone "made you" dart around in traffic like a narcissistic idiot (we ALL have places to go, but some of us would like to arrive alive) is like the mugger claiming "all those people walking around with money in their wallets are the problem - they MAKE me mug them".

If you dart around in traffic, you are the problem.
posted by jb at 9:21 PM on October 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


> It's a totally improper use of the power of prorogation.

And a proper use of prorogation would be what? Under what circumstances is it good for the province if an individual can simply shut down Parliament single-handedly, with no procedure or justification needed?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:21 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry to continue this derail (maybe it needs to be prorogued?) but a lot of people need to keep in mind: you aren't stuck in traffic; you *are* traffic.

Anyways, I think it's nice that Dalton at least had the good sense to resign before suspending the democratic process. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper had the nerve to think he could stick his head in the sand for a few months and think his problems would go away (he was right, of course, but that's neither here nor there).

Speaking of which, it appears Mister Harper did end up setting a dangerous precedent with his prorogation and it wasn't just a bunch of liberal whining. Along with this hullabaloo in Ontario, everyone's favourite sitting duck out here in BC -- Christy Clark to you -- has decided that BC has no issues pressing enough to require a fall sitting of the legislature. Which conveniently means she gets a few more months of pandering in without having to waste time in question period before seeing her party get destroyed this Spring in the election.

Canadian politics in the new millenium, everyone!
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:43 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I happen to know one to the (presumed) candidates to replace McGuinty quite well. He is a good, kind man who is whip smart, cares deeply about Ontario, and has being doing tough jobs in government for the last decade.

All of which means he'll never win the leadership, and if he does he'll get destroyed in the general election. Christ.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:46 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Along with this hullabaloo in Ontario, everyone's favourite sitting duck out here in BC -- Christy Clark to you -- has decided that BC has no issues pressing enough to require a fall sitting of the legislature.

It's not quite the same as proroguing parliament.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:48 PM on October 15, 2012


The LCBO is actually a provincial treasure. You have no idea how nice those stores are and how well curated the selection is until you experience how other countries sell their booze.

The Beer Store? Not so much.
posted by srboisvert at 10:19 PM on October 15, 2012


I'll take the 3 liquor stores within a 10 minute walk from my house, one of which is open until 2 AM 7 days a week.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:52 PM on October 15, 2012


I liked being able to buy wine at the grocery store in the UK, and wine for about $4 a bottle was nice too.

But I'd still rather have the LCBO - and their knowledgable staff - than have to deal with crappy liquor stores like that had in my neighbourhood in the US. For every boutique place in a nice neighbourhood, there are 3 holes in the wall with surly staff and no selection. The prices weren't any cheaper, either.

The LCBO is great, and has amazing selection. I just wish you could special order stuff to your local store.
posted by jb at 10:56 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who exactly is saying that ending the LCBO's monopoly has to mean closing the doors on every LCBO store? I bet you they would remain popular even if you could go to the corner store for a six-pack or a bottle of wine.
posted by Evstar at 11:45 PM on October 15, 2012


As a US bystander I must say this is educational. I thought a prorogue was a sort of eastern European dumpling.

Why look, down south here, we have our own obscure verbiage to describe the process. Who knew?

Finally, legislators may adjourn "sine die" to end a session of Congress, which requires the consent of both chambers and follows the adoption of a concurrent resolution in both chambers.
posted by newdaddy at 11:48 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying that all roads are right for no limits - 174 is too fast on the Gardiner - but the limit on the 400 series highways should be 130 in the dry, 110 in the rain, 100 in the snow.

Look, this kind of statement is exactly why the U.S. Foreign Office actually has a travel advisory warning against driving on the 401. Don't believe me? Check it out. [scroll down to last-but-one paragraph in the section]
posted by randomination at 5:37 AM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look, this kind of statement is exactly why the U.S. Foreign Office actually has a travel advisory warning against driving on the 401. Don't believe me? Check it out.

Oh no! It's exactly like any other major highway in the Northeast! And look, the Foreign Office also warns that your car can be broken into in an urban area in Canada! *monocle falls out*
posted by Behemoth at 6:51 AM on October 16, 2012


Stop and go traffic miles outside Toronto at 2PM on a holiday Monday? Really?

Stop and go traffic miles outside Toronto at 2 AM on a holiday Monday I SHIT YOU NOT.
posted by kate blank at 7:04 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who exactly is saying that ending the LCBO's monopoly has to mean closing the doors on every LCBO store?

Having the government store exist alongside small, private retail works quite nicely in Quebec. You have the SAQ for proper stuff with excellent selection and good prices, and then some minor plonk available in the depanneurs and supermarkets. You can still get your bottle of wine late on a Saturday night, after the Regie has closed. The SAQ and the private retailers end up serving very different markets.

Ontario's private monopoly on beer is long overdue for a breakup.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:10 AM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who do the Liberals have who's plausibly in contention for leadership?

Speculation abounds about who will take Dalton McGuinty’s throne.
posted by Kabanos at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2012


We can end the LCBO's (and Beer Store's) monopoly and continue to have a sin tax and price floors on liquor.

Unless you're talking about allowing for the sale of beer at gas stations (a la Newfoundland) or wine/beer at grocery stores and dépanneurs (a la Quebec), be careful what you wish for. The privatization of liquor sales here in Alberta has left us with some of the highest prices in the country. Our beer prices, I'm pretty sure, are the highest.

On the other hand, it's certainly given us a wider range of choice on (some) store shelves. We have the best beer store in the entire country here in Edmonton, for example.
posted by asnider at 8:24 AM on October 16, 2012


There's not a lot in the way of leadership material in the current Liberal cabinet, especially if you discount those tainted by recent scandals and boondoggles. Are there any political outsiders waiting in the wings?
posted by rocket88 at 8:25 AM on October 16, 2012


The Star adds Glen Murray's name to that list, and offhand, he seems just the right mix of insider-and-outsider, if that makes any sense. I have no idea what his actual record is, as I suppose most Ontarians don't, which when it comes to the provincial Liberals, is probably a big plus.

Looking at the list of outsiders (roughly speaking) in the National Pest linked above, no disrespect, but there's a lot of losers in that bunch. You can only lose so many elections before you're effectively out for the top job. Of those from within, the candidates listed are problematic at best.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:32 AM on October 16, 2012


I agree with chrominance - a Hudak government means that Toronto is in deep trouble. Picture Doug Ford as the provincial minister in charge of all things Toronto. (For one thing, Transit City will be killed again.)

I can't imagine McGuinty running for the federal Liberal leadership. No provincial premier has ever become Prime Minister - premiers annoy too many people while in office. Maybe his brother is going to run, though...
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:57 AM on October 16, 2012


I can't imagine McGuinty running for the federal Liberal leadership.

Me neither. He can't quit the premiership saying it's time for new blood and new ideas for the provincial party, and then bring his by-definition old ideas to the federal one. But his brother -- I can see that happening, if he can gather enough support/money. Always struck me as the better politician between the two, anyway.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:17 AM on October 16, 2012


No provincial premier has ever become Prime Minister

John Thompson

I wouldn't completely rule McGuinty out of the running yet. It's unlikely but his statements last night were deliberately ambiguous. He has his supporters.
posted by samhyland at 11:48 AM on October 16, 2012


I don't think anyone is doubting that he could make a serious run at, maybe even win, the federal party leadership. It's getting enough Ontario votes afterward to win a general election that's in doubt.
posted by rocket88 at 2:02 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu writes "I routinely drive at 130 km/h on expressways in rural Japan, but I can't imagine ever driving at those sorts of speeds anywhere in British Columbia. The roads aren't designed for it in Canada, the roads are congested, people don't know how to drive properly on highways, and there are deer and moose."

Much of the Coquihalla is
a) designed (merging distances; ramp length; signage size etc.) for 160km/h
b) essentially devoid of traffic late at night/early in the morning
c) fenced such that I don't think despite hundreds of trips over it I've ever seen animals on the road or even any large road kill.

I'll agree with you on a preponderance of incompetent drivers though. Licenses are way to easy to get and especially renew in Canada. I got my licence 25 years ago and when it comes time to renew next year I won't need to be able to pass anything but a fog the mirror test. Luckily when the road is empty I just have to worry about my potential incompetence.

I've made many a trip over that highway in the wee hours of the morning at the sort of speeds that now will get your car impounded.

The 110 speed limit on the Coquihalla is absurd when you consider the kind of rural roads in Alberta that have posted limits of 100 km/h. It can get nasty in the winter but for at least 6 months of the year 110 as a safe and prudent speed is laughable.
posted by Mitheral at 3:12 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


when you consider the kind of rural roads in Alberta that have posted limits of 100 km/h

What roads are these? I've driven all over Alberta and the 100 km/h rural road is typically straight and flat (like most of the province), or it has appropriate grades and curves for the speed. The roads are two wide lanes (wide enough for two transport trucks), and may or may not have shoulders. Narrower, curvier and steeper roads are all < 100 km/h. Gravel roads are all < 100 km/h.

People tend to drive 110 on most of these roads. The reason for that is 100 doesn't feel especially fast or unsafe.

Driving 90 on highway 1 in BC, though. Man. That is frustrating.

But I agree about modern freeways like the Coquihalla. The speed limit should be 130 like in many other countries.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:14 PM on October 16, 2012


The LCBO is actually a provincial treasure. You have no idea how nice those stores are and how well curated the selection is until you experience how other countries sell their booze.

The Beer Store? Not so much.


The LCBO is owned by the provincial government, it's a cash cow, and a golden goose. Sometimes politicians talk about selling it off to the private sector for an instant cash-grab, but that would be stupid. Discussions about making beer&wine available at depanneurs in Ontario has been going on almost as long as I've been alive, (like the discussions about a TTC subway line to York University, which might actually happen in my lifetime).

Wikipedia: "The Beer Store (TBS) is the trading name for Brewers Retail, a privately owned, joint-venture chain of retail outlets in Ontario, Canada, founded in 1927."

If you try to explain this to a tired and emotional person in the line-up at the Brock Parkdale Beer Store outlet, he will be annoyed that you disbelieve that The Beer Store is not actually run by the gubmint.
posted by ovvl at 6:33 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pruitt-Igoe writes "What roads are these? I've driven all over Alberta and the 100 km/h rural road is typically straight and flat (like most of the province), "

Well ... ya. Straight, mostly flat though they can have some rolling humpiness to them that can hide obstacles over a slight hill, two lanes wide without significant shoulder. They also are often significantly above grade; have cross roads coming onto them willy nilly (often obscured by foilage) with no control besides a stop sign on the cross street; and have nothing preventing animals from bounding/mosying across the road.

No argument that a lot of BC highways are kind of scary but we have some decent highways too that can be driven safely much faster than the posted limits when congestion allows. Actually one of the things that the MoT has been doing right lately is reassesing posted limited. Several of the local highways have been bumped from 80 or 90 to 100 in the last few years.
posted by Mitheral at 7:48 PM on October 16, 2012


While I generally hate the fact that the government of BC holds a monopoly on liquor wholesaling, and that it refuses to open most provincial Liquor Stores on Sundays, and that provincial Liquor Stores often close down at strange times (like 6PM on Saturday nights), I will say that the quality of booze offered, notably non-Canadian value wines, is really really good. Of course, the same bottle of Chilean red that I buy for $13 before tax, sells for half that in Japan. And in Japan it's possible to get a discount for buying in volume.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:50 PM on October 16, 2012


I have electric heat, so I'm still not sure how I feel about that. :P

Bad as it may be, your home electricity bills are not the worst of the downside to the particular ways they've mismanaged energy policy. The continued "Erosion of Ontario Industry" is worse. Not only in the north, but in smaller cities all over the province, the jobs have been leaving. Town where I grew up used to have a substantial industrial base. Now I guess the largest employer is Wal-Mart. Perhaps that's part of the reason the province hasn't got things in order financially, despite the real estate bubble they've had going in the biggest city not having collapsed yet (last I heard).

... because you're "street racing."

From the next province over, it does look like Ontario is a bit hostile to people who drive cars. Never mind the stupidly slow speed limits, the emissions testing, speed limiters on trucks, incompetent drivers, ridiculous levels of traffic, the dishonesty (whether or not you otherwise think it's just) of that "street racing" law, and everyone sticking to the middle of three lanes on the 401 leaving the right one empty... I'm not moving back there until they stop requiring front license plates. It'll be a sign of competence, taking the time to correct that seemingly trivial but obviously wrong mistake of some former government.
posted by sfenders at 5:16 PM on October 17, 2012


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