Former Liberal leader joins with Conservatives to demand that someone else do the job we signed up for. Classy.
Coles Notes for those who're watching at home:
-- Toronto has been given a wide variety of new taxing powers, but is unwilling to use them to settle all of its accounts, preferring instead to demand the Province hand over money.
-- Ontario has even larger taxing powers, is actually running a surplus, and is constitutionally required to look after cities, but Dalton McGuinty is demanding that the federal government hand over money.*
-- Canada has larger taxing powers still, larger surpluses, and is the sole level of Canadian government with the power to raise an army, and is one of the few NATO members who actually think fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan is a good idea. So of course, we're demanding that other NATO allies do a job they don't want, but we do.
Given that the Mayor of Toronto just recently let his NDP membership lapse, I guess we can call buck-passing an tri-partisan consensus among Canadian leaders. It's just too bad about all the people caught in the middle, I guess.
*Of course, Dalton McGuinty isn't actually "asking" for money in the sense that he expects to get any. He's putting on a kabuki show to make it look like he tried, so that he can go back to Toronto and say, "see, not my fault!" Meanwhile, the number of things the Liberals could do tomorrow if they were actually inclined to help cities in Ontario literally defies enumeration, but here's a short list:
--reverse, in part or in whole, the downloading of services from the Province to the cities.
--raise the PST, and guarantee cities a permanent share of the revenues.
--give other cities in Ontario the expanded tax-raising powers that Toronto has now.