Saturday, September 29, 2007

Some Highlights from Focus Ontario with John Tory

I heard John Tory was on Focus Ontario tonight, so like a good student, I procrastinated and decided to focus on the TV rather than my thesis proposal.

It was a short interview, 20 minutes at best. Tory looked a little nervous, as if he had pre-determined what he was going to say and was just anxious to get it all out. From the get-go, he got on the defensive and was focusing his responses on McGuinty. So much so that the host, Sean Mallen, had to re-direct him at one point to get at the issue at hand – Tory’s own position and plan, instead of Tory spilling out all the negative McGuinty rhetoric that he’s memorized to say.

Tory said he wants the public’s involvement in how the public funding of religious schools will take place. Mallen pointed out that the public doesn’t want anything to do with this issue as polls have shown. Furthermore, Mallen pointed out that the standard Ontario curriculum doesn’t address seating arrangements, so in theory, males could be seated in one side of the class together and females on the other in private-religious schools if Tory’s plan is adopted. Tory believes there’s a better chance, a chance, that a more inclusive arrangement would occur if such schools are in a publicly funded system than outside of it. It’s a nice thought Mr. Tory, but you haven’t really spelled out how these schools would be checked up upon.

Tory also believes that he has much more experience than McGuinty when it comes to cutting inefficiencies. He’s half right, the PC party does have a very good record when it comes to cutting things. I just don’t think he realizes how much cutting would have to be done to find $1.5 Billion. Mallen wanted a direct answer to whether or not there would be any cuts to programs, which Tory answered by saying that “reallocations of people” may occur in government/civil service jobs. So yes I’m sure there would be cuts.

Mallen stated that as a former Toronto mayoral candidate, Tory could have created a better plan for Toronto. Tory said he’s got a plan, but obviously not good enough one for Mallen.

In regards to the environment, Tory said that promising to close coal plants was an irresponsible promise from McGuinty. But I personally believe that scrubbers are also irresponsible and are not the answer. Scrubbers will only keep coal plants operating in Ontario longer as the government waits decades for the scrubbers to pay for themselves before scrapping them. Tory also stated that as a province, we’re going to run out of power, but did not state how he would deliver more power. Instead he stated that McGuinty would have us using “dirty American power” and be at the mercy of another state to obtain it. We’ll what’s your plan Mr. Tory?

Tory stated that McGuinty has shown the crown attorneys a lack of direction when it comes to court releases. That’s not true, as Michael Bryant has instructed crown attorneys to oppose bail for gun crimes, while Tory still wants these people out on bail but just with ankle bracelets. It’s also interesting that he takes every opportunity to bring out the issue of safe communities, but doesn’t want to get tough on a gun ban.

Tory finished by stating that he will be back on Mallen’s show in four years, and that he will win his riding and the election. But he also stated he’ll be back to “defend” his tenure and platform. I am increasingly sure that won’t have to happen, but if so, he’d definitely right that he’d have some “defending” and explaining to do!

Recommend this Post