Former premier Dalton McGuinty returns to the Ontario legislature tonight for the unveiling of his official portrait.
McGuinty has maintained a low public profile since he resigned in Oct. 2012 in the middle of a scandal over his government's decision to cancel two gas plants at a cost of up to $1.1 billion.
He published an autobiography last year in which he blamed "experts" who picked the Mississauga and Oakville sites for the gas plants that his government cancelled just days before election day in 2011.
Yes, the "experts" told him what to do. The expert liars who staffed the Premier's office for ten lamentable years. The expert pollster who told the Dalt that at least two ridings were at stake. The McGuinty Years were a time of great expertise, unfortunately none of it was ever displayed in the hum-drum business of actually governing the largest province in Canada. The Liberals have been the party of smug pragmatism since Laurier died. Yet in the century since there has never a Liberal government so remarkably corrupt and cynical as that of Dalton McGuinty.
It is understood that politics has never been a game for angels or saints. Man is a fallen creature and political man has fallen far further than most. Yet in the great scandals of Canadian history there was usually some public policy objective at stake. At the heart of the Pacific Scandal was John A trying to get a transcontinental railway built. The end result of Beauharnois Scandal was a hydro-electric dam that is still in use today. Adscam began as a lame attempt to promote Canadian unity in Quebec. Beneath these scandals was some legitimate public policy objective. One may look in vain through the annals of the McGuinty years and find not a single act redeemed by so simple and honourable a motive.
Say what you will about the Boy King Justin and his Court of Merry Statists, they do actually believe in things. Foolish things mostly, but they are quite sincere in their foolishness. Their petty corruption, media manipulation and campaign of general sleaze is a means to an end. For the Dalton McGuinty Liberals the means are the ends. The point of corruption is to be corrupt. The point of power is to have power. At the heart of the Ontario Liberal Party there is no there there. Just a void sucking in the tax dollars of the productive class.
It isn't just McGuinty's portrait that needs to be hanged.