Ottawa Sun Online: Editorial - Grits slow to deliver
Ottawa Sun Online: Editorial - Grits slow to deliver

Wednesday August 16 2006

Editorial - Grits slow to deliver

It was the type of announcement that sounded oh-so-good if you stopped reading after the opening paragraphs. Property tax cuts -- as much as $700 per household -- coming to communities across Ontario, including right here in Ottawa and environs.

Tough to knock that idea, we'd say. Especially when we have been hounding our mayor and city council for years to give us a break on the money they charge us to pay for police and fire services, garbage removal, snow plowing and a host of other programs we take for granted in a large, modern city.

But then we got to the government equivalent of the fine print and we started to have misgivings. The tax cuts being offered up by Premier Dalton McGuinty during a conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario won't kick in until 2008 -- or well after the next provincial election, following an 18-month review of Queen's Park's relationship with municipalities.

Haven't we seen this tactic somewhere before? Oh yes, when the federal Liberals were in power. They were masters of the elect-us-one-more-time-and-all-will-be-good brand of politics.

Remember those Paul Martin budgets, promising billions of dollars for everything from health care to the military, but with the bulk of the spending set out in years four and five of the agenda? We didn't much care for it when Martin backend loaded his promises, and we're not fussy about the province doing so either.

McGuinty told delegates to the AMO conference the timing had nothing to do with the looming election. It will take a couple of years, he said, to sort out all the questions of infrastructure payments, user fees and so on.

Conservatives were unconvinced, with Nepean-Carleton Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod referring to the announcement as "an empty promise ... We are going to maybe get results after the next election."

Seems to us that if they have already sorted out the size of the tax cuts, someone must have already been doing the deciphering. Now let's get on with the implementation.

And another thing ...

Like the family of Andrew Moffitt, we're wondering where's the justice in a system that set Henry Danninger free after serving five years in prison for manslaughter in the stabbing death of Moffitt in 1998. The National Parole Board had no choice. Danninger had reached his statutory release date after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

The sentence for the Moffitt family, meanwhile, has no end.

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