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Quick Hits, Volume XXII -- Some followups, plus the 407
07/01/2005

No time for real postings here, so just some quick hits…

These four are follow-ups to previous posts:

And this one is for an expatriate friend on Wall Street who has had an on-going interest in the 407 story:

The Ontario Superior Court has ruled in favour of the owners, saying that their contract gives them an exclusive right to decide what tolls they are going to charge.

I admit that I voted for the McGuinty Liberals in the last election. In fact, I still maintain that they were the best of choices available that day. Nevertheless, the 407 promise was not one of the reasons I voted for them. If tolls go up on the highway, I don't care -- both because I never use it and also because I think higher tolls can't do anything but restrict sprawl.

However, there is an interesting point here about the McGuinty campaign. They promised something that they weren't legally able to do. It may or may not have been innocent, but either way it still isn't right... particularly when combined with the evidence of other promises that turned out to be impossible.

What the Liberals should have argued to highway 407 users was that the Conservatives did not deserve their vote because they had sold off 407 to balance a budget while giving drivers the impression that tolls were controlled by the contract when, in fact, they were not.

In the same way the Liberals should have argued that they needed to raise taxes in order to improve education and health, because a) there was a large deficit the PCs had not told us about, and b) essential government services were underfunded.

Instead, it seems as if the Liberals wanted to run a positive campaign of promises rather than a campaign critical of the PCs' failures. As I said above, I still think it is best that they were elected, given the 3 choices. What is a sad thought is to consider that perhaps they would have lost if they had played it straight.


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