KINGSTON - Premier Dalton McGuinty says he has no
choice but to climb down from key election promises, given the
state of the province's books.
McGuinty said yesterday the $5.6 billion deficit his Liberal
government inherited from the Conservatives will have to be a
factor in every decision in the months ahead and may cloud other
promises that appeared crystal clear when they were made just
"More than anything else, my responsibility now is to act
responsibly," McGuinty said when asked about a promise to
shut down private, for-profit MRI and CT scan diagnostic clinics
opened by the Conservatives amid controversy.
McGuinty said Ontarians want him to act in their best interest,
even if it means not fulfilling the more than 200 campaign
commitments the Liberals made.
He said that is the rationale behind the setting aside of two
promises already, namely the cap on hydro rates and the
commitment to stop development on the environmentally sensitive
lands north of Toronto.
"That's why we can't allow hydro rates to remain
capped, that's why we can't pretend that we don't
have a $5.6 billion deficit.
"That's why I can't pretend that there will be no
legal cost whatsoever connected with removal of 6,600 homes from
the Oak Ridges Moraine, we're going to act
The McGuinty government signalled this week it was looking to
cut a deal with developers to halt construction of some of the
6,600 homes on the moraine, rather than fulfilling its
much-touted promise to stop the project entirely. Source.