Premier Dalton McGuinty is making no apologies for visiting the Taj Mahal.
"I consider it my responsibility to better understand India so that I can better connect with the Indian community," McGuinty said in an interview yesterday, the day after his visit to the 17th century, marble-clad mausoleum about 200 kilometres south of here.
"At the same time, when I visit a place like the Taj Mahal, I better understand that large segment of Ontarians who are from India and who attach great reverence to it."
McGuinty was responding to criticism from the opposition parties at Queen's Park about his mission to India, which began with trips to the Taj Mahal and, on the previous day, to the Mahatma Gandhi memorial and to a Hindu shrine.
Conservative finance critic Tim Hudak issued a press release on Friday in which he called the mission "a taxpayer-funded boondoggle" and said "Dalton McGuinty is sightseeing in India but is blind to what is taking place in Ontario's economy."
Noting that the Ontario economy actually shrank in the third quarter of 2006, Hudak added: "This McGuinty government is (missing in action) and completely abdicating its responsibility . ... Are they looking for inspiration from the beautiful sites overseas to help develop a plan to reverse the manufacturing job losses here at home?" Source...