Prime Minister Stephen Harper has signalled a ceasefire in his battle against Premier Dalton McGuinty with a $709 million olive branch.
In a bid to ease tensions between Canada's two largest governments, Harper yesterday freed up funding so Ontario can boost public transit, hire more police and help workers in industries hit by the high dollar.
While not new money – the province had long been promised it – the gesture suggests the Prime Minister is reining in federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty from further aggressive attacks on Ontario fiscal policy.
"We've both got to make an effort," McGuinty said on CityNews CP24.
"I believe firmly the Prime Minister wants to build a stronger Canada. He's acting with the best of intentions and I think our shared responsibility is to find some common ground," the premier said.
In a statement, Harper echoed that new feel-good tone, which contrasted with Flaherty's claims that McGuinty is overtaxing Ontario into an economic slowdown.
"I want to congratulate Premier McGuinty and his government for developing programs that will use these federal funds to strengthen the Ontario economy, improve public safety, and expand the public transit system," Harper said.