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Follow Me on TwitterPhillip Blancher is a writer, web geek and communications professional by trade. He has written for a number of publications in Eastern Ontario and Northern New York State and also was a weekly morning show contributor for two area radio stations. As a resident of South Dundas for the last seven years, this long-time political buff has taken on an appreciation of small-town/rural life while also being a father of four and a soccer coach. Blancher's columns on will cover a range of his interests from politics, parenthood, local history and on his favourite NHL team, the Buffalo Sabres. If you have questions or wish to contact Phillip, you can email him at
Andrea Horwath names the Price of the Bride
Phillip Blancher

Andrea Horwath names the Price of the Bride
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath named the "Price of the Bride" this past week for NDP support of Dalton McGuinty's budget. In exchange for the NDP's support, McGuinty must raise taxes on those who make more than $500,000 and then cut the provincial portion of the HST on home heating bills.

South Dundas - April 10, 2012 - Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath named the "Price of the Bride" this past week for NDP support of Dalton McGuinty's budget. In exchange for the NDP's support, McGuinty must raise taxes on those who make more than $500,000 and then cut the provincial portion of the HST on home heating bills.

Further "suggestions" from the NDP include increasing payments to those on the Ontario Disability Support Program, capping salaries of the heads of crown corporations and hospitals, and creating 4000 daycare spaces.

The NDP are not for fiscal responsibility, they are for spending more and they wont support Premier McGuinty's budget unless he spends more. While I don't agree with tax-hikes for anyone, if you were to raise taxes on the "rich", creating $570-million extra per year in revenue, why would you not use it to balance the books? You don't because the NDP don't care about balancing anything only social engineering society.

Lets look at this points a little deeper. Increasing ODSP payments, really I can't argue that because those on disability really do live at the poverty level and those, who legitimately deserve that kind of program, do not deserve to have the bare-minimum. Capping the salaries of the heads of crown corporations and hospitals, on the surface I could agree. The argument can be made though that if the running of a provincial government job requires a certain skill set, and the compensation is not in line with similar private sector positions, you are not going to recruit the best and the brightest for the job.

Cutting the provincial portion of the HST on heating bills sounds great, except there are many that heat with electricity and that would not be covered. So it would be a tax break that isn't equally applied, typical policy for the NDP. Horwath's predecessor Bob Rae was notorious for that stunt. As for creating 4,000 daycare spaces, I am completely against that one. My wife and I have four kids and pay for looking after our own kids ourselves, others should to. I shouldn't have to pay to look after someone else's kids. If you can't afford to provide care for your own kids, you shouldn't be having them.

Will McGuinty cave in to the NDP's demands? Nope. Not one bit. He might raise taxes on the rich, because McGuinty has never met a tax or a fee he didn't like. As for the rest of the ideas, not a chance. And what will Horwath do about it? The NDP will vote against the provincial budget, as will the Progressive Conservatives, and the budget will pass. Mysteriously three or four members of the NDP caucus will catch the 24-hour flu and miss the budget vote. Without the numbers to defeat the Liberals, no election, budget passes and we all lose.

How do I know this? McGuinty is a leader with nothing to lose. Despite his inability to tell the truth and his love affair with taxes and social engineering, he still is the highest rated leader in Ontario politics. Prime Minister Harper and the federal Conservatives ran this style of government for five years with the same tactic. Can the Ontario PC and NDP afford to risk another election so soon?

Mulcair's first stumble?

The Thomas Mulcair Party released their first ad campaign last week, in french. The English versions are coming out this week. This clearly shows the priority of the federal NDP, Quebec first, the Rest of Canada second. By electing Mulcair leader, the members of the NDP have ensured the slow, slide into irrelevance outside of Quebec. This is great news for a rebuilding Liberal Party.

From 'Thrilla on the Hilla' to Leadership?

Justin Trudeau's victory in the ring against Senator Patrick Brazeau has put the Liberal MP in the spotlight again as a possible leadership contender of the Federal Liberal party. It may be something to consider for the Liberals to support him as he is showing he is his own man. This apple has fallen far from his father when it comes to his stances on federalism, the environment and such. The Liberals would do well to support Trudeau in the future. He's young, idealistic, charismatic and can throw a good punch or two too.

Stick a fork in 'em

I can't blame Leslie O'Shaughnessy for wanting to leave the council table in Cornwall. With the issues that have faced the council table in the last year, its enough to make anyone's blood boil. That being said, seeing someone give up in the middle of a term is disappointing. When someone runs for office, they are making a commitment to serve the people for the term they are elected for. There was a wise man that once told me that when it comes to a situation you are uncomfortable with, there are only three courses of action you can take. You can resolve yourself to live with the situation; You can resolve to change the situation; Or you can leave. I only wish with his business sense and practicality that Councilor O'Shaughnessy would have worked within council to change what is going on.

More on Cross-Border Shopping

I have never gotten so much email as I did this past week after my comments on cross-border shopping. Some of the comments were negative, saying I am not doing my patriotic duty by paying more for goods. Others did not think I understood the full implications of cross-border shopping and how it is harming local business. One person did write telling me where to get a good deal on cheese in New York State, which was a place I already knew. The comments I wrote I stand by, and I'll add to them. Look where a number of local business owners vacation, they could go local with a stay-cation, or they could travel from sea to sea to sea across Canada. Instead they go to Florida, or Cuba, or Jamaica. Why, because its cheaper (and warmer). Still those locals who cross-border shop do so because you can buy a pound of chesse at the Aldi in Massena for $3.78, where the same pound of cheese in Cornwall is $8.79. Why is the price so different, milk marketing boards, quotas and other protectionist policies that inflate the price. Until those things are rectified, cross-border shopping is here to stay.

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