The Libs? new campaign website, launched last week, is trying to make the preem look more personable. But is all his hand-jiving on the environment empty gestures? We review the record of broken promises.
On the Oak Ridges Moraine
What was promised To stop construction of 6,600 homes on the ecologically sensitive moraine.
What was delivered The halting of construction of 1,000 new homes.
The spin McGuinty says construction of the homes "was well underway" when the Libs came to power, and that the greenbelt law since passed "will ensure no more homes are built on the moraine."
The reality The Grits just don't have the nerve to stand up to developers. Even worse, they've also allowed construction of the Big Pipe to go forward, draining aquifers that feed the moraine (that's our drinking water, folks) and setting the stage for more sprawl. The pipe's slated to go through Bob Hunter Park.
On the auto industry
What was promised A strategic investment fund.
What was delivered A $500 million aid package.
The spin The cash injection helped land $7 billion in new investment "to create or protect" 7,000 industry jobs.
The reality Ontario continues to subsidize an industry that refuses to boost cars' fuel efficiency and voluntarily cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Here the only thing the Grits are willing to commit to is a 10 per cent reduction in carbon content in transportation fuels by 2020. That's weak.
On greenspace protection
What was promised Protection of the million-hectare greenbelt.
What was delivered More than promised. McGuinty boasts that the government actually saved 1.8 million hectares.
The spin "Families will always have greenspace to enjoy... and farmers a place where they can grow healthy food... forever."
The reality The Grits are building highways and allowing quarries to expand in the greenbelt. And contrary to popular belief, the greenbelt's boundaries are not permanent; they can be moved by ministerial order as long as the total land area of the protected lands remains the same. Talk about an opening for a developer to drive a truck through.
On clean electricity
What was promised To expand electric generating capacity at Niagara Falls.
What was delivered Work started last year on a tunnel.
The spin When work is done, the falls will generate enough power to serve an additional 400,000 people.
The reality The Libs are stuck in the old way of doing things. The truckloads of dough being spent on nukes and all the toxic waste that entails surpass by billions what the government is spending on clean electricity. And what is "clean electricity" buying Toronto? A gas-power plant and third nuke-powered transmission line in the east end.
On coal-burning plants
What was promised To close all coal-fired generating plants by 2007.
What was delivered Lakeview was shut down in 2005, and the plan is to close Nanticoke by 2014.
The spin McGuinty says he would like to "wave a magic wand and have all the coal-fired plants closed," but it takes time to bring conservation programs and new sources of energy online.
The reality McGuinty has caved to big biz hungry for cheap sources of energy. He can "wave a magic wand" if he wants and close the remaining plants earlier, in 2010, by promoting energy conservation. Coal will supply less than 1 per cent of our domestic energy needs by 2010.