Monday, August 21, 2006

Back in Town

So I have returned (recovered, surely - ed.) from my trip to our Nation's capital after having spent a few days of fun at the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

The big highlight: Dalton McGuinty appoints a Who Does What and Who is going to Pay for It review of municipal/provincial services.

The big lowlight: The review will take 18 months and be ready just after the next provincial election. Implementation will be about the time we municipal guys are up for reelection, so we can take the hit if it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

If the Liberals really wanted to do this, they should just dust off David Crombies report (the one he did for Mike Harris) and implement the parts that Harris wouldn't (i.e. upload social service program spending while letting municipalities pay for the cost of operating it).

My personal highlight was walking out of Parliment Hill after a reception with Ontario PC MP's hosted by Jim Flaherty, Tony Clement et al... and holding the door open for the guy coming out behind us. Turns out to be Jim Flaherty. No bodyguard. No staff. Just a guy heading out after a long day at work. He walked down the Hill with us discussing a couple of things and then said good night and walked one way while we went off in search of more beer. I had a chance to thank him for my $200 and let him know that while it wasn't spent on beer, we certainly had purchased a large supply of microwave popcorn. He was sympathetic to my need for a new driver and said he would issue a regulation that would force golf widows to accept new drivers with minimial complaining. (I am waiting with baited breath).

Now, I just can't imagine Paul Martin, when he was finance minister being that open and available. I stand to be corrected, but I don't really care.

More stuff to come (my meeting with John Tory, the Minister (prov) of Agriculture and our little get together with the MNR.

Q out

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