Things that shouldn’t have happened in Burlington last week.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 23, 2012  The Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital shouldn’t  have asked the Mayor of Burlington  to take part in the visit the Minister of Health and Long Term Care Deb Matthews made to the hospital..  The Minister was playing crass politics hoping to shift any blame that might arise out of a failure to get their budget passed this Tuesday.

The provincial Liberals should not have targeted Burlington MPP Jane McKenna with the Robo Calls – served no purpose other than to confuse an issue.  McKenna hasn’t been able to get her two cents worth in on the hospital issue which happens to be in her riding.  While not a member of the government – she is the local MPP. The RoboCalls calls were a neat political shot that began when the Premier came to the city and ended when the Minister of Health descends upon the hospital to suggest that if the government falls the people of Burlington only have Jane McKenna to blame.  None of this should have happened last week in Burlington.

The government is a minority one and they have to work things out with their partners.  That the Progressive Conservatives have just walked away from the budget without hardly reading the thing reflects very badly on them – but there isn’t much that is going to change the minds of either Tim Hudak or Jane McKenna.

It was the day the Minister failed to show up with the cheque - but provincial minister Ted McMeekin sweet talked the crowd into believing it would eventually arrive. He's sweet talking the Mayor of Burlington these days. The old fox is still at it.

The Mayor of Burlington should have explained to the hospital people who invited him that he had just come back from an appointment with his dentist where he had some root canal work and wasn’t going to be available.  Your worship – you shouldn’t have let them sucker you into that one.  Ted McMeekin , the Minister of Agriculture and  MPP Ancaster – Dundas – Flamborough – Westdale played you on this one – not good for your reputation.  They need you more than you need them.

Jane McKenna should have walked right into the meeting with the Minister and the hospital big wigs and confronted Deb Matthews and then publicly given out the Ministers home phone number and asked the 1,000 people that called McKenna’s  office to call the Minister at her home and tell her to negotiate with the NDP.  Show her that you can be just as silly and as stupid as she was.  McKenna then might begin to negotiate with the government as well.  The Progressive Conservative position on this budget is very weak and very juvenile.  Rise to a higher standard Ms McKenna.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward shouldn’t have attempted  to reduce the funds needed to support the Burlington team that is going to negotiate with the hospital on the Contribution Agreement.

Meed Ward should either resign from the hospital board or at least recuse herself until the way in which city funds are going to flow to the hospital has been fully worked out and agreed upon by both sides.  Or she should give up her Council seat and represent just the interests of the hospital.

Not quite sure how a municipal politician who speaks loudly and eloquently about transparency feels she can sit on two boards that are into some serious negations and working on a project that is bigger than anything this city has worked on in the past.

Mead Ward then went on to let everyone who didn’t read what happened at city council in local newspapers or on Our Burlington, published her views on her Facebook page:

Is she talking out of the hospital side of her mouth or the city side of her mouth?

Disappointed budget committee voted today to spend $50,000 on PR consultant to develop a communications plan on the hospital, and a few meetings with a legal consultant to draft our long awaited contribution agreement. Support the latter in principle, but it costs a fraction of $50k. Don’t support the need for PR program. Curiously, city’s press release on this decision leaves out the $50k price tag. Will post once it’s online.

The news release is now posted, and the costing has now been added at my request.

Support the need for legal expertise with background in working with Infrastructure Ontario to draft our contribution agreement with the hospital, worth no more than $15k (and that’s generous!), but we don’t need to spend extra dollars for the public relations/strategic communications firm which will bring the total tab up to $50k for the taxpayers.

Bad enough to make a serious tactical mistake but to show that you really don’t understand the issues just adds to the track record.  Shouldn’t have happened in Burlington last week.

All three political parties will meet in the Legislature on Tuesday.  The government will make the changes in the budget that the New Democrats will demand – the Liberals are after all a minority government and they have to share the power they have with the other political parties.  The Progressive Conservatives have to accept the responsibility to accept their share of this minority government.

The budget will pass and the Liberals minority government will move on to running the province.

We are into a new week – let`s see if we can play nice this time and make better things happen for Burlington.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.