Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hurricane Hazel vs. Jim Flaherty

"We are doing the right thing. We shouldn't have to, but we have no choice," McCallion said after the 9-2 vote.

This is about par for the course for Hazel. Mississauga and McCallion herself have long prided themselves on prudent fiscal management, and remaining debt free. While the blame for rising infrastructure costs can be spread around to many sources, from the Peel Regional government and the unfair burden it places on Mississauga, to the Mississauga government of the past which has displayed pro-growth policies at the sake of infrastructure development in the past, in the here and now, Hazel criticisms of the federal government should definitely be noted.

"The federal and provincial government better not come here and tell me we are not managed efficiently. They wouldn't dare tell us that. I tell you, we could teach them a lot of things as to how better they should be managed," she said.

"They're doing everything to put money in people's pockets to win the next election, using the taxpayers' money to win a majority," McCallion said. "I take real exception to that, I tell you. We are fighting. I'm in a fighting mood. ... We are going to get a real campaign going across this country."

When asked if she'll have problems selling the idea, McCallion said: "The citizens of Mississauga are disappointed that the federal government has disowned the cities of Canada, absolutely. It's a complete neglect of the cities of this great country."

She said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's mini-budget, which ignored urban needs in favour of cuts in the GST and income tax, left Mississauga with no choice but to impose a levy that could be collected annually for the next 20 years.

"It's a sham," McCallion said, slamming the tax cuts as a cynical attempt to gain re-election.
"Is the federal government going to wait for more bridges to fall down?" she said, citing the results of neglect in the recent collapses of bridges in Quebec and Minnesota.

And then David Miller's comments:
"I don't think they can dismiss each city systematically," Miller said. "Mississauga has benefited from extraordinary growth, and even they are facing challenges that are unaffordable in their city without massive property tax hikes.
"So Minister Flaherty may try to marginalize Hazel McCallion. Good luck."

Hazel, who is extraordinarily popular in Mississauga, is arguably the most credible political figure in the country when it comes to urban areas. Jim Flaherty, hailing from the opposite end of the GTA, ignores her at his peril. Given that Mississauga is an area the Conservatives hope to make real gains in, (Khan doesn't count) particularly Mississauga South, which is bound to be a top Conservative target in the next election, as it was the seat they came the closest to winning in the GTA proper, Hazel's criticisms will certainly put a dent in any plans to paint Misser blue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did Carolyn vote for the tax raise?