So the first candidate for the PC nomination for Mississauga South, my home riding has declared, lawyer and former staffer Geoff Janoscik. After the debacle that was the PC nomination last time around, odds are the PC's are looking to have a more orderly procession this time around, and Janoscik, with his close ties to Hudak (he worked as a staffer while he was a Minister) has a very solid chance to pick up the nomination.
So let's take a look at what Janoscik could bring in terms of policy. He is a former staffer for, and has been endorsed by Rob Sampson, a former MPP and cabinet minister who was the point man for privatization of government services under Mike Harris, as well as minister of Correctional Services.
Perhaps Sampson's biggest "accomplishment" was the privatization of Highway 407. It's worth noting that the deal Sampson and Harris struck to privatize the road is generally held up as a textbook example (quite literally, we studied it in my 3rd year political science class) of what NOT to do in terms of public-private partnerships. Thanks so Janoscik, Sampson, and Harris, the 407 is operated privately under a 99-year lease agreement with the provincial government. The lease was sold to a largely foreign ownership group, dubbed the 407 International Inc. for approximately $$4.1 billion in 1999, far below the value of the road, which has been estimated at closer to $10 billion.
The cost given up, and the rapid gouging which happened at the road was a slap in the face to residents of the GTA West, and demonstrated a clear sign that the Common Sense Revolution had lost the sense, taking the citizens of Mississauga and other suburban areas for granted. Indeed, even former PC leader John Tory has been critical of the actions taken by the PC government of the day, and said that had he been Premier at time, he would not have leased the road.
The nomination of Janoscik would be a very clear sign that Tim Hudak fully intends on unleashing outdated and impractical slash and burn ideology on Mississauga South and across the province. The "10 for 2010" website rolled out by the PC's recently further demonstrates the backwardness of the Hudak PC vision of Ontario, amounting to little more than the tired, 15 years out of date Mike Harris trinity of slashing cuts to vital services, provoking discord with public servants, and attacking public goods which our province holds dear. In 2003, Mississauga South and Ontario turned away from these ideas, in 2007 we re-affirmed our commitment to moving forward together, and in 2011, we will show that we reward the politics of new ideas presented by the McGuinty Liberals, not the re-hashed politics of division the Geoff Janoscik and Tim Hudak want to bring.