“There’s no doubt we can improve the program and the way it works” said Dalton McGuinty about Ontario’s Green Energy Program in a year end interview for Focus Ontario.
Responding to a scathing report from the Auditor General that highlights a lack of oversight in the energy sector as the Liberals pour billions into wind and solar projects, McGuinty says “when you move aggressively to plant your flag… you create a few things along the way.” Some of those “things” according to the Auditor include the fact that more than half of the promised 50-thousand green energy jobs are short term construction jobs, and that for every job created 2 to 4 others are lost because of high energy prices. McGuinty brushed aside that last statistic as being subject to some debate.
Asked about his future plans, the man who has been Ontario’s Premier for more than 8 years committed to staying on the job until the current government’s term expires in 2015. He hasn’t made up his mind whether to run again at that point. That of course ignores the very real possibility that the Liberal minority government will fall in before that. “If there’s a snap election I’m going to run in that election” said McGuinty. “A snap election is something we have no control over and we would embrace that opportunity.”
McGuinty refused to say whether the Liberals would consider pressing pause on scheduled corporate tax cuts as has been demanded by the NDP. Facing a $16 billion dollar deficit, the government must rein in spending, and cutting the revenue stream at same time seems counter productive to some. “We prefer a balanced approach” said McGuinty saying the corporate tax environment must remain competitive. When pressed on the point McGuinty said “you want me to reveal elements of the next budget, and I’m not going to go there.”