Remember the old joke when a friend is about to board a bus or train and you shout to them: ‘Write if you find work!’ That would have been a good line to use the first time our new Member of the Ontario Legislature took the GO Train to Toronto to report in at Queen’s Park. As an opposition MPP, he had limited prospects for doing anything worthwhile under the uninspired leadership of Conservative Leader Tiny Tim Hudak.
But to our surprise, eight months later, we can report that MPP Jackson has found work. He is undertaking an ‘accountability series’ to protect us from Liberal excesses on spending for the Pan Am Games scheduled for Ontario in 2015. While the opportunity with the games will be nowhere near the scale of chicanery that federal MP and Treasury Board chief Tony Clement was able to commit in his riding a couple years ago during the G8 Conference, our Mr. Jackson promises to be quite vigilant on our behalf.
While just three years from the Pan Am Games, Mr. Jackson finds it quite suspicious that the Provincial Liberal government claims that the games infrastructure projects are mostly on-time and on-budget. He notes that the true costs could be almost twice as much if you add in the infrastructure that was being built outside the games budget. The athlete’s village, for example, that is designed as a modern condominium, will be put to good use after the games and is not being charged to the games when it will only have a brief stint housing the athletes. The Air Rail Link is being built by Metrolinx in time for the games but is not chargeable to the games. Mr. Jackson does not know who is paying for this but we expect Metrolinx can tell him.
Jackson has found out that some of the people involved in the games organization are Liberals and he considers this as an obvious connection for him to investigate. This does not apply, of course, to the members of the TO2015 Games team appointed to it by the federal government.
We understand that MPP Jackson will be providing weekly updates on this ‘accountability series.’ With a budget of about $1.4 billion and related projects for about as much again, he will have his work cut out for him. And considering that he has nothing in his biography to support any expertise in this field, we can only hope that Tiny Tim Hudak is giving him the full support of the Conservative Party research staff.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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