Yesterday, the Ontario government announced a shockingly large infrastructure plan for the next two years.
Between now at 2011, the McGuinty Liberals will be spending $27.5-BILLION on roads, transit, hospitals and schools over the next two years. In contrast, the Harper budget - for all its profligacy - only devotes $5-billion to Ontario infrastructure over the same time period.
This $27.5-billion plan follows an incredible $18-billion over the past two years.
Let me put this into context. In their last full year in office, 2002-03 the Harris-Eves Progressive Conservatives spent about $1.8-billion on capital. Ontario is now budgeting almost TEN times as much in the critical investments that make our province run.
Ten times more.
Here is another one.
Dalton McGuinty is investing more just on building schools than Ernie Eves or Mike Harris ever spent on infrastructure, period - schools, roads, bridges, dams, hospitals, transit, water, courthouses, prisons, hockey rinks, museums, border crossings, everything.
From an historical perspective, this is in the same league as Egerton Ryerson beginning the public school system or Leslie Frost building the 400-series highways or Bill Davis launching the community colleges.
This is news. This is big, big news.
Love it or hate it, this is a decision that will shape the next five to ten years of life in Ontario: political, economic, commuting, health, learning, everything.
And the Toronto Star decided to devote a two-inch breakout box on its cover to the news. The braying of George Galloway got in the way.
The Globe and Mail put it on A8. A loving photo montage of Barack Obama was clearly more important.
The National Post at least had a photo above the one-paragraph story on page A6. The Suncor-PetroCan deal dominates above the fold and below the fold it's the impact of George Clooney on medical school students.
Who gets the cover right today? The Toronto Sun.
Tabloids. They always sniff out the real story.