MACKIE Globe and Mail, Mar 15, 03
Progressive Conservative MPPs should revolt against their own government
and block its plans to deliver a made-for-TV budget outside the legislature,
the Speaker of the Legislature says.
a Tory MPP for 13 years, said unelected advisers to Premier Ernie Eves
are running the province and it is up to MPPs to stop them.
is not the right thing to do," Mr. Carr said of Mr. Eves's unprecedented
plan to use a television studio instead of the legislature to present
a budget on March 27.
I hope happens is we get some more members who are prepared to stand
up and do what they believe is right," he said in an interview.
If six of the 56 Tory MPPs voted against the government along with the
46 opposition MPPs, they would defeat Mr. Eves's government.
can happen, and what I believe should happen, is the Conservative members,
if they decide that five or six of them want to stand up and [say] this
budget isn't the proper thing to do, they could get the Premier to back
down by saying they are not going to support the [budget] bill."
who was elected Speaker four years ago by his fellow MPPs, blamed outside
political advisers for Mr. Eves's decision to delay the return of the
legislature from March 17 to April 30 and to deliver the budget in a
happened [was that] Leslie Noble, Paul Rhodes and Jaime Watt made the
decision. They come in 15 minutes before the announcement and tell the
caucus this is what's going to happen," he said."
backbenchers have to decide whether Leslie Noble and Paul Rhodes and
Jaime Watt are running the province or whether the duly elected members
three were senior organizers on the Tory election campaigns under former
premier Mike Harris in 1995 and 1999. Ms. Noble and Mr. Watt are co-chairs
of the current election preparations and Mr. Rhodes is responsible for
the communications strategy.
rejected Mr. Carr's arguments and noted that he and the others were
asked to help prepare the Tories for an election.
decisions that are being made are being made by the Premier and the
cabinet in consultation with the caucus," he said.
the Tory caucus, the decision to abandon parliamentary precedent and
deliver a budget outside the legislature has drawn quiet dissent among
some MPPs and cabinet ministers. However, the malcontents were hindered
in sharing their views because many MPPs were away from home on March
problem is that all of the people care more about being cabinet ministers,
or being potential cabinet ministers, than they do about doing what's
right for the people they represent," Mr. Carr said.
who plans to retire from politics, has won three elections as the Conservative
standard-bearer in Oakville. His attack on his own party came amid increasing
criticism across the province of Mr. Eves and his plan to deliver the
budget in a TV studio, complete with a hand-picked audience.
15 newspapers in Ontario have run editorials opposing the idea, including
The Globe and Mail. On Friday, a CBC Radio phone-in show was swamped
with calls opposing Mr. Eves's plan.
Mr. Eves remained adamant when talking with reporters Friday morning,
before Mr. Carr made his comments. The Premier argued that few people
care where the budget is presented.
you talk to people out there - not people that are caught up in the
system as members or . . . the Queen's Park [press] gallery or university
professors who like to speculate on this sort of thing - if you talk
to working men and women out there, they will tell you what's of concern
to them is what's in the budget and how it affects their everyday lives
not where it's from," he said.
House Leader Chris Stockwell, a former Speaker, defended the decision
to delay the recall of the legislature. "The decision with respect
to the budget and calling the house back was put to caucus and to the
cabinet, and I didn't hear any complaints."