Ontario premiers have a weak spot for pithy little slogans they can use to brush away troublesome matters.
“There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing,” Dalton McGuinty loved to say whenever stuck for an explanation for some horrific mistake. Why did his government spend $1.2 billion to not build two power plants after repeatedly insisting the projects would go ahead come hell or high water? Well, “there’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.” Smile. Next question.
His successor, Kathleen Wynne, has adopted a catchphrase of her own. “The cost of doing nothing is much, much higher than the cost of going forward ,” she’ll say when confronted with questions about some expenditure that has heads exploding across the province.
She deployed it Wednesday while seeking to justify the new tax on Ontarians that will accompany her cap and trade plan. Gasoline prices are expected to rise 4.3 cents a litre, while natural gas bills will increase about $5 a month.
Just in case the increases annoy Ontarians, Wynne came prepared: “The cost of doing nothing is much, much higher than the cost of going forward and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions,” she declared.