Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sorbara Plot Thickens...

Yesterday we heard the shocking news that Ontario Fiberal Finance Minister Greg Sorbara no longer wishes to be part of the Ontario cabinet, because he apparently needs more 'family time'. Hard to understand that one immediately after an election!

First, a bit of history from the above Star article:
...The Oct. 10 re-election was a fitting pinnacle to a career that was briefly derailed when the RCMP put Sorbara's name in a search warrant in connection with its investigation of Royal Group Technologies, where he had been on the board of directors.
It was a move many suspected was politically motivated because the Mounties' warrant was made public on Oct. 11, 2005, the day before the throne speech. It forced him to resign as treasurer.

But Sorbara fought back, spending "six figures" to fight the RCMP. Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer later ordered Sorbara's name removed from the search warrant. McGuinty immediately returned him to cabinet...

Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, the Post tells us today about a little law suit involving two Ontario companies that are suing a York region hospital :

...The claim also alleges that "influence was being exerted on the hospital by the Honourable Minister Greg Sorbara to move the proposed dialysis unit of the urgent care centre to another location and property."

The plaintiffs further allege that Mr. Sorbara interfered so that the hospital would be moved to a property owned by a company to which he allegedly has ties.

The claim alleges that Mr. Sorbara inappropriately met with hospital representatives and indicated that unless the dialysis unit was moved, the hospital "would be unsuccessful in its request for Phase 2 funding in the amount of approximately $300,000,000. The Honourable Minister Sorbara also indicated that he did not want this matter to be in the media."


Now I understand this comment - "Worse, perhaps, for Mr. McGuinty would be news that something has surfaced that prevents Mr. Sorbara from sitting in cabinet."

Oh well. At least we don't have to worry about public funding going to the education of all those horrible religious people. Whew!

* * * *
Related: The speculation begins on who will replace Sorbara - Star.

BTW, Sorbara's resignation has nothing at all to do with the law suit - (Record):
Global News reported yesterday that Sorbara is at the centre of a dispute between a developer and a Richmond Hill hospital, even though Sorbara himself is not being sued. A McGuinty spokesperson said the case had nothing to do with Sorbara's sudden resignation.

Absolutely not.

All right then. As you were.

But the Sun's Christina Blizzard is also left wondering why...

Murray Campbell asks, Who Will Fill the Finance Shoes? Interesting line there, buried in all the speculation: "He argued that the $2.5-billion annual health tax was needed if Ontario's social programs were to be augmented..."

Social programs! Not health care!!!

Oh, and a big thank you to Jack's Newswatch for today's honours.


Roy Eappen said...

Great post Joanne. This makes a lot more sense.Too bad this wasn't brought up during th´ elections. The federal and provincial party seem to have the same strategies. I'm sure the black ops of mcliar said make sure this is hushed up.
Guess the people of Ontario will learn after the election how bad thei choice was.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Dr. Roy, thanks. Yeah, something just didn't sit right yesterday when that announcement came out. And the National Post innuendo was most intriguing.

Of course, this is all just allegation and speculation now. All we know for sure is that after working so hard and getting so many votes from his constituents, Greg Sorbara decided he didn't want to be in Cabinet anymore.

Yeah right.

Caveat said...

At first I thought he might have a terminal illness, but then he wouldn't stay in the House as an MPP, he'd quit outright.

Then I wondered if it was the 16% mistake in projected revenues which will likely result in more broken 'promises' by McGuilty.

This makes much more sense.

Sorbara IS black ops for the Fibs.

I loved Tory's comment in the Star article yesterday:

“I think the average IQ around that cabinet table just crashed with his departure, and I’m concerned about that for the sake of the province,” said Tory.

Yeah, good thing we didn't provide some educational oversight for the 2.5% of Ontario students who attend private schools which they will attend anyway. So much nicer to have the corruption, lies, obfuscation and stonewalling of the McGuilty junta back for another round.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Caveat - Exactly.

Thanks for nothing, Ontario Lemmings!

It this turns out to be connected, I would suggest that the opposition parties do some investigating.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The other thing is why did Sorbara say this:

"I don't know if I would have come to the same decision had we ended with a minority," - (Star)

If he really had such a huge desire to play ball with his Grandkids, why would his decision be different if they were in a minority situation? What does that say about his level of commitment to his family?

GDW said...

It's the shrinking GDP. The next Treasurer is going to be in the Ernie Eves position of having to explain a lot of contrived budget numbers, and Sorbara, who feasted off that before and after the 2003 election, and a man who quite possibly still has leadership ambitions himself, isn't about to hang around so he can eat any of that crow himself. Whoever replaces Sorbara is likely to have to raise taxes, cut spending, or break campaign promises. If you're Sorbara, it's better to go out now on a winning note so you can come back later and offer yourself as McGuinty's successor after what are likely to be three or four poor years which will cause McGuinty's demise.

"I came back to politics with a mission. At this point, a good part of that mission has been completed." The remaining part of that mission, of course, is to be leader, and I don't think he wants to be the Treasurer who has to explain away the economic decline Ontario is sliding into or the political deceit the Liberals engaged in to get re-elected. In 2011, Sorbara wants to be the fondly remembered successful guy from the past who can rescue the Liberals- and Ontario- from the swamp they're about to wade into.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, that could certainly be part of it, GDW.

Anonymous said...

I think there's WAY MORE going on than we will ever know.

Greg Sorbara was Mr. Limelight of the Liberals.

Maybe Sorbara simply stepped aside before the premier asked him to?

They definatly know something the rest of us don' least not yet.

Perhaps, as someone suggested he really screwed up the economic growth estimates and wants to be as far away from things as possible. However if that's the case why not quit altogether? Too obvious?

I like John Tory's comments also...too bad he didnt' have zingers like that in his bag of tricks during the attack of his fb funding proposal...could have come in handy.

Möbius said...

“I think the average IQ around that cabinet table just crashed with his departure, and I’m concerned about that for the sake of the province,” said Tory.

Interesting comment on Tory's part. If he had Sorbara on his campaign team, do you think we would have had the FB funding debate before the last election?

PC's should not be so smug about this sort of thing.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PC's should not be so smug about this sort of thing.

Yes, the brain trust was a bit lacking there too. Only in terms of timing though.

By the time of the next election, I fully expect this to be resolved one way or the other.

Möbius said...

Yes, the brain trust was a bit lacking there too. Only in terms of timing though.

By the time of the next election, I fully expect this to be resolved one way or the other.

Forgive my frustration, Joanne, but this should have been resolved long ago. The next election is now in 2011. Despite the slush funds, pandering to the "Caledonians", health care "taxes", we're are in another Liberal majority government. Basically, they can now assume that they will not be punished for anything they do. Reminds me of Chretien, in his later terms.