Mr. Jim McDonell: Yes, the Ornge herring may be a better way of putting it—as it tries to hide the real issues here. It’s interesting with this government as they try to cover up things.
As one of my colleagues was saying, it’s 73 years ago today that Canada declared war on another tyrant, and that’s what we’re seeing here. The people of Nazi Germany didn’t know what was going on, and over my time here I find it hard to believe how hard it is to find out what’s going on and how easy it is for the government to hide things.
I don't think there can really be any mistake here - Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry is comparing Dalton McGuinty to Hitler. Hitler, the mind behind the Holocaust.
I'm hoping this was one of those statements the occasional overzealous, life-experience free and broadly ignorant young staffer throws in front of MPPs to say. Even if that's the case, nobody put a gun to McDonell's head and forced him to read it into Hansard - you know, the kind of thing that happens under tyrannies. I think McDonell's record speaks to him being a Party man first, a Constituency representative second, but this is truly beyond the pale.
Well, Jim, as someone whose grandfather is a survivor of the Holocaust and comes from the riding you're supposed to represent, I resent that little comparison of yours. A lot. You have no frickin' clue what you're talking about. If there was really a Nazi regime in Ontario, you would already be on your way to the ovens.
How about you do some homework before you start rubbing salt in the wounds of people who have suffered under tyranny? You can start here; on March 31, 2010, Liberal MPP Jeff Leal and Conservative MPP John Yakabuski paid tribute to my grandfather, his sacrifices as a soldier and the horrors he faced along with so many other innocents in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. These gentlemen had no issues putting partisan games aside when it came to something as significant as war, loss and genocide. Even your boss Tim Hudak, my grandfather's MPP, wrote a scroll honouring the occasion. The MPPs there that day recognized we are all very privileged to live in a place where it's possible to bicker back and forth freely; none of them was going to make partisan light of the oppression suffered under the Nazis.
Among those who personally thanked my grandfather for his service was Premier Dalton McGuinty. This secretive tyrant of yours opened up both his schedule and his office and gave very generously of his time and his compassion to an old man carrying deep emotional scars from what he endured for his country - for democracy. This would be the same Dalton McGuinty that has done a hell of a lot for your riding and your township, as you bloody well know.
I thought you were better than this, Jim. I'm very sorry that I was wrong. SDSG used to have such great leadership. I hope you're at least leader enough to apologize to Premier McGuinty, your constituents, your own leader for embarrassing him and those who have suffered through real tyranny. I guarantee they won't find your crass little joke so funny.
And this is what McDonell considers an apology:
Mr. Jim McDonell: Speaker, I’d like to rise on a point of order to clarify a comment I made yesterday. As I got up to speak on Bill 50, it was brought to my attention about the anniversary of Canada’s declaration of war on Germany. I thought it was an important item to mention, and I tried to work it into my discussion. I certainly withdraw the comment if it offended the other side. There was no intention to it. It was more to highlight this important event in Canadian history, one of the more important events in the 20th century, as I understood it hadn’t been brought up yesterday. I apologize if it was misinterpreted in any way, but that was the intent.
"If it offended the other side?" "Apologize if it was misinterpreted in any way?" You called the Premier a tyrant and compared Ontario to Nazi Germany. There was no misinterpreting your words, Jim. Nor can there be any mistaking your refusal to take ownership and accountability for your words.
Not good enough, Jim. The people of SDSG deserve better leadership than that - and the people of Ontario deserve greater respect.