When Ottawa Center MPP Yasir Naqvi was Ontario’s Corrections Minister, he said on CFRA that “statements…with regard to inmates sleeping in showers and meeting rooms are completely inaccurate.”
Two months later, Naqvi changed his tune. He said it was completely unacceptable that prisoners in the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre were being double-bunked in shower cells.
While Ontarians do not want to be putting up prisoners in the Westin, some decency should be accorded them.
In the instance above, Naqvi either didn’t know the practice was occurring, didn’t research it properly or was not revealing what was actually happening.
None of those scenarios is acceptable.
Meanwhile from July 2016 to Dec. 2016, 46 cases were stayed (including some very serious examples) because of court delays. It is not as though the Liberal government didn’t have time to solve this problem in years leading up to this crunch.
Attorney-General Naqvi said more crown attorneys and judges would be hired. Critics said it was too late to save cases in jeopardy of being stayed.
The expeditious and fair conduct of the court system is fundamental to the rule of law and, for that matter, democracy. The provincial government failed in that.
Naqvi also was part of a provincial government that funded the $6-billion boondoggle known as Phase 1 and 2 of light rail. The line travels through his riding where Phase 2 will be tunnelled under a park where no one lives. As a one-third funder of the line, Naqvi should have successfully moved this ridiculous municipally planned route to Carling Avenue where transit-oriented development is needed and where people live.
The attorney general is also part of a government that promises to wildly spend to win votes in a time of economic expansion. That’s when governments should be paying down debt rather than fueling inflationary fires by spending. The results for seniors and large mortgage-holders (and the housing market in general) could be very serious.
The PC’s Colleen McCleery is a very accomplished person with a medical degree and an MBA. That she is a woman in a political world of inequality is a plus.
Unfortunately McCleery was one of 11 candidates appointed by PC leader Doug Ford. Ford said he was sorry for the action that alienated many Conservatives and the public when former leader Patrick Brown did it. Not sorry enough.
NDP candidate Joel Harden is not a two-time cabinet minister, nor does he have a medical degree or an MBA. He is not the most qualified of candidates running in Ottawa Centre though his Ph.D in political science adds some weight in his campaign.
That said, he doesn’t carry the baggage of the fiscally challenged Kathleen Wynne or the PC leader who helped prop up one of the most incompetent administrations at any government level in Canadian history … that of Rob Ford in Toronto.
Instead Harden has worked on designing a better Canada Pension Plan for the Canadian Labour Congress. He is a writer and educator.
Not the highest qualifications though there is nothing wrong with them. Still he has the advantage of not being associated with Wynne and Ford … an enormous step-up.
The Bulldog endorses the NDP’s Joel Harden for MPP in Ottawa Centre.