And in an interview later, Van Loan said McGuinty was "being partisan and small-minded" for seeking greater representation.
"At some point, he's got to decide whether he wants to play the traditional nation-building of an Ontario premier or be the small man of Confederation who complains and whines all the time," Van Loan said.
The high road, which must look like the Alps, from where Van Loan operates:
At Queen's Park, McGuinty insisted he had no interest in a petty squabble with Van Loan and warned that Ottawa should look at the bigger picture. "Why is it that whenever we Ontarians stand up for ourselves we're accused of being un-Canadian?" he said.
The Conservatives are just damaging themselves in Ontario, the vitrol actually sharpening the focus and fueling the theme that this government is anti-Ontario. Whether that is true or not is almost irrelevant, the perception is reality and Van Loan's approach lends to the narrative.
Almost comical to listen to an Ontario MP play the "west" card to discredit legitimate concerns:
However, traditional supporters of Confederation realize that we want to see every province and every region treated fairly, and not this cloaked effort to suppress the west that we see from the Liberal Party over there.
Simple math demonstrates that Van Loan's plan is an objective attempt to "suppress" Ontario. When this story first broke, I was completely on the side of compromise, because Ontario can tend to dominate affairs, and cohesion might trump absolute numbers. However, the more we hear, the more the posturing and bully behavior, the more I find myself solidly in McGuinty's corner. Afterall, do we expect anything less from a Premier? The Premier's are always narrow, always pulling for their own self-interest. When it comes to this angle, the irony, there is no gain for McGuinty or his party. McGuinty will be long gone when this legislation takes effect, there is no direct benefit to himself in this instance. This reality lends itself to a debate, based on principle, which makes the government reaction all the more unattractive.
There are already a myriad of compromises entrenched in our system, and for the most part people see the value. However, when you attempt to deal with a real disparity, you recognize the slight and the need to rectify, how then do you think you can offer two seperate solutions, depending on the province and meet no resistence? Why should someone apologize for equality, just because residency doesn't jive with geography. I'm happy that Alberta and British Columbia are getting more representation, it's about time. That fact doesn't translate to another province getting the relative shaft, and I think no matter your location, you can appreciate the tension.
The government lacks basic sensibility, with absolutely no understanding of nuance. When challenged, they bite, bite back hard and in so doing they just alienate further, reinforcing the "mean spirited" theme. Van Loan thinks he is rising to the challenge, when it reality he crystalizes the focus, which amounts to horrible optics for the Conservatives in Ontario. What are they thinking?