Monday, September 9 Commentary
One of Tim Hudak's strongest supporters in the PC caucus at Queen's Park has just been thrown under the bus by the leader in, what appears to me, to be a crass, hatchet job.
After a face-to-face meeting yesterday with Thornhill MPP Peter Shurman, Hudak fired Shurman as the party's finance critic over the controversy last week.
You've likely heard it...Shurman moved to Niagara on the Lake from Thornhill. That distance from Queen's Park makes him eligible for about 20-thousand dollars a year to help offset the cost of accommodation in Toronto.
When the story broke, Hudak was on the phone to Shurman and they agreed he would no longer claim the allowance. They met yesterday and a couple of senior Tory sources are quoted as saying it got very heated..that Hudak was furious when he first heard last week about Shurman claiming expenses. Hudak, supposedly demanded the MPP also pay back the money he'd already received and Shurman wouldn't do it because he was following all the regulations.
This notion that Hudak got blindsided by this sounds like a total fabrication. In fact, Shurman was on NewsTalk 1010's Live Drive with John Tory on Friday pointing out that he first went to the staff running the Ontario Legislature and they told him this was a legitimate housing allowance claim...this was a couple of years ago..and then Shurman told Tory this:
So Hudak has apparently known all along about this...
Should the rules on housing allowances change...absolutely.
There's no reason an MPP from Whitby or Oshawa, Newmarket, Caledon or Burlington should be allowed to keep a Toronto apartment on the taxpayers dime. that rule will be changed but as the rules were written, Shurman did nothing wrong. Why should he pay back the money.
As for Tim Hudak...this is pretty sleazy stuff for political gain.
Doctor Martin Luther King once said "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Incidentally the Legislature resumes this morning...the summer recess is over. THe Liberals now have ammo against Hudak while the PC's and the New Democrats will continue to hammer away at the Libs over the gas plant scandals. We still await the Auditor-General's report on the cost of cancelling the Oakville plant.
Stuff about Mayor Rob Ford this morning.
On NewsTalk 1010's The City yesterday, Toronto's Chief Financial officer confirmed what the Mayor has been trying to get across for months...since he's been mayor they've found a billion dollars in savings.
The Toronto Star reporters who have been writing about the video of the Mayor appearing to smoke through a crack pipe and the Globe and Mail journalists who alleged that Councillor Doug Ford dealt hash as a young man...they'll both be called to account before the Ontario Press Council following complaints filed by the brothers Ford.
Mayor Ford, with the help of city staff, retrieved the 80-thousand dollars in football equipment his foundation had donated to Don Bosco high school where he coached last year but was subsequently fired by the Catholic school board. There is dispute whether Ford demanded the equipment back or whether the board simply went out and purchased new equipment and didn't need the Foundation's donation.
There's a meeting this week between Premier Kathleen Wynne and Karen Stintz, the chair of the TTC.
Stintz revealed that to Megan Harris on NewsTalk 1010 Saturday night...the topic is the provincial decision to extend the Danforth subway line from Kennedy to the Scarborough Town Centre. Stintz says there's a lot that has yet to be answered. A lot, as in, millions of dollars for this and that.
And then this caught my attention and if you live in Scarborough..you might want to note this as well.
So if most of it is above ground...it's not a subway...right Mr. Mayor.