Ottawa South is the federal riding of David McGuinty and the provincial riding of his brother, the Premier of Ontario.
On Monday, the Liberal Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty refused to endorse the federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion and even passed on endorsing the man’s key policy plank. From the Toronto Star,
McGuinty vowed to remain neutral other than campaigning with his brother, Liberal incumbent David McGuinty (Ottawa South).
While McGuinty said his aides would be allowed to help federal Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion “on their own time,” he took a veiled shot at the federal party’s Green Shift carbon-emission reduction program, which would tax fossil fuel consumption in exchange for income and corporate tax cuts. “I’ve got my own particular approach when it comes to dealing with carbon emissions. We believe in a cap-and-trade system.”
David McGuinty is Stephane Dion’s shadow minister of the environment. However, at the time of this writing, on his campaign website you will david-mcguinty of Dion’s showcase policy, the Green Shift. The younger brother of the Premier also supported Michael Ignatieff during the leadership race and praised him for wanting to put a price on carbon, essentially what Dion is proposing by using the taxation powers of the federal government. So why no mention of the Green Shift by Dion’s Green Lieutenant in Parliament?
Though David has eyed running for leadership of the federal party in the past, it is his brother Dalton who may be positioning himself for a run for the top Liberal job in the country (until recently that used to also almost always include the job of PM itself — it comes with a bonus and a drafty house). Dalton McGuinty is the first Liberal in Ontario to win back-to-back majority governments in 70 years and before the economy slips and as Ontario flirts dangerously with have-not status, Dalton may be looking to upgrade. As a Liberal with governing experience he would provide solid competition but clearer red-orange contrast to the presumed Liberal front-runner post-Dion, the former NDP Premier of Ontario Bob Rae. After years of government at Queen’s Park, McGuinty would also bring a solid camp of support to a future leadership race against the numbers that are grouping behind Rae.
So are the McGuintys looking to run their own campaign to Dump Dion? Though still winnable by Conservatives if they get out the vote with their candidate Elie Salibi (a Lebanese Canadian with solid community support), Ottawa South is considered safe by Liberal strategists. The McGuintys may be looking to give their 1% effort for Stephane Dion while setting up brother Dalton for a shot at the PMO.