"Putting vast rural areas with urban areas and calling it a new municipality just isn’t right."
December 15, 1999
"Democracy gives the people a voice, but it also compels those who govern to listen to that voice."
March 4, 1997
YES! CAMPAIGN PREDICTS PREMIER AND MINISTER WILL OKAY DE-AMALGAMATION
The Victoria County Yes! Campaign today predicted that Premier Dalton McGuinty and Municipal Affairs Minister John Gerretsen will allow the de-amalgamation of the City of Kawartha Lakes to proceed.
Spokesperson Paul Pagnuelo said that when the Liberals were in Opposition there was no doubt about the clarity of their support for democracy and referenda and that the leader and his caucus were opposed to megacity madness because they saw forced amalgamations as bad public policy.
"Their message was consistent and they spoke with conviction."
Both the premier and his municipal affairs minister, when they were in Opposition, stood in the House many times in objection to what Mr. McGuinty had described as "tin pot dictatorship rules" forcing municipalities, such as Toronto, into megacities, said Pagnuelo.
The prospect of the McGuinty Liberals dismissing the November 10th referendum in which a majority voted to de-amalgamate the City of Kawartha Lakes simply isn’t on.
"It would be impossible to reconcile with everything they claimed they stood for and against. It would put the credibility and political career of every Liberal MPP at risk."
In March 1997, Dalton McGuinty stood in the House and said "Any member of the Legislature who dares to ignore the will of the people, which has been duly expressed by way of referenda held yesterday, is putting their own political career at risk."
In June 1997, John Gerretsen said in the Legislature "I have maintained all along that a bigger government isn’t necessarily a better or cheaper government…"
"What we’re talking about with all these amalgamations is, number one, less democracy."
During the Toronto megacity debates in the House, McGuinty said "There’s a fine line between leadership and being out of touch and I suggest to the members opposite that to ignore the clear and unequivocal results of the referenda would not be to show leadership; it would be to ignore the will of those you represent."
The attached backgrounder contains selected quotes by Messrs. McGuinty and Gerretsen in the Legislature.