By: Alex Ripley
The Ontario Liberal Party meets this weekend for its first leadership convention since 1996; the outcome of the contest, which will doubtless stretch out over many ballots, is really anyone’s guess.
The six candidates vying for the title of leader are all well qualified and essentially likeable. And while Kathleen Wynne and ex-MPP Sandra Pupatello are both significantly ahead of their male counterparts (Dr. Eric Hoskins, Gerard Kennedy, Charles Sousa, and Harinder Tahkar) in terms of support, neither has the immediate confidence of anywhere close to a majority of the nearly 2,300 delegates meeting this weekend at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Should Pupatello or Wynne gain the crucial 50% plus one level of support, Ontario will have its first female Premier. It has been suggested, however, that none of the candidates are offering any particularly fresh or new policy proposals. The suggestion has been that all six are offering up essentially the same vision: that of a continuation of the prudent but progressive policies espoused by outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty since his election in 2003.
By: Clement Nocos
The Premier’s act of resignation was reasonable on its surface. McGuinty was able to show that his government could be held accountable to past and on-going scandals. It’s playing realpolitik to save face for the Liberal Party of Ontario, as the governing party is currently wrought in a contempt of Parliament censure on the withholding of information regarding the Ontario gas plant scandal, stagnant public sector wage freeze negotiations, the Ornge and lingering E-health fiascos in the Ministry of Health, a growing deficit under this government’s own watch, the recent loss of the Kitchener-Waterloo by-election, a less-than-cooperative opposition in a minority government, sinking polling numbers, etc.
McGuinty, however, seems to be paying the price for the mistakes of his cabinet ministers. Energy Minister Chris Bentley has not resigned for holding up documents in regards to spending for the power plant cancellations. Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, Brad Daguid, oversaw the power plant cancellations during his tenure as Energy Minister and is still keeping his job. Deb Mathews, Minister of Health, allowed Ornge salaries to get out of control while warding off calls for her resignation. And so on and so on. These ministers have yet to jump ship, and moreover they’re even considered in the running for the OLP leadership to replace McGuinty. Resignation en masse of his government or a late-game cabinet shuffle would have been disastrous for the Ontario Liberals, so it seems McGuinty has had to play martyr which is admirable in showing that the government can own up.
But that didn’t mean he had to prorogue Queen’s Park.
By: Brad Rubinoff
As if it wasn’t interesting enough being a Liberal in Ontario, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced his intent to step down as Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and Premier of the Province. I know I am not alone when I say that the announcement came as a total shock. I was one of many Liberals who attended the Ontario Liberal Party’s Annual General Meeting only a few short weeks ago, and I was one of the 85% who voted their approval of the leadership of the Premier. I am a big fan of the Premier, and it’s going to be hard to see him go.
I could speculate wildly as to why he chose to do this, and why now, but that’s currently being done to death by every commentator under the sun in Ontario, and the reality is that wild and rampant speculation is just that – speculation. As much fun as that is, I’m not really interested in jumping in.