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Some Liberal bits and bites – provincial and federal

- Re-elected Premier Kathleen Wynne will be swearing in her new provincial Cabinet today. One of the chief shuffles I’m pleased to see is Dr. Eric Hoskins moving into the Health Ministry portfolio. I’ve been a long time supporter of his from his running as a federal LPC candidate in Haldimand Norfolk and before that heading up War Child Canada (now headed by his wife, Dr.Samantha Nutt). I’m also pleased to see Mitzie Hunter, who brought forth the private-members bill last session to allow ranked ballots to be used in Toronto’s civic elections, has been given a promotion to associate finance minister responsible for the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. [...]

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Was Tim Hudak Ontario’s version of Michael Ignatieff circa 2011?

I was thinking about that comparison as I digest a surprising Liberal majority in Ontario this AM (but the folks at Forum and Ekos with their last polls called it – so kudos to them. I think Nanos also had 1 poll out that pretty well mirrored the results).

Thinking back to 2011, Harper was (and still isn’t) not a universally loved leader, but Ignatieff was less popular then him (due both to attack ads and his personality in general, I’d argue). In Ontario, the OLP as a whole were not obviously loved by all due to some of their track record, but Hudak was disliked worse, it seems.

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Ontario Debate Aftermath #voteon

My initial (biased) impressions of the debate are:

- As someone who is supporting the OLP, I’d have much preferred if Wynne had started stronger, but the first two topics were always going to be the tough ones, and I’m not sure whether I’d have done much better. I did think she recovered after that and “held the line” as it were. I don’t think she was struck with any fatal blow per se. I know on social media some people were commenting on Premier Wynne’s hand movements, but I’ve always found Ms. Wynne to be a demonstrative person; she was like that at the OLP leadership convention as well. [...]

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Your #voteon narrative for today: not good for opposition parties.

Your one narrative that is going around the media and which Premier Wynne has decided to target extensively today: Tim Hudak’s bungled million jobs plan numbers:

..Based on a backgrounder distributed by the Progressive Conservatives to journalists, but not posted on their website, it is clear that the planners confused person-years of employment with permanent jobs. This confusion led them to vastly overestimate the effect of their proposed job-creating measures. The result was that the half million jobs the Progressive Conservatives were promising to create with their plan (base-case economic growth was expected to provide the other half-million jobs) was really only about 75,000 (ST: my highlight) —fewer than [...]

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Thoughts on the upcoming provincial election in Ontario

You would know from reading this blog or searching its archives I’ve not exactly been overflowing in my praise for the Ontario Liberal government the past several years. I had issues with Dalton Mcguinty on environmental issues as well as omnibus Budget bills presented in the same fashion that Stephen Harper did, which is what caused me to not renew my Ontario Liberal membership 3 years ago or so. (It was also a fact that the OLP’s social media relationship with its netroots was non-existent, which didn’t help matters).

When Kathleen Wynne was chosen as the new leader of the party and Premier, I liked her enthusiasm and gusto, and [...]

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Disappointing environmental decision from the Ontario Government – again.

I’ve not been an Ontario Liberal Party member in over a year – one of the main reasons I let it lapse are listed here, where I expressed a lot of frustration that Dalton Mcguinty was in essence “pulling a Harper” and using an omnibus bill which contained weakened environmental laws.

I had hoped with the advent of Premier Wynne, things might get a bit more progressive on that front, but she and her government has again failed to (in my opinion) protect the environment, and is in fact carrying on with what was my original beef a year ago:

The new rules made by cabinet give resource industries numerous [...]

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One less provincial vote for Senate abolition

Premier Kathleen Wynne is taking the opposite position of what Dalton Mcguinty advocated: instead of abolition, she is for reform of the Senate:

Kathleen Wynne, says she sees real value in having a chamber of sober, second thought and would like to see it reformed. Wynne says the discussions of just how to reform the Senate is something she would like to have with the other provincial premiers.

It is a big blow to those who wish to kill the Senate – regardless of whether it takes 7 provinces with 50 % of the population, or unanimous consent (that issue has been referred to the Supreme Court by Harper, as [...]

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Could be just me…

….but Tim Hudak seems like an angry guy these days. The modus operandi of the Ontario PC leader seems to be to “attack” everyone and everything these days as a way to try to get himself elected – an angrier version of ex-Premier Mike Harris, if you will.

Polls seem to indicate (though I’d like to see more then one pollster saying this) that Ontario voters so far like Premier Wynne’s style, and are willing to give her a chance – not angry Tim, though. He wants to go now!

There is only so much of a base for anger. Come off too angry, and a plurality of voters [...]

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My brief take on the Ontario Throne Speech

Briefly – Wynne and the Liberals sounded conciliatory, the NDP said it would support the Throne Spech and subsequent budget, provided the Liberals give them some goodies, and Tim Hudak and the Conservatives instantly marginalized themselves by already declaring they’re voting against anything the Liberals may bring forward, without any hint of trying to work at getting some compromises for their policy positions (did I mention I think Hudak’s proposal on student loans is a stupid one? No votes for him from students/parents on that policy, I don’t think).

As for Wynne and the Liberals, they would do well to read and take Thomas Walkom’s advice on how they can [...]

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Lets review what Kathleen Wynne answered to my five questions (and the blogger conference call)

Now that Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario (or about to be made formally), I think now might be a good time to review what she said in response to the 5 questions I sent her and some of the other candidates, and see where she might go:

The first question was why the OLP should pick her to be Premier. Her answer was that she had experience bringing people together, building partnerships, and that leadership depended on building a team. We’re going to see part of that over the next couple of weeks when she decides who to put in Cabinet, as well as the fractures she faces [...]

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