Reflections on Premier Wynne’s last picture show

Posted June 25, 2015

It was to be a cinema tour de force, a timeless window into the mind of Kathleen Wynne, the self-appointed second most powerful leader in Canada.

Even without seeing the final cut of the documentary on her career, the Wynne team pulled the plug by refusing to sign the necessary waivers to allow the production to be aired on TVO.

The producer and editor of the documentary resigned. TVO is trying to get its $114,000 advance back. The Toronto Star obtained a copy and revealed some of the parts of the documentary in a front-page expose’.

The Wynne camp moved to offset a political problem prior to a Sudbury byelection that initiated this reality show documentary. A former Liberal candidate, Andrew Olivier, was asked to step aside so that NDP defector, Glenn Thibault, was the favoured candidate by the Liberal deep thinkers at Queens’s Park.

Wynne’s deputy chief of staff, Pat Sorbara, was dispatched along with Sudbury activist, Gerry Lougheed, to make a deal with Olivier to step aside and he would be rewarded with a senior party job. Olivier is a quadriplegic and recorded the conversation with the two Liberal hatchet persons.

In the byelection Olivier ran as an independent and captured third place.

The provincial police were called in to investigate this alleged attempt to influence a candidate. The result of this investigation has yet to be determined.

The film portrays the Premier’s spouse, Jane Rounthwaite, as an “amazing political manager, smart and savvy”. The segment showing the two of them talking identifies Rounthwaite as a loyal spouse, friend and comrade in the Ontario political arena.

Her opinions include:

* The Wynne brand: “Your honesty”.

* Trudeau: “He should be taking advice in Ontario on how to get those seats back”.

* Image making: “Kath never wore make-up, it was a point of principle, but with all of the exposure you have to look good every minute of the day.”

* A pesky young reporter” “He’s a twerp.”

Do you remember electing Jane Rounthwaite last June?

Not only did Wynne rely on her spouse’s advice but also spoke with her mother about the Sudbury affair. Sudbury was an embarrassing event in which her loyal deputy, Pat Sorbara, could face charges over the abortive attempt to dissuade Andrew Olivier from seeking the Liberal nomination.

But the documentary reveals the whiny, dark side of the premier when challenged in the Legislature by a Tory MPP who alleged her judgment was skewed by her sexual preference.

She fired back: “Is it because I’m a woman? Is it that I’m a mother? Is it that I have a masters of education? Is it that I was school council chair? Is it that I was the minister of education?”

Well Premier, we’re glad you brought up the education comments. Along with your appointed Minister of Education, Guelph’s Liz Sandals, the two of you, both former school trustees, have managed to almost destroy any hope of settling with the province’s teachers before school starts after Labour Day.

You used up your one ace in the hole in 2013 when you spent $435 million to placate the teachers most of whom were working to rule. It worked then and members of the teacher’s unions showed their appreciation by working to elect Liberals to the Legislature.

Tell us, what does your confidant and advisor, Jane Rounthwaite, tell you to do now? The high school teachers are poised to walk, the public elementary teachers are positioned for striking and the Catholic teachers are moving to conciliation after talks with your management team have failed.

Who can be surprised that you pulled the plug on this documentary? What seemed like a good idea at the outset has now fanned the flames of discontent with your leadership and that of your friend, Liz Sandals, who, as it turned out, was not ready for prime time.

The Star article about the documentary portrayed you as a thoughtful and conscientious boss who treats her staff and her cabinet colleagues well as they prepared the budget.

However, her real bosses are the people of Ontario. When your government raised Hydro rates by more than 42 per cent in three years, allow beer in major grocery stores but not wine; cave into the Beer Store monopoly by limiting the amount of beer sold in the LCBO stores and major groceries; move to sell off 60 per cent of Hydro One, you have a serious problem.

Premier, you and your colleagues have some real work to do rebuilding an Ontario that you and your predecessor have destroyed by multi-million dollar mistakes driving down a once vibrant economy.

The numbers don’t lie. Manufacturing jobs have evaporated. The provincial infrastructure is crumbling. The public sector is the only employee bloc that is growing and prospering.

And, according to the Liberal budget, we still have a deficit of $8 billion.

It is difficult to ascertain how much these Liberal successive budget deficits from McGuinty to Wynne, have cost the people of Ontario. It’s dead money being sucked up by the province’s lenders. A growing provincial debt that eats away at the government’s ability to get Ontario out of the economic ditch which eight years of Liberal governments have created.

Imagine, could run your household this way?



Filed under Between the Lines

2 responses to “Reflections on Premier Wynne’s last picture show

  1. bostoncollie

    Bob Rae must send thank you cards every year to McGuinty & Wynne because until they came along he was the worst Premier, and government in the history of Ontario.

    As an aside, the folks in Alberta that have snickered at Ontario’s abysmal government of the past dozen years have unleashed their own house of horrors by electing The NDP there. People that don’t learn from history are bound to keep making the same mistakes.

  2. Shane

    Keeping conservatives and liberals in power is a huge mistake as well .. This country needs serious change

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