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Ontario Politics - New Cabinet.

Sunday, February 10, 2013   by: Mac Headrick

 

The leader (Kathleen Wynne) of the governing party of Ontario will reveal her new cabinet on Monday. I thought this would present an opportunity to speculate on whom l expect to see around the inner circle. Also the opposition (NDP; Conservative) have been indicating their legislative priorities if the Liberal Party hopes to gain their support. 

Relative to the “new” cabinet there should be plenty of new faces. Depending on your political point of view, three prominent Liberal cabinet ministers have decided to move on from politics. Either that or the “rats” are deserting the sinking ship. Of importance to Sault Ste Marie is the question will our member David Orazietti finally achieve a position in cabinet? I believe he will. In the past Rick Bartolucci was the northern Ontario representative in cabinet. There are only so many positions available and as long as Mr. Bartolucci was around he was the politician selected. Kathleen Wynne has stated the Liberals have to do a better job of representing Ontarians that live in the northern section of Ontario. The Liberal Party presence in northern Ontario was reduced from 7 of the 11 seats to 4 in the last election. Although David Orazietti didn’t support Kathleen Wynne in her leadership bid, neither did the majority of the Liberal caucus. Wynne needs a prominent Liberal in a safe seat from the north to sit in cabinet. 

Of the two main opposition parties, the Liberal and NDP parties have the best chance to find common ground. Before speculating on the areas I believe they can reach agreement, I would like to discuss two issues that Andrea Horwath publicly announced this past week. They are her demand for a public inquiry into the Liberal gas plant cancelations prior to the 2011 provincial election, and the reducing of auto insurance rates by 15 percent. I oppose both these NDP demands, not because of philosophical differences but strictly on practical grounds. It doesn’t help Andrea Horwath that the NDP also favoured cancelling the construction of the gas plants. A public inquiry costs a lot of money. The province of Ontario doesn’t have any money to waste. Everyone… you, me and the family dog knows why the Liberal Party cancelled the gas plants in 2011. They wanted to protect Liberal seats. Sure, the NDP wants to keep this issue front and center to embarrass the Liberal Party and remind the electorate of how irresponsible Dalton McGuinty was with the public tax dollars. I just do not want to spend 10 million or more reinforcing something that Ontarians already know. 

Horwath wants to reduce auto insurance rates by 15%. I am somewhat curious as to how this figure was arrived at, why not 20% or 10 % etc. The bottom line is publicly run auto insurance systems cost less that private. In every case in Canada (four provinces) where public insurance systems have been established since 1945, no government (even right of center) have every tried to reverse to a private system. The NDP in 1990 was elected to a majority government. The NDP has always promoted public auto insurance. Why didn’t they put it in then? My point is that private insurance rates will not be reduced. The insurance companies will come up with some excuse as to why this isn’t possible. If you want lower rates then advocate for a public insurance system. 

There is potential for Liberal/NDP agreement on several issues. The NDP intend to propose new restrictions on the use of prorogation. In the area of reforming social services both parties should find common ground. Of course any changes will be connected to size of the deficit. I continue to predict labour peace in the education sector. Tim Hudak has promised to eliminate junior kindergarten and thousands of education support worker jobs. What other choice do the education unions have but to reach some understanding with the Liberal government? Of course the Liberal Party also needs the support of these unions. 

Of all the political leaders in Ontario, Tim Hudak has been the most transparent on what direction he wants the province to take. I wonder if this means the Conservatives will be left on the sidelines while the Liberals and NDP jockey for position. Recently Mr. Hudak has proposed a new approach to treating mental health issues and also mandatory increase (by 15 minutes daily) of physical activity for children in school. In my opinion both these ideas have merit. I have come to the conclusion the first priority for the Conservatives is to establish their political platform emphasizing how they differ from the other parties. They have accomplished this and I believe their support is solid. This doesn’t mean the Conservatives can win the next election, much less a majority. 

Kathleen Wynne will try to make the legislature work. She has no other choice. Andrea Horwath will go along with the Liberal Party until such time as public opinion indicates a strong movement to the NDP. I realize that no political party desires to be blamed for causing another unnecessary election. Although I expect more public political debate between Wynne and Horwath on the direction of the province, this doesn’t mean that the Conservatives will not be very influential. At some point Kathleen Wynne will have to present a budget that recognizes the financial difficulties facing Ontario. Tim Hudak has clearly indicated how he would address the economy. 

As l see it Monday should be the day that David Orazietti finally makes it to a cabinet position. If this becomes a reality then there is some hope for Sault Ste Marie. Of course the real games begin next week when the legislature returns.          

Comments
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Oldie Goldie 2/10/2013 9:01:22 AM Report

Mac : You are correct in saying that the rats are deserting the sinking ship.
How can anyone expect the Ontario Liberals to save the sinking ship when many of the Highest Ranking Liberals have caused most of the financial problems.
Ms. Wynne will probably give it a good try but her tasks will be too enormous to overcome.
Expect an Election by this fall.
I,too,believe that David O. deserves a Cabinet Post but the Liberal Candidates from the Toronto Area that pushed Ms. Wynne over Pupatello will expect some rewards for joining Wynne.
KDawg 2/10/2013 9:29:39 AM Report

"As l see it Monday should be the day that David Orazietti finally makes it to a cabinet position. If this becomes a reality then there is some hope for Sault Ste Marie."

David Orazietti deserves the boot for helping McGuinty destroy Ontario's economy -- THAT is David O's legacy.

The Liberals are doing nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. They are finished when the next election comes.
pruden 2/10/2013 12:46:54 PM Report

KDawg - like your comments and agree with them....also agree with your comments Mac, about a public enquiry...a lot of money to prove what we already know
Mr. Poster 2/10/2013 4:19:32 PM Report

David O is as guilty as McGuilty..his so called "leader". He towed the party line and therefore must go down with the party.Our federal rep is a good example of the fact that you DO NOT need a member of the ruling party to represent you.Are we any better off since Tony M was defeated? I think not.

I do not trust or like HUDAK. i SHALL SUPPORT THE ndp THIS TIME AROUND.
Sam C 2/10/2013 4:22:45 PM Report

KDawg... do you think David O had any choice but to "help" McGuinty? A politician's number one job is to get elected, followed closely by getting re-elected.

Had David not toed the party line, he could have been ostracized, or even ejected from Caucus.

Now, whether or not he agreed with McGuinty only he knows, but it would not have been politic for him to appear anything less than unswervingly loyal.
KDawg 2/10/2013 8:46:24 PM Report

Sam C, Orazietti chose to tow the liberal party line since he is a member of the liberal party. He was a member of the liberal party first, and representative of the Sault second -- that was his self-serving choice.

It is not debatable that Liberal policies and Liberal cronyism (HST, eHealth, ORNGE, there are too many to name) have destroyed Ontario's economy.

Bottom line is the Liberals are a party that deserves to be relegated to the political wilderness. Orazietti, through his support of Liberal policy was BAD for the Sault and all of Ontario.
KDawg 2/10/2013 8:55:02 PM Report

"Now, whether or not he agreed with McGuinty only he knows, but it would not have been politic for him to appear anything less than unswervingly loyal."

Sam C, are you actually suggesting that it is perfectly acceptable to vote for bad legislation like obscene tax increases just because you're a member of the ruling party?

Or do you think what the Liberals have done to Ontario since 2003 is good?
mac headrick 2/11/2013 8:02:01 AM Report

Kdawg

Sam C, are you actually suggesting that it is perfectly acceptable to vote for bad legislation like obscene tax increases just because you're a member of the ruling party?

Actually that is what Sam is saying. Now obscene is a matter of opinion.

When you elect a member of a particular party it is natural to assume they will vote the party line. Of course you could cross the floor or sit as an independent.

David has always stressed the advantage of having him as a member is he is part of the governing Liberals.

It will be interesting what approach he takes now as the Liberal brand IMO isn't that popular. I have noticed David's advertising lately seems to slated to "putting S.S.M. first". No mention of Dalton.
learningaswego 2/11/2013 8:56:23 AM Report

I don't get, never have, some local people's excitement around if our MPP gets a cabinet position.

Orazietti has been great for the Sault.
Wouldn't a cabinet post put a serious dent in Orazietti's time and availability to continue to do what he has done so well for the Sault?

Maybe I'm missing something, but could someone please explain how it would benefit the Sault, if Orazietti had a cabinet post? I know it would certainly be of benefit to the MPP, as far as these things go, but for us?
learningaswego 2/11/2013 8:58:57 AM Report

And yes, no one but a (naive in the extreme) optimist, would see the plethora of Liberals leaving, as anything but rats abandoning ship.
The elephant in the room, which is more like one that couldn't fit in the Rogers Centre, is the gas plant fiasco.
learningaswego 2/11/2013 9:28:40 AM Report

Don't know if it's
official, but according to an article in the Toronto Star today, Orazietti would be assigned Natural Resources, as the guy who had it was moved to another cabinet.
learningaswego 2/11/2013 4:06:43 PM Report

So, David O is Minister of Natural Resources. Congrats and good for him, I'm sure.

Now - honest question - how does/will that benefit the Sault?
Oldie Goldie 2/11/2013 5:18:04 PM Report

Unfettered loyalty to the Party Line---whether it is right or not--is the Major problem in Politics in Canada and in Ontario to-day.

It is a remnant of the old British
System of Government---and I thought we voted to be our own Nation different from Britain.

Whatever happened to an Elected Official going against the Party Line if he/she knows that the bill they are voting for is not right for the people who elected them ?

When was the last time that Harper allowed anyone but his chosen few to speak out on any issue---Because they all vote the party line does not allow the Voters to know exactly how that elected person felt about any issue.
Oldie Goldie 2/11/2013 5:19:04 PM Report

Unfettered loyalty to the Party Line---whether it is right or not--is the Major problem in Politics in Canada and in Ontario to-day.

It is a remnant of the old British
System of Government---and I thought we voted to be our own Nation different from Britain.

Whatever happened to an Elected Official going against the Party Line if he/she knows that the bill they are voting for is not right for the people who elected them ?

Example: Our own Bryan Hayes.

When was the last time that Harper allowed anyone but his chosen few to speak out on any issue---Because they all vote the party line does not allow the Voters to know exactly how that elected person felt about any issue.
KDawg 2/11/2013 7:50:08 PM Report

I agree with you Oldie. That's the way Ontario's political system works -- it sucks, but it's what we live under.

Having said that, it doesn't give David O. a pass. He was not "good for the Sault" because he was a member of the party in power. He voted for policy that wrecked Ontario's economy (Northern Ontario was hit harder).

Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet shuffling will not save the Liberals in the next election.
Mr. Poster 2/12/2013 7:32:09 AM Report

Kdawg...many will agree the LIBS have to go...too much damage to the Ontario economy. The problem I see is ...WHO CAN WE TRUST TO REPLACE THEM? Perhaps because I have never been a Conservative supporter but Tim Hudak does not seem to be the guy to gain power. That leaves the NDP...should Ontarians give them another chance?
KDawg 2/12/2013 11:24:37 PM Report

My thinking on this is... Anyone BUT the Liberals. They're proven liars that created economy-destroying legislation.
right wing 2/14/2013 8:24:42 AM Report

learningaswego

I noticed your question went unanswered.
They usually do when the answer is obvious and not what some folks want to admit.


mac headrick 2/14/2013 11:04:19 AM Report

right wing

I am assuming you mean David’s promotion means little relative to the Sault.

My first reaction to the question posed learningaswego was it doesn't help or hinder David's representation of the Sault, but frankly l am not sure one way or the other.

Now l wonder if being in cabinet might hurt David in the next election. David has been advertising putting the Sault (or you) first. At this time the Liberal brand is not the greatest endorsement.
learningaswego 2/14/2013 1:16:23 PM Report

The provincial Liberal brand is toxic right now.
The only reason they haven't been kicked to the curb, is the alternatives are so very unappealing.
Horwath herself is likeable, but the Dipper brand is a non-starter in Ontario.
So far, Wynne is sounding more like a Dipper than even the Dippers.

The only thing holding the provincial Conservatives from a majority government is Hudak - he is just not "likeable" enough. Unfortunately - for Ontario, the PC's are unwilling to do what's needed - get Hudak to step aside, and get a leader who is "likeable" enough - that's all they have to do, and a majority is theirs for the taking.

So, Ontario is stuck in limbo - voters don't want "any of the above".

What a sad state of affairs, eh?
Oldie Goldie 2/14/2013 3:07:06 PM Report

Learningaswego--I remember when you said that Liberal in Ontario was the only way to vote---Are you just finding out how really bad the Ontario Liberals are ?
I exchanged posts with you several times before but you could only see Liberal !
I have never changed my mind about them but you had to wait until they almost ruined the Province before you saw the light.
Thanks to the Ontario Liberals we are now a HAVE-NOT Province !
learningaswego 2/14/2013 4:01:18 PM Report

Oh, if only I'd listened to your immense wisdom, eh Oldie? LOL LOL

I've always said Orazietti was good for the Sault (and he always has been).
And the provincial Liberals were good for the Sault, for many years; and then they screwed up; thought they could get away with anything - like most governments that are in too long.

BTW, I'm not locked in or attached to ANY political party. If they are good for the Sault and the province, then they'll get my vote.
right wing 2/15/2013 10:24:53 AM Report

Mac

That is what I meant and I agree with your post.
right wing 2/15/2013 10:28:36 AM Report

learningaswego

I somewhat agree on your likeability when it comes to Hudak.
Bear in mind that he dam near won the thing in the last election.
Although I hope my conservatives change up the provincial leader I don't believe come election time it will matter much.
A conservative minority is what I see.
With NDP second.
Oldie Goldie 2/15/2013 12:40:00 PM Report

I see a New Democrat Minority Government with the Conservatives second and Liberals last.
But I can also foresee the Conservative and Liberal Coalition just to get the New Democrats out.

It will happen if the Majority of New Democrats from the North can spread their Policies into Southern Ontario.

Andrea Horwath is, by far, more popular than Hudak or the McGuinty successor.
She sounds sensible in her approach and will come to the forefront as long as the Liberals try to Govern Ontario.
Hudak will lose support in his attempts to be the Opposition to the Liberals.
Hudak supported too many Liberal failures!
Hudak joined the Liberals to pass Bill 115 which even the Liberals now admit was a mistake.

And, NO, I am not a member of the New Democratic Party or any other Party.

I am somewhat like Learningaswego---I will vote for who I think will be good for Ontario and our Area.
Comments
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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