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Toronto Centre





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He does , and likely will but he is getting his feet under him first

He can hone his craft in friendly confines, the election is still a long way off.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( Brian Lilley has some good points in this clip , brown is not being clear about where he stands on many issues and his team seems to be forgetting the party belongs to the people and its members not there small inner circle , he has time to turn things around but not forever )


Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown must pick a side: Liberal or Conservative?

Brian Lilley
Rebel Co-Founder


I don’t know what Patrick Brown stands for.

Kathleen Wynne needs to go, but what good would it do to replace Wynne with a man in a blue suit and skinny tie that continues Wynne’s politics and policies.

I get running to the right during the leadership race and tacking to the centre for a general election. But Brown is doing more than that, he and his team seem to be actively campaigning for the Toronto Star endorsement – and I’m not just talking about his war with social conservatives.

If Brown wants the support of grassroots conservatives then he has to pick a side and let them know where he stands.

But, I’m not ready to give up on Brown yet and I don’t think you should be.

Right now, he is sending the wrong signals and selling the wrong message. To social conservatives, it feels like Brown is spending as much time denouncing them as he spends denouncing Kathleen Wynne.

When he was running for leader Brown courted social conservatives, was staunchly against the sex ed curriculum, now he denounces the same people that agreed with him during the leadership.

He actually made an MPP apologize and retract statements he made about standing up for families on social issues.

It's fine to have a big tent, but the tent still has to be blue. And if you are shoving folks out of your tent in the hope of finding friends at the Red Star, then good luck.

The whole sex ed thing should have died down by now, but it hasn’t because Brown won’t stop talking about it and throwing his former supporters under the bus.

Then there is the issue where Brown is completely offside his own party, but on the side of the Toronto Star and the downtown Toronto elites -- a carbon tax.

Brown announced his support for a carbon tax at the party convention in Ottawa last February without consulting party members or caucus. Our poll showed 60% of Ontario voters opposed the carbon tax idea including 82% of PC supporters.

Finally, there's the issue of candidate nominations.

Brown promised open and fair nominations – he’s keeping that promise about as well as Justin Trudeau did. Every week I hear from someone else involved in a nomination battle about interference from Patrick’s team. It's leading to mistrust and that is deadly in politics.

Either just state that you and your team are going to be heavy-handed and push your preferred candidates or let the grass roots decide like you promised. You can’t have it both ways.

The election is just about 18 months away and Patrick Brown has a chance to win. He also has the ability to crash and burn.

So, I want you to help me send a message to Patrick Brown. Tell him that he has to pick a side. If he wants you on his side, then he needs to show that he's on your side.

You can do that by sending Patrick a polite email.

Let’s flood his email inbox telling him that he needs to get on board with you, the conservative movement, if he wants a shot at being premier in 2018.


http://www.therebel.media/patr.....ick-a-side
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toronto Centre wrote:
He does , and likely will but he is getting his feet under him first

He can hone his craft in friendly confines, the election is still a long way off.



did a quick scan on his twitter and this is where it shows he's been in the last few weeks

- an event at the "Albany club " in Toronto an elitist conservative club in Toronto

- Canada india foundation fundraising event

- another fundraiser at the "albany club " in Toronto

- Chinese Canadian media year end news conference

- CP24 news interview with Stephen Ledrew

- meeting with the US console general in Toronto

- Ontario pc fundraiser in north Toronto

- another Ontario pc fundraiser in Toronto

- fundraiser in London Ontario

- tiger jeet singh foundation- miracle on main street in Milton Ontario

- nanda and associates holiday party in Mississauga

- Eglinton Lawrence Ontario pc fundraiser

- fundraiser in Mississauga at private home

- fundraiser in Rosedale at private home

- event at St Maximilian Kolbe church

- polish community event in Mississauga

- Christmas party at a Filipino church in Toronto

- fundraiser in Richmond Hill at private home

- fundraiser in Mississauga

- Christmas party in Alliston Ontario

- Christmas party in Barrie Ontario

- Christmas party in Midland Ontario

- year end news conference at queens park

- meeting with animal justice ? to talk about animal protection laws

- fundraiser in Mississauga at private home

- Ontario pc Christmas party in Toronto

- helped global medic prepare packages at queens park

- speech at York Club in Toronto

- fundraiser in Toronto

- anti toll news conference

- event with Ron Maclean in Barrie Ontario and hometown hockey

- elmvale santa claus parade

- fundraiser in Toronto area

- salvation army santa shuffle run in Hamilton

- Canadian human rights voice holiday reception

- meeting in Midland Ontario

- fundraiser in Don Valley West


and these are only the events from now till December 1st , this guy is like the energiser bunny .



I realise wynne is changing the fundraising rules so there trying to do some before that happens but the amount of fundraisers he goes to is really high and the people that go to them and pretty committed supporters of the party shouldn't he be out trying to turn over more undecided voters ? it just seem to me , that someone else could represent the party at them instead and he should be out reaching out to the people who actually vote in the elections , the so called swing voters

and when I look thru the events , I don't see many with undecided or so called average voters , I don't see a lot of mainstreeting or tim Horton visits as they say , he must realise he needs these people to actually win
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

one meeting that really stands out is with animal justice , I had to check there website to try and figure out who they even were , they try and come across as somewhat mainstream and upset at people who abuse dogs and bad vets but as you look thru there site it appears there a lot more out there ,

there actually trying to have an " animal charter of rights and freedoms " created , which would give animals similar rights as humans and obviously make many agricultural and hunting practices common in Ontario illegal , meeting with this kind of radical group is no way to win over voters in Northern and Rural Ontario where hunting and agriculture is a way of life , even the federal liberals were smart enough to toss the latest attempt at new animal cruelty laws to the trash earlier this year





Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms


Sign the Charter

Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund is working to enshrine meaningful animal rights into Canadian law, including the right of animals to have their interests represented in court, and the guarantee of rights and freedoms that make life worth living.

The Animal Charter is premised on the recognition that animals experience suffering and pleasure in a way that is not biologically distinguishable from that of humans; that discrimination on the basis of arbitrary characteristics—like species—is a violation of equity, natural justice and the rule of law; and that our legal system must not exclude the most vulnerable members of society. View and sign onto the Charter here.

http://www.animaljustice.ca/is.....-freedoms/
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be a good measure of meetings with Asian ethnic associations too. He seems busy enough. I wouldn't be alarmed at the Albany Club references -- they are probably little get-togethers amongst party members of long standing and held there for convenience. All kinds of people want to meet the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives of Ontario.

Defining himself does seem to be a problem. I can see the comparison to the Scientology guy. The same 'wipes clean with a damp cloth' surface, same intense focus on something the rest of us don't see. Robotic.

From what I am seeing, reflected in my 'redneck neighbours' -- I have the world's best neighbours -- hydro bills are a theme in their facebook banter. And bitching around the kitchen table, too. Not that they feel oppressed -- but they smell a rat. That discussion has all the facts and figures.

The trouble is, my area is reliably PC. But I doubt that this is a matter of party loyalty. My neighbors systematically avoid knowing anything about politics. This is where the shoe pinches.

There's enough signs of incompetence with the green energy thing that it really deserves to be exposed, apart from the environmentalist idealism. I can't doubt there are other issues like this, largely invisible in the political reportage, that irk people.

The playbook says the leader in the polls should stand back, play passive, and avoid doing anything that takes the spotlight off the main perpetrators. Perhaps to emerge periodically, to sternly sum up what is plain to everybody.

It isn't just Patrick Brown. We might ask, what is the PC party about, at this time and place? In recent years, it has tried to reject the Harris brand, and then take it on again. The province is over its head in debt, the budget isn't balanced, and it's you'd get odds on them not making it. And the party is fighting about transgendered bathrooms that almost nobody wants!
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
There seems to be a good measure of meetings with Asian ethnic associations too. He seems busy enough. I wouldn't be alarmed at the Albany Club references -- they are probably little get-togethers amongst party members of long standing and held there for convenience. All kinds of people want to meet the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives of Ontario.

Defining himself does seem to be a problem. I can see the comparison to the Scientology guy. The same 'wipes clean with a damp cloth' surface, same intense focus on something the rest of us don't see. Robotic.

From what I am seeing, reflected in my 'redneck neighbours' -- I have the world's best neighbours -- hydro bills are a theme in their facebook banter. And bitching around the kitchen table, too. Not that they feel oppressed -- but they smell a rat. That discussion has all the facts and figures.

The trouble is, my area is reliably PC. But I doubt that this is a matter of party loyalty. My neighbors systematically avoid knowing anything about politics. This is where the shoe pinches.

There's enough signs of incompetence with the green energy thing that it really deserves to be exposed, apart from the environmentalist idealism. I can't doubt there are other issues like this, largely invisible in the political reportage, that irk people.

The playbook says the leader in the polls should stand back, play passive, and avoid doing anything that takes the spotlight off the main perpetrators. Perhaps to emerge periodically, to sternly sum up what is plain to everybody.

It isn't just Patrick Brown. We might ask, what is the PC party about, at this time and place? In recent years, it has tried to reject the Harris brand, and then take it on again. The province is over its head in debt, the budget isn't balanced, and it's you'd get odds on them not making it. And the party is fighting about transgendered bathrooms that almost nobody wants!



I wasn't surprised or alarmed by the Albany club visit , it be a normal spot to go if your were a conservative in Toronto but the people there are definitely not your average joes .

also think considering all the bad press Justin trudeau is taking over cash for access perhaps its a bad idea for the party leader to be leading the fundraising charge , if someone as Teflon and scandal proof as him is caught in a web cause of it , similar scandals could certainty affect other provincial politicians

just saying I think these fundraisers carry more risk down the road than the party realises and maybe someone should be leading the fundraising push other than brown , someone who isn't running for re-election or a former mpp or some other high profile person , the party is only thinking of the short term gain and not the long term potential realities
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( another editorial about Brown and what he could change )


It’s Time For Patrick Brown to Clean Out The Closet
December 16, 2016 - By Josh Lieblein


The PC Party of Ontario has had some pretty embarrassing scrimmages over candidates and nominations before, but Glengarry-Prescott-Russell hopeful Derek Duval getting the shaft a few weeks ago because someone- apparently not him- ate some poutine off a hockey stick in a video and some PC Party apparatchik mistook the poutine for a hamster may be the silliest yet.

I will give the party credit for at least giving a creative reason for punting Duval when someone else was clearly favoured. But this is just the latest example of what I’ve been saying for months: The Ontario PC’s keep trying to look good and hide their domestic disputes, and it’s just making them look ridiculous instead.

The entire nomination process, for example, is and always has been clearly rigged for the purpose of nominating candidates that satisfy the party mandarins’ notion of what is socially acceptable and what isn’t. Everyone who doesn’t have a vested interest can see this.

But a nomination process is useful for the purpose of raising money, identifying “supporters” who can be harassed constantly for money, and for giving people who would otherwise have nothing to do something to occupy their time.

So the charade continues, and it is healthy, occasionally, to point out that it is a charade.

But the same party officials can never handle the truth, because if the truth became known and widely accepted – rather than something we don’t acknowledge because it’s not polite to- they would have to work even harder to convince “905 voters” that they’re not a bunch of socially conservative yahoos.

Except there are already plenty of socially conservatives and other controversial figures deeply entrenched within the party, and it defies all credibility for anyone within the party – Patrick Brown included- to pretend otherwise.

Chatham-Kent MPP Rick Nicholls is well known for speaking out of turn. He’s been disciplined for saying he doesn’t believe in evolution and for attacking lobbyist and PR/GR specialist Lisa Kinsella.

So when Brown had to order him to retract his views recently for saying that social issues “were very, very important” to the PC Party but went no further, was anyone really shocked? Does anyone really believe this will solve the problem?

Then we have the buzz around MPP Monte McNaughton. Ask people who is next in line if Brown flops, and you will hear John Baird’s name tossed around, but McNaughton is certainly not standing idle. Are we really expected to believe that the man who shot to prominence by taking a stand against the province’s sex-ed curriculum is just going to walk away from all that? Does Brown really want him to?

Brown’s own personal weirdness- his confirmed bachelorhood, the fact that he doesn’t EVER drink or smoke, the fact that he functions on four hours of sleep- invites uncomfortable questions as well. Then you have the assortment of campaign managers, longtime activists, former Party Presidents, executive members and MPPs, all with skeletons in their closets and rumours swirling around them that you don’t dare mention publicly for fear of being on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

The PC Party of Ontario is old and storied and holds its share of interesting secrets. It’s packed with colourful characters. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But for them to deny people their shot at running for elected office for silly reasons is not only hypocritical, it shows they aren’t really comfortable in their own skins. That they care more about their own reputation than showing that they have a few flaws.

Ontario is in sharp decline. It has been for a very long time. And the governing Liberals spend far too much time papering over the province’s very real problems in the hope they will go away already.

If Brown really does want to win as badly as he says he does, he can’t offer Ontarians the same sort of superficial, impression-managed government they’ve already been getting.

If nothing else, being a little less calculated and a little more heartfelt would help the party connect to those vaunted “905 voters” a lot more than announcing support for a carbon tax would.

http://looniepolitics.com/its-.....he-closet/
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( what an out of touch politician , not a surprise she plans to stick around but read her reasons for doing so , what an ignorant statement , that she is premier until she is voted out or she herself decides to step down ? ok what about the polls that say she has a 16% approval rating ? they mean nothing ? even when its clear the province desperately wants someone else )


Kathleen Wynne says she has no plans to resign


Ontario’s premier is sending a clear signal to her political rivals, that she has no plans to quit.



“I’ll be walking in the snow and on the beach, but I’m not going,” Premier Kathleen Wynne told the Star in a year-end interview Monday. “I am going to be here through the 2018 election.’



Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks with the Star’s Queen's Park bureau chief Robert Benzie, left, and columnist Martin Regg Cohn during a year-end interview in her office on Monday.


By Robert BenzieQueen's Park Bureau Chief

Mon., Dec. 19, 2016


Premier Kathleen Wynne is sending a clear signal to her political rivals — within and outside the Liberal party — that she has no plans to resign despite her unpopularity in the polls.

“I’ll be walking in the snow and on the beach, but I’m not going,” Wynne told the Star in a year-end interview Monday.

“I am going to be here through the 2018 election,” the premier said, conceding “of course I feel a sense of responsibility” that her unpopularity could be harmful to Liberal MPPs’ re-election chances.

“I wouldn’t be honest if I said I didn’t feel responsibility — for sure.”

“All the conversations about ‘are the knives out?’ and ‘are people plotting?’ . . . the fact is I’m the premier until either the people decide I’m not the premier or I decide I’m going to step down. That’s how it works.”



Wynne, who led the Liberals to a majority victory in 2014, has watched her personal approval rating plunge in recent public opinion polls due in part to concerns over rising electricity prices.

“We are doing some really hard things,” the premier emphasized, pointing to her successful crusade to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other provincial leaders to bolster the Canada Pension Plan.

“We wrestled the CPP enhancement to the ground — that was a big challenge across the country.

“We’ve done difficult things like broaden the ownership of Hydro One and we’re investing in infrastructure that is under construction right now, so people don’t see the results yet of what we’ve been doing,” she said, referring to the controversial sale of 60 per cent of the public transmission utility to bankroll new roads, bridges, and transit.

“We’ve reorganized our student assistance so that (college and university) students in 2017 will have free tuition — kids from low- and middle-income families — and yet that hasn’t started . . . so the kids haven’t got that free tuition yet because they’re just applying now.”

Wynne said Ontarians will soon start to see the benefit of her government’s initiatives.

“The plan wasn’t to make investments so that I’d be popular. The plan was to make investments so we’d see economic growth in the province and people would have jobs and that’s happening,” she said.

Having said that, Wynne, who succeeded Dalton McGuinty as premier in February 2013, is mindful there are others beyond Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath who covet her job.

“The reality of this work is that you’re in these jobs for a limited amount of time. When I come into this building, I feel lucky every day. You don’t get to stay here forever. I certainly don’t get to stay in this office forever,” she said, insisting would-be leadership hopefuls’ ambitions shouldn’t be quashed.

“I hope there are good strong people in the Liberal family who are thinking about a succession plan,” the premier said.

“It would be a really bad thing if there weren’t people who felt that at some point they might want to step into these shoes and take responsibility in this job. So I encourage that.”

While Wynne stressed she has “very cohesive team” — indeed, none of her cabinet ministers is actively gunning for her job — it is widely known some are quietly considering future leadership bids.

Among those most often mentioned as possible contenders down the road: Attorney General Yasir Naqvi; Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca; Children and Youth Services Minister Michael Coteau; Health Minister Eric Hoskins; Finance Minister Charles Sousa; Education Minister Mitzie Hunter; and Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid.

Wynne said such ministerial aspiration is “fantastic because it makes them more engaged and it makes them better people. I don’t have a problem with that.”

The premier admitted she was sorry to lose David Orazietti from her cabinet.

Orazietti, 48, resigned Friday as community safety and correctional services minister, which will force Wynne to call a byelection for Sault Ste. Marie before the end of June.

“Do I want another byelection? No, I don’t want another byelection. Would I have preferred David stay? Absolutely, he’s a great minister and a friend, but he’s also a man with a life and he has to look after himself and his family.”

The lingering fallout of the February 2015 byelection in Sudbury will haunt Wynne in the new year.

That’s because Patricia Sorbara, her former deputy chief of staff, is facing a trial on Election Act violations related to that contest.

The bribery charges against Sorbara and Sudbury Liberal activist Gerry Lougheed — who deny any wrongdoing — were a low point for Wynne this year.

“I think there are a lot of people who are not part of my world who are happy to see 2016 going out the door — on so many levels, for so many reasons,” she said

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/12/19/kathleen-wynne-says-she-has-no-plans-to-resign.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, it seems she was candid and realistic about the Liberal's future chances. She came across well, from my spot in the cheap seats.

I didn't think she could win the last election, and she did. She got handed a bag of turds when she took the job of premier, and has managed to milk another five years out of it. And her pet project, making the world a better place for homosexuals through 'sex education' is proceeding apace, putatively splitting the PCs.

You have to say -- she's a helluva politician. No wonder she doesn't listen to polls. she would have rolled over last time if she listened to polls.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Actually, it seems she was candid and realistic about the Liberal's future chances. She came across well, from my spot in the cheap seats.

I didn't think she could win the last election, and she did. She got handed a bag of turds when she took the job of premier, and has managed to milk another five years out of it. And her pet project, making the world a better place for homosexuals through 'sex education' is proceeding apace, putatively splitting the PCs.

You have to say -- she's a helluva politician. No wonder she doesn't listen to polls. she would have rolled over last time if she listened to polls.



its true she managed to extent the liberals life expectancy longer than expected but her approval rating has never been this low , I had to dig deep to try and find what it was before 2014 election , according to forum polls it was anywhere from 32 % - 40% in there polls from 2013 - 2014 , its never been this low and not sure any sitting premier in Ontario has ever been this low , her approval rating before the last election didn't justify a resignation but being at 16 % or lower certainty does

http://poll.forumresearch.com/.....n-ontario/
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Actually, it seems she was candid and realistic about the Liberal's future chances. She came across well, from my spot in the cheap seats.

I didn't think she could win the last election, and she did. She got handed a bag of turds when she took the job of premier, and has managed to milk another five years out of it. And her pet project, making the world a better place for homosexuals through 'sex education' is proceeding apace, putatively splitting the PCs.

You have to say -- she's a helluva politician. No wonder she doesn't listen to polls. she would have rolled over last time if she listened to polls.



I don't think her victory in 2014 really means much now , in 2014 the dynamics were different , its much easier to elect a liberal government provincially in Ontario if there is a federal conservative government , its much harder to try and elect a liberal government when there is also one in Ottawa

the pc's also were oddly unprepared for 2014 and ran a horrible campaigned compared to 2011 , that year I remember being in Barrie which was an open riding that year as liberal mpp had retired and the pc's had a huge campaign office and ran a great campaign but by 2014 all that momentum and organization had seemingly disappeared and liberals with the help of unions ( who ran full page attack ads in local papers and ads on radio ) managed to take back that riding

the pc campaign was so bad it allowed wynne to sneak back in with a small majority she never should of been able to win , the dynamics she had in 2014 aren't going to be in play by the next election
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Platt: As we enter 2017, a shaky opposition takes aim at a beleaguered Ontario government

Brian Platt
More from Brian Platt

Published on: December 29, 2016 | Last Updated: December 30, 2016 2:45 PM EST



What did the wild year of 2016 bring at Queen’s Park? There were a handful of interesting byelections. A few major bills passed. A cabinet shuffle and a throne speech marked the halfway point of the Liberal government’s mandate.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Brexit or Donald Trump.

But 2016 set the stage for what will be a crucial year in Ontario politics as the next election approaches. The parties are building their platforms and nominating candidates. They’re rethinking how to raise money, as Jan. 1 marks the end of corporate and union donations and brings in a ban on politicians attending big-money fundraisers. And there are potentially two trials that will probe deeply into the practices of senior Liberal aides.

So as we cross over to 2017, let’s assess the state of Ontario politics and examine the hard questions facing the three major parties and their leaders.

Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals



The first time Wynne ran for an Ontario Liberal nomination in 1999, she lost to future attorney general Michael Bryant. Since then, all she’s done is win, and often against enormous odds. In the 2003 election, she took down PC cabinet minister David Turnbull. In the next one, she dispatched PC leader John Tory. She entered the Liberal leadership race in 2012 as an underdog, but outmanoeuvred Sandra Pupatello to become premier. It was widely viewed as a poisoned chalice, but she pulled off an astonishing election victory in 2014, restoring the Liberal majority and leaving the demoralized PC party leaderless.

Yes, some of it was luck and good timing. And yes, her opponents have tended to step on rakes. But people write Wynne off at their peril.

The mountain she faces now, however, is taller than any she’s scaled before. The Liberals are heavily weighed down by the baggage of governing for 13 years. Wynne’s approval rating is comically low, approaching single digits. Expensive hydro rates, cash-for-access fundraising controversies, multiple police investigations, the ever-accumulating provincial debt, an intractable feud with doctors, a lengthy battle with teachers, an uproar over special-needs schools and a climb-down over changes to autism treatment funding have all taken their toll. Her government is unpopular and vulnerable, and her opposition is re-energized.

READ: Editorial: The challenges our leaders face in 2017 (including Trump)

But it’s worth remembering how much Wynne has gotten done in the two and a half years since the election. Huge programs – the infrastructure spending spree, the cap-and-trade scheme, the provincial pension plan, the Hydro One privatization and the alcohol retail liberalization – are past the planning stages and well into implementation (save for the pension plan, which was leveraged into a national CPP expansion). The 2016 budget announced an overhaul to tuition grants to make post-secondary school essentially free for low-income students, a surprise policy that was warmly received.

So Wynne has a solid record of accomplishment, and it will keep growing. Can it overcome voter fatigue and cynicism toward her party? Here, there is a gigantic problem looming: high-profile trials against four prominent Liberals. A trial is scheduled for September for David Livingston and Laura Miller, top aides to former premier Dalton McGuinty who are facing criminal charges over allegations of wiping hard drives in the premier’s office. And Pat Sorbara (Wynne’s former deputy chief of staff) and Gerry Lougheed Jr. (a Liberal organizer) may also go to trial in 2017 over allegations they illegally offered employment to a prospective candidate in the Sudbury byelection.

These trials will generate a steady flow of sordid headlines about Liberal practices. (Remember the Mike Duffy trial in the run-up to the federal election?) The Sorbara/Lougheed trial in particular will be terrible for Wynne. Sorbara was in charge of the Liberal re-election effort, but her formidable skills are now sidelined. And unlike the Miller and Livingston case, this all took place entirely on Wynne’s watch as premier, and she has publicly and repeatedly backed Sorbara. Wynne owns this scandal.

Meanwhile, the opposition will keep hammering away on the cost of hydro, an issue that’s escalated so much that Wynne committed to spending $1 billion annually to remove the provincial portion of HST from bills. Hydro is a tough, no-win issue for the government; the opposition parties won’t say it, but they have no realistic plan to lower bills either. Yet Wynne had to do something to contain the damage.

And the cost of hydro is more than a wound Wynne hopes to cauterize. It’s symbolic of a larger problem — one she is cognizant of. In a round of interviews in the fall, she said she’d gotten a little too caught up in the big picture and is re-focusing her attention on the daily challenges citizens are facing.

But here’s a prediction: It won’t be long until Wynne’s back to dreaming big. She thrives on getting a room of people fired up with inspiring rhetoric. It’s what makes her such an effective campaigner.

The Liberals have spent much of the past year playing defence on hydro and fundraising reform. If the past is any guide, they’ll switch to offence in the run-up to the election. However, there’s still only so much Wynne can do to recover from her abysmal approval rating. Much will depend on her opponents.

Patrick Brown and the Progressive Conservatives

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown delivers a speech at the Ontario Progressive Conservative convention in Ottawa, Saturday, March 5, 2016.

On the day Brown won the PC leadership in 2015, the Liberals put out a news release calling him an “unapologetic tea party radical.” It turned out to be the completely wrong frame of attack. The Liberals now paint him as an opportunist with no vision or values, a man who simply wants to be premier and will adopt whatever position is most likely to get him there. Is it true? We do know he’s pushing the party in a centrist direction, but his ideology remains hazy and will remain so until we see a campaign platform.

Brown won the leadership race on the basis of relentless organizing, signing up tens of thousands of new members. He’s kept that up over the past year; a CBC analysis of preliminary numbers shows the PCs raised about twice the amount of money as the Liberals in 2016. The new rules, however, will prevent him from attending fundraising events himself. That could be a problem.

And there are other problems on the horizon. At the party’s convention in March, he shocked the room by endorsing carbon pricing. It’s a stance that takes courage at a time when most federal Conservatives still bash it as “job-killing,” and it gives the PCs more credibility to criticize Wynne’s cap-and-trade program. But it has sown discontent in the ranks, particularly in rural ridings.

Then, during an August byelection in Scarborough, the party circulated a letter that promised to “scrap” Wynne’s updates to the sex ed curriculum. The PCs have spent years making vague promises to the anti-sex-ed movement to secure their organizational energy, but the letter went too far, and Brown was forced to stage an embarrassing retreat. The PCs won the byelection, but social conservative groups declared war, leaking damaging texts and emails to the media.

Nomination races are now a minefield for Brown. A Niagara region byelection in the fall saw party president Rick Dykstra defeated for the nomination by a 19-year-old social conservative. In recent weeks, multiple candidates hoping to run in 2018 have been disqualified by the leader’s office, and discontent is growing in the ridings. Brown says he’s “enhanced” the vetting process to weed out candidates who don’t support the party’s direction, but there’s only so far he can push that before he faces a revolt.

Conventional wisdom says Brown just needs to avoid big mistakes before the election to win, but the rookie leader will likely need more than that against an experienced Liberal campaign team. The party needs a coherent message with fleshed out policies, and a leader at the helm who inspires confidence.

So what exactly is Brown’s vision for Ontario beyond railing against expensive electricity and saying nice things about doctors, teachers and police officers? He’s promised a grassroots policy development process, but the party is split by factions and it’s not clear yet if he’s up to the task of reconciling them. As he’s already learned, trying to be all things to everyone is not going to work.

Andrea Horwath and the NDP

Andrea Horwath

In the last election, the NDP ran a pocket-book focused campaign designed to be a safe alternative to the Liberals and Tories. The gamble was understandable, given the scandal-ridden Liberals and the hard-right platform of Tim Hudak’s PCs. But it failed miserably as the Liberals’ more ambitious campaign won out. (You may have seen the sequel to this film, called “The 2015 Federal Election.”)

There was huge turmoil in the NDP membership over the campaign strategy, as many felt the party had abandoned its principles. At the fall 2014 convention in Toronto, it seemed almost certain Horwath would be turfed. But the vote came in 77 per cent in her favour, and she’s set to lead the party into the next election.

The Liberals have already delivered what should have been a dream issue for the NDP: the sell-off of 60 per cent of Hydro One to raise capital for infrastructure. Polls have shown it’s a hugely unpopular policy, and the NDP should be the prime beneficiary. The PCs say they’re steadfastly opposed, but selling Hydro One was first proposed by a PC government in 2002.

New Democrats held town hall after town hall across the province on Hydro One, and launched huge ad campaigns in coordination with unions. But they’ve failed to get any traction with voters. In the five byelections since the Hydro One announcement, the NDP vote share has barely moved, while the PCs have boosted theirs by around 10 percentage points each time. Today, the NDP places third in most polls.

On top of all this, there are signs the party is headed for the same trouble as 2014. Horwath has come out against tolling Toronto’s highways, and it’s resurfacing the tensions in the party. If the PCs are attempting to reconcile social and fiscal conservatives, the NDP are in a similar battle with downtown progressives and blue-collar workers.

Start the clock on 2017

We’ll enter the new year with a beleaguered governing party facing the prospect of having its dirty laundry aired out in courtrooms; a right-wing opposition party with warring factions under an inexperienced leader; and a left-wing opposition party still figuring out how to get votes without selling its soul.

But all three parties have governed Ontario in the last 25 years, and have a shot at winning the next election: Wynne, because she’s overcome the odds before; Brown, because of his strength in retail politics; Horwath, because she has more experience leading her party than the other two combined.

We’re now entering the home stretch of the government’s mandate, and the campaign for 2018 is already underway.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/.....government
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A year of reckoning for Brown, Horwath: Hepburn


Premier Wynne seems down and out, but opposition leaders face their own troubles


Ontario NDP provincial leader Andrea Horwath, left, and Conservative leader Patrick Brown speak after meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne's regarding the political fundraising debate at Queen's Park in April. "Despite the favourable signs pointing their way, though, both the Tories and NDP run a serious risk of seeing their current advantages fade due to questionable leadership and internal strife within their own ranks," writes Bob Hepburn. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)



By Bob HepburnPolitics

Thu., Jan. 5, 2017

It’s a widely held belief in politics that governments fall by defeating themselves rather than an opposition party seizing victory on the strength of a charismatic leader or a compelling election platform.

That scenario is playing itself out in Ontario, where the Liberals under Premier Kathleen Wynne are feeling a lot of panic these days as the government lurches from bad news to more bad news.

The reasons for the Liberals’ panic are obvious: a series of political scandals, soaring electricity rates, a struggling provincial economy and a general sense of fatigue after more than 13 years in power.

At this stage, Wynne appears down and out, with her approval rating at an all-time low of 14 per cent, the worst for any premier in Canada. One pollster is now predicting a “supermajority” victory for the Conservatives in the 2018 election, with the Liberals a distant third behind the second-place NDP.

Despite the favourable signs pointing their way, though, both the Tories and NDP run a serious risk of seeing their current advantages fade due to questionable leadership and internal strife within their own ranks.



Indeed, 2017 will be a year of reckoning for both Conservative leader Patrick Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

Over the next 12 months, Brown’s strategy will be to say as little as possible, hammer away at a few key issues, such as hydro rates, and drive home a message that “it’s time for change” given that the Liberals will have been in power for 15 years by the time the June 7, 2018, election rolls around.

As the year starts, Brown doesn’t seem to be facing any serious trouble unless the small but highly vocal social conservative wing of the party undermines his caucus unity.



But Brown’s lead in the polls is vulnerable. Despite being party leader for 17 months, he is still relatively unknown by voters.

More troubling is that some party insiders dismiss him as not a strong leader in the style of Mike Harris and others suggest he may not have control of his often-contentious legislative caucus.

Worrisome signs are already emerging for Brown.

First, he’s gaining a reputation as a politician who flip-flops on key issues, as highlighted by his handling of the party’s position on the updated sex-education curriculum.

Second, he’s fighting a rearguard action against aggressive social conservatives within the party who backed his 2015 leadership bid, but now feel he has betrayed them by announcing he has intention of rolling back abortion rights, gay marriage or the new sex ed curriculum.

Deb Hutton, a former top aide to Mike Harris and the wife of former Tory leader Tim Hudak, writing recently in QP Briefing newsletter, dismisses articles about the role of social conservatives within the party. “The notion that there is a growing shift in the makeup of the Ontario PC Party, or that the party is deeply divided along these lines is ridiculous,” she wrote.

But then she criticized Brown, saying he “self-inflicted” the “wound” to some extent himself by trying to “distance himself from his previous position on some of these issues.”

In particular, she noted that Brown’s handling of Bill 28, the All Families Are Equal Act, “once again shone a light on issues that do little to lead to his electoral success in 2018.” Hutton concluded that unless Brown “can find a way to shift the media focus from social issues, it will be a tougher road ahead.”

For Horwath, the risk is that she plays it too safe, believing NDP voters who abandoned the party in the 2014 election and voted strategically for the Wynne Liberals in order to ensure Hudak was defeated will simply return to the fold in 2018.

But after nearly eight years as NDP leader, Horwath still seems to lack true political gut instincts. The most recent example of that is her decision to oppose Toronto’s plan to impose tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. That directly conflicts with the views of every NDP-leaning Toronto councillor, the very people Horwarth needs to help run her campaign in the city.

The anti-toll stand was “the last straw” for Paul Ferreira, a former MPP who quit the party in protest. Ferreira is likely not alone in the NDP in his views.

As the Conservatives and NDP see it, there’s lots of time for Brown and Horwath to “fix” these issues, gain control of their caucus, and get through 2017 with a game plan that includes consistent stands on key policies.

The question is what happens if Brown and Horwath fail to do just that

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/01/05/a-year-of-reckoning-for-brown-horwath-hepburn.html
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the 2018 election has been moved to June from October, the window for the OLP to select a new leader should the Premier resign is closing.

The last time the OLP saw a lead in a non-Ipsos Reid poll was April 26, 2015, and even that poll is bookended with polls that show a PC lead going back to February 27, 2015.

We are talking almost two years where the OLP has been fighting to stay in second rather than first.

Granted Working Families Ontario is yet to flood the airwaves painting Patrick Brown as a Pro Choice, Alt Right, Corporate Shill or whatever non-sense they will try to go with, but even with that factor its surprising that there isn't at least some discussion about replacing the Premier?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:
A year of reckoning for Brown, Horwath: Hepburn

Second, he’s fighting a rearguard action against aggressive social conservatives within the party who backed his 2015 leadership bid, but now feel he has betrayed them by announcing he has intention of rolling back abortion rights, gay marriage or the new sex ed curriculum.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/01/05/a-year-of-reckoning-for-brown-horwath-hepburn.html


I am not sure if this is just the Toronto Star being the Toronto Star,
But are either Abortion or Same Sex Marriage within the domain of the Province to override? Both have historically and almost exclusively been the realm of the Federal Government have they not?
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