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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(it must be depressing to be an mpp in Wynne's government rate now , but this bad ? )

Ontario cabinet minister dealing with depression, steps aside

The Canadian Press

First posted: Monday, February 13, 2017 01:46 PM EST | Updated: Monday, February 13, 2017 01:50 PM EST

Ontario’s minister of northern development and mines says he is temporarily stepping aside as he deals with depression.

Michael Gravelle says in a statement that he has been “struggling with a feeling of uneasiness” that he hasn’t been able to shake and last year his doctor diagnosed him with depression.

He says since then he has dealt with it privately while maintaining his work, but it has become clear he needs to take time to properly address the illness.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro will temporarily take over at northern development and mines, while keeping his current responsibilities.

She says it takes great courage to speak publicly about mental health challenges and everyone at Queen’s Park is rooting for Gravelle.

He says while he understands the importance of talking openly about mental health, he is asking for privacy for now.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( wynne has found extra money to give to the teacher's just in time for the next election , well its true there may be labour peace in Ontario it came at a price and has jeopardised our future financial stability )

Wynne pours cash on Ontario teachers

First posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 08:05 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 09:32 PM EST

Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne apparently has money to burn — our money — when it comes to compensating teachers. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/PHOTO)

Apparently Ontario’s finances are in such great shape that Premier Kathleen Wynne can afford to open up the spending spigots to buy peace with Ontario’s teacher unions in time for next year’s provincial election.

Last year, Wynne said she was prepared to loosen the government’s purse strings for all public sector workers, presumably because the Liberals have done such a great job of financial management.

As reported by the Toronto Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy, documents obtained by the Sun indicate the model, two-year contract extension Wynne is offering teachers to ensure labour peace safely beyond the spring, 2018 Ontario election, include a 4% pay hike, a 4% annual hike in benefits and a 0.5% lump sum payment for “supplies”.

Levy reported specifically on the hush hush, tentative deal reached between the Liberals and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, in which teachers appear to be getting a 1.5% pay hike this September, a 0.5% lump sum payment for “supplies” in November, a 1% pay hike in September, 2018, a 1% pay hike in February 2019, a 0.5% pay hike in August, 2019 and a 4% annual increase in benefits.

That’s compared to their previous three-year deal in which their compensation was supposed to be “net zero” in terms of the overall contract, although those agreements also included raises, albeit less generous ones.

None of this is surprising given that the teacher unions have been staunch political allies of the Liberals ever since the 2003 election that began their ongoing 14-year dynasty.

This in a province that under the Liberals, is now the world’s most indebted sub-sovereign borrower, with a $300 billion provincial debt.

The Liberal-teacher alliance has been very expensive for taxpayers.

As Deani Van Pelt of the Fraser Institute’s Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education notes in her Sun column today, Ontario spends a whopping 77 cents out of every education dollar on teacher and education worker compensation alone — highest among the provinces.

Van Pelt also notes that between 2004 and 2013, teacher and education worker compensation in Ontario increased by $6.4 billion or 47.6%, while student enrolment declined by 5.1%.

Nonetheless, Wynne apparently has money to burn — our money — when it comes to compensating teachers.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( wynne is so desperate to boost her popularity she is now planning to offer hydro relief of some sort )

Relief package coming for northern, rural Hydro users, Kathleen Wynne says

The poor, rural and northern residents can expect special attention in electricity bill relief plan, Wynne suggests

Energy Minister Glen Thibeault signalled the provincial government is prepared to go beyond the $1 billion a year it is spending on the instant HST rebates for electricity. (Tim Alamenciak / Toronto Star file photo)

By Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau

Wed., Feb. 15, 2017

The poor, rural and northern residents facing “even more of a challenge” from high electricity costs will get special attention in a new hydro relief package, Premier Kathleen Wynne says.

The aid plan, expected within weeks, will build on an 8 per cent instant rebate — equivalent to the provincial portion of the HST — on electricity bills that kicked in on Jan. 1.

“That actually isn’t enough,” Wynne told reporters Wednesday before cabinet ministers heard detailed proposals from Energy Minister Glen Thibeault behind closed doors.

“The reality is that there has been an increase in everyone’s electricity bills, but there are some people who are carrying a disproportionate burden,” she added.

Thibeault said options include moving some costs of the electricity system from homeowners and businesses through their hydro rates to the broader base of taxpayers, sharing the load more widely.

He would not estimate how much more Ontarians could save on their electricity bills, saying it depends on what elements the government chooses.

They include helping rural and northern residents in extreme cases where remote delivery charges for electricity are punishing, but not a general scenario where urban residents with relatively cheaper delivery costs subsidize all rural residents, sources have said.

Thibeault signalled the government is prepared to go beyond the $1 billion a year it is spending on the instant HST rebates for electricity. Remote rural residents are also getting as much as 20 per cent off their hydro costs under a program that also took effect in January.

“I get that we need to take it to the next level to actually help people with their bills,” Thibeault said.

“We’re working as quickly as we can on this,” he added, warning some measures may require legislation that takes time for MPPs to pass. Others could be done faster by regulation.

The government, which is struggling in public opinion polls, faces a provincial election in 17 months. Hydro costs are often higher in rural and northern areas because they don’t have natural gas service for cheaper home heating, and rely on electric baseboards or electric furnaces.

While Ontarians await the hydro relief, the Progressive Conservatives slammed the government for not passing a law banning local utilities from disconnecting homes for nonpayment of bills until spring.

“One is one too many in the dead of winter,” said Tory MPP John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke), who did not have any statistics on disconnects this winter and called on Thibeault to issue a ministerial directive banning the practice.

Thibeault said he does not have the authority to issue such an order under the Electricity Act, passed by the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris in 1998.

Hydro One announced last year it would not disconnect any customers this winter and some utilities have shied away from disconnects because of the pending bill, which returns to the Legislature for final debate Feb. 28.

The Ontario Energy Board said it is still gathering numbers on disconnections


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( in another attempt to boost her popularity , wynne is going on a US tour )

'Many questions' about future of Ontario-U.S. trade relationship: Wynne

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017 2:36PM EST

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will visit the United States next month and head up a new committee on Ontario-U.S. economic and trade relations, as the province braces for protectionism south of the border.

After meeting Wednesday with David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the United States, Wynne spoke of reminding American leaders of Ontario's importance to their economy.

"As Canada's largest economy and the centre of our country's manufacturing, finance, high-tech and clean-tech sectors, Ontario de facto plays a huge role in our bilateral relationship with the United States," she said.

"Of course there are many questions about what Ontario's trade relationship with the U.S. is going to look like in the future. That's a reality. We have questions that are not yet answered. I believe that we have an opportunity at this moment to shape how that partnership will continue."

MacNaughton, who gave Wynne's cabinet a briefing after their meeting, said it's a "very challenging time," but it is important for both Canada and subnational governments such as Ontario to prepare both for a new administration and a growing protectionist climate in the U.S.

"I think we've fallen down a bit on the job in terms of convincing them about how their prosperity and our prosperity are so linked," he said. "That's why the reaching out to not just the people in Washington, but the governors, legislators, right across the United States is so important to building this sense of interdependency and how we can prosper together by working together."

Wynne will travel to the U.S. next month to meet with business and political leaders.

The new committee is set to sit at least monthly between now and September, "or more frequently as necessary."

Other members include the province's representative in Washington, D.C., the international trade minister, the economic development minister, the agriculture minister, Wynne's chief of staff, and the secretary of the cabinet.

The announcements come as part of a major push from Ontario to remind the U.S. in a protectionist era of the province's importance as a trading partner.

Cabinet ministers have been armed with a sheet of talking points to promote Ontario trade when speaking to their colleagues in the U.S. The notes include that Ontario is the top export destination of 20 states and that the auto parts supply chain is so integrated that the average vehicle crosses the Ontario-U.S. border seven times before it is completed. More than US$800 million in goods are traded between the two jurisdictions each day.

Wynne also sent letters to the governors of 27 American states -- the 20 for whom Ontario is the top export destination and another seven ranking Ontario as their second top export market -- and has recently been calling those governors to speak with them directly "to discuss the opportunities to strengthen our relationship."

Trump had been talking about overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement, but said after meeting Monday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his main concern is Mexico, and his goal is be to "tweak" elements affecting Canada.

MacNaughton said he is "cautiously optimistic" after those comments that any changes could benefit both sides of the border.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( a new poll from mainstreet and wynne's numbers continue to trend low )

Premier Wynne's popularity 'abysmal': Poll

By Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun
First posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 07:20 AM EST | Updated: Friday, February 17, 2017 07:25 AM EST

TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne’s approval rating has increased four percentage points and still comes in at under 20%.

Two-thirds of Ontarians either somewhat or strongly disapprove of her job performance as premier, while only 18% think she’s doing a good job, according to a new poll.

“I would say that she has improved from atrocious to abysmal,” Mainstreet Research president Quito Maggi said Thursday of the 4% bump. “That’s still a long, long way from where she needs to be to have any chance of a comeback.”

A Mainstreet Research poll found that among decided or leaning voters, 39% back the Progressive Conservatives, 29% support the Liberals, 27% give the nod to the NDP and 4% favour the Greens.

A strong 62% of those polled like how NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is handling her duties.

Although Horwath’s high-popularity numbers haven’t translated to great box-office success in the past, they do suggest momentum as the election approaches in 2018, Maggi said.

When it comes to PC Leader Patrick Brown, whose party is currently at the top of the polls, his approval numbers have dipped to 47%.

“He’s down slightly; this is just outside the margin of error in terms of decrease,” Maggi said. “He’s still close to a majority approval. I don’t see that being much of a concern if I’m Patrick Brown.”

The same poll asked voters if Wynne had taken any action to lower their hydro bills – a top concern for Ontarians.

Even though the Ontario Liberals under Wynne dropped the 8% provincial portion of the HST off hydro bills as of Jan. 1, not many people seemed to have noticed.

More than half of Ontarians – 55% - say the government has taken no action over the past year to reduce electricity prices, the poll found.

That finding may explain why Wynne and her party are struggling, behind in almost ever part of the province except the cities of Toronto and Ottawa.

Even the 905, which came out the winner when Wynne blocked Toronto Mayor John Tory from slapping polls on the two main highways into the city, favours the PCs.

“I think at this point it’s not about the message, it’s the messenger,” Maggi said. “I really do believe that a lot of the positive announcements that this Premier has made in the last year - whether it’s about the hydro rebate, free tuition for low income families, even small things like beer in grocery stores that is widely popular – I think it’s all being drowned out by the hydro rates and hydro privatization and the way the government has really lost control of that whole process.”

Mainstreet Research also asked Ontarians about the impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the auto sector, a key provincial industry, and most said it would harm it.

The pollster surveyed 2,524 Ontarians on Feb. 12 through landlines and cell lines, and the results are considered accurate within 1.95 percentage points


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( is this poll really a surprise ? somehow I don't really see these approval numbers going up ? unless she can really pull off something that catches peoples attention )

Wynne’s approval ratings remain low: Poll

Kathleen Wynne
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne takes part in the meeting of First Ministers in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Friday, February 17, 2017 10:27AM EST

Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to be hampered by woefully low approval ratings according to a new poll.

The Mainstreet Research poll sampled 2,524 Ontarians through an interactive phone poll to landlines and cellphones on Feb. 12.

It found that some 65 per cent of respondents strongly or somewhat disapprove of the way Wynne is handling her job as premier, compared to 18 per cent who strongly or somewhat approve of how she’s doing.

Kathleen Wynne


Read the full poll here.


That compares with a high approval rating enjoyed by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (62 per cent approval versus 29 per cent disapproval). Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown sits at 47 per cent approval, while 31 per cent disapprove of the job he’s doing.

The poll also found that the Ontario Liberal Party could be in trouble if an election were held today, with some 33 per cent of voters saying they would support the Progressive Conservative Party.

The poll found that with 24 per cent support, the Liberals would be vying for second place with the NDP, which currently polls at 23 per cent support.

“The PCs are leading in most regions of the province but still lag in Toronto,” Mainstreet Research President Quito Maggi said in a news release issued with the poll. “In South West Ontario they are now in a virtual tie with the NDP, with the PCs at 39% and the NDP at 37% among decided and leaning voters.

“These are improved numbers for the Liberals, they are up 4% overall and continue to lead in the City of Toronto, but their regional number in the GTA (30%) would lead to a virtual wipe-out outside Toronto and Ottawa city limits.”

In addition to looking at the numbers for the provincial parties and their leaders, the poll asked respondents about a number of other issues, including hydro rates and the effect that U.S. President Donald Trump could have on Ontario’s auto sector.

“Perhaps underscoring the difficulty Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to face 55% of Ontarians say the provincial government has not taken any action in the last year to reduce electricity prices,” Maggi said in the release. “As Ontario’s Liberals continue to look for ways to shed this albatross they will not only have to deliver a reduction in prices but will need to effectively communicate new policy to Ontarians if they want the political credit.”

When it comes to Trump, the poll found that 55 per cent of Ontarians feel his economic policies will negatively impact Ontario’s auto sector. That number was lower in Southwestern Ontario (32 per cent) and higher in the GTA, where 69 per cent of respondents said Trump’s policies will hurt the province’s auto sector.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.95 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you click on the detailed poll , there is even worse numbers for wynne

North ( where the sault ste marie by election looms ) pc 38 , ndp 31 , lib 26 , green 4

but wynne's personal numbers up north are even worse - strongly approve 5 , somewhat approve 5 , somewhat disapprove 42 , strongly disapprove 37 ( that works out to only a 10 % approval rating up north , truly dismal )

the GTA/ 905 is equally dismal for wynne - pc 44 , lib 30 , ndp 23 , green 3

personal numbers - strongly approve 8 , somewhat approve 7 , somewhat disapprove 34 , strongly disprove 33 , which equals a 15 % approval in the vote rich GTA

even in the 416 she only has a 25 % approval rating


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Five things Kathleen Wynne is doing to save her political skin

With an election looming next year, Ontario’s premier is cratering in the polls—and desperate times call for desperate measures

Charlie Gillis

February 17, 2017

Kathleen Wynne can be accused of many things, but not inertia. With an election campaign looming next year, and her approval ratings at epic lows, the Ontario’s Liberal premier has been a political pinwheel, sending announcements, agreements, strategic leaks and policy reversals flying in every direction.

Sophisticates will shrug. A pol’s got to save her skin, after all, and the pressure within Wynne’s party to do something—anything—must be enormous. But the spectacle Ontarians are witnessing is less common than you think. Most office-holders have obeyed the writing on the wall long before their positives reach 16 per cent. But Wynne’s in a rare position, having spanned the fin de siècle in 2014 with her upset majority victory, by which point the Grits had already been in power for more than a decade. Just three years ago, she was presenting herself as a figure of change, with a plan to govern from what she called the “activist centre.” Today her vision is at best partially fulfilled, which might explain why she’s stated her intention to lead her party into the next election.

To have any chance of winning, though, Wynne has to turn those numbers around. Here are the desperate measures she and her government have taken in hopes of staving off electoral disaster.

Keeping the lights on

No issue is a bigger millstone for the Liberals than sky-high electricity bills, which climbed 70 per cent for homes and small business between 2006 and 2014 (Wynne was in cabinet through almost all of that period, though never as energy minister). So last September, the province announced that it would rebate to customers its eight-per-cent portion of the harmonized sales tax on power bills.

This band-aid move might have done more harm than good. The premier offered it up as much-needed relief. Yet for the average household, it computed to a measly $10 per month saving. In the end, her rebate probably drew more attention to the Grits’ well-documented missteps on the hydro file than it did to her empathy.

Toll-free call to 905

Starved for cash with which to build transit infrastructure, Toronto Mayor John Tory took the political plunge of his mandate in November, promising to toll the two city-controlled highways entering his sprawling metropolis. Wynne, he says, personally encouraged him to pursue the model.

But he’d barely floated the plan when the premier declared she’d use the province’s power over municipalities to scotch it. Instead, the province is offering an added $170 million in gas tax revenue

It’s easy to see why. Tory had been proudly justifying tolls as a way to make 905 residents “pay their fair share”—a reference to suburban commuters who travel Toronto’s highways daily but whose property taxes don’t go toward their upkeep because they live outside the city’s limits. Toronto might be big. But no party can hope to win power in Ontario without at least a bite of the ridings in 905, the populous region that forms a giant necklace around it.

There, Wynne’s move has been warmly greeted. Two weeks ago, the Toronto Sun published a poll suggesting 56 per cent of voters in the 905 were pleased by the decision.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's speaks during a press conference regarding the political fundraising question at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, April 11, 2016. (Nathan Denette/CP)
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s speaks during a press conference regarding the political fundraising question at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Monday, April 11, 2016. (Nathan Denette/CP)

School’s open

Wynne might be the best friend Ontario teachers ever had (and vice versa: teachers’ unions have contributed generously to Liberal candidates’ and leaders’ campaigns since the 2000s). But that wouldn’t stop teachers’ unions from strong-arming the Grits at an opportune moment. And few things are worse for a governing party than a pre-election teachers’ strike that leaves families scrambling for child care.

To stop that from happening, the government has offered to extend its contracts with major teachers’ unions for two years, with sweeteners like a four-percent pay hike over the two years, a class-size cap of 30 pupils for kindergarten and more money for classroom supplies. The deals haven’t been ratified, but it’s hard to imagine the unions saying no. This is, after all, the government that at one point was basically paying them to negotiate.

They’d be well-advised to take what they can get while the Grits are still in power.

Keeping the lights on, part two

Aware that their rebate was too little, too late, the government has been floating an array of ideas for across-the-board cuts to power bills. Among the measures on the table: a cut to the so-called “global adjustment,” which frequently makes up the lion’s share of power bills but is not visible on most bills.

The Wynne government is reportedly aiming to knock a further eight per cent off bills, the CBC reports; it’s also considering using money from general government revenue to offset power costs for lower-income Ontarians. Again, there’s as much risk here as potential reward. At what point do Ontarians feel as if the money going into one of their pockets is being taken from another?

Have a drink!

You’ll still have to pay for it, but it might be closer at hand. By summer, Wynne’s attempt to drag Ontario’s liquor-sales regime into the 20th century (yes, we mean 20th) will be in full swing—which is to say, a fraction of the province’s supermarkets will stock beer, wine and cider.

The ultimate goal is to get suds and cider into 450 stores, and wine into 300 of those. But it’s happening at a glacial pace, because the province must navigate a knot of trade agreements and competing commercial interests. When all is said and done, Ontarians will be able to buy soft grog in less than a third of their grocery stores.

By then, they’ll be able to toast the premier who made that possible. Or her defeat


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( a new poll paints an even worse picture for Kathleen Wynne , crazy low approval numbers and low liberal support province wide )

News Ontario

PCs poised to win 'super-majority': Forum poll

By Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief
First posted: Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:34 PM EST | Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 02:07 PM EST

TORONTO - Kathleen Wynne and Ontario’s Liberals could be on the verge of electoral disaster in 2018, according to a new poll.

The Forum Research survey, provided exclusively to the Toronto Sun, shows that if an election were held today, the Patrick Brown-led Progressive Conservatives would be poised to win a “super-majority” with 84 of 122 seats in Ontario’s newly expanded legislature. Andrea Horwath and the New Democrats would form the Official Opposition with 27 seats.

The Wynne-Liberals would be the rump of the house, relegated to third-party status with 11 seats.

Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff said that with the vote 16 months away, there is still a lot of time for the mood of the electorate to swing. But it’s hard to say what the Liberals could do to change voter’s minds, he said.

“It does show the Liberals really have their work cut out for them,” Bozinoff said. “They’re skating on thin ice right now. They’re down to their base in, not even in the GTA, but in the 416.”

The poll shows the Tories have 44% popular support, the NDP have 25%, the Liberals 24% and the Green Party has 6%. But when those numbers are applied on a riding-by-riding basis, it paints a stark picture, he said.

“The Liberals are about to lose 40% of their previous vote,” he said. “That’s a big chunk.”

When the poll is broken down regionally, the Tories lead in all parts of the province except the GTA where they are statistically tied with the Liberals and in Northern Ontario where the NDP hold a six-point lead.

The poll also shows that Premier Wynne’s personal approval rating has sunk to a new all-time low – 11%. In all, 77% of respondents said they disapproved of the job she is doing as premier, with 12% saying they didn’t know. Even amongst Liberal supporters Wynne is a polarizing figure, with 42% approving of her leadership and 40% disapproving.

“This hydro rates thing is killing the Liberals,” Bozinoff said. “I don’t know if they have a solution for it. It’s a major, major drag on their popularity.”

“They need a major reset or reboot to turn this around. It’s not an incremental thing,” he added.

The poll also shows that half of respondents think the PCs will win the 2018 vote. But that makes it far from a sure thing, as we’ve seen in the past with gaffes that have lost them elections, Bozinoff said.

“The Tories have shot themselves in the foot before. I just have a feeling that Patrick Brown is a little more savvy. Just the way he’s gotten on top of the whole social conservative issue. That is the third-rail for that party, I think. He seems to have dodged that issue.”

The poll was conducted on Feb. 15 and 16 and was a random sampling of 1,120 Ontario voters. Forum Research considers it accurate +/- 3%, 19 times out of 20


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anything save her? Frankly, I think she's a more impressive campaigner than McGoof ever was, but she was left holding the bag for that government, and has done nothing to redeem it and her governments.

The 'Green energy' plan was a disaster, which has effected the provinces ability to support industry. That's a monstrous blunder, but its authors were Dalton McG'unity and George Smitherman. (Remember Smitherman? The guy who forced Toronto voters to elect Rob Ford for, as an alternative?)

They should have been fired two terms ago. Wynne's as bad as any of the rest of them, but its a whole political machine that stinks.
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Wynne still canada's least popular premier new poll

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