The Ontario provincial election was quite the roller coaster. Fortunately, it had a happy ending of tossing the Liberals to the curb. It will take a lot more than four years of Tory rule to undo the deep damage caused to the economy and the middle class. The skyrocketing hydro bills alone will likely take decades to bring under control.
There are three Liberals that “we’re sorry, not sorry” to see gone, to use ex-premier Kathleen Wynne’s losing election line.
First, former finance minister Charles Sousa. He’s the first finance minister to blatantly ignore the Auditor General’s review of our financial books. Sousa even seemed to relish tabling unaudited financial statements. “Oh, it’s just a little math misunderstanding,” was the government’s position. What’s the point of having an Auditor General when you ignore or even personally attack her? That’s where the Liberals had come to – sheer arrogance.
Second, former Attorney General Yasir Naqvi likely ranks as the worst AG in Ontario history. He was rumoured to have leadership ambitions but was all sizzle, no steak.
It was a humiliating defeat for Naqvi who’s always on campaign mode to be defeated by Joel Harden who’s advocated a $150/tonne carbon tax, which would be the largest in the world.
The one thing Naqvi gets partial credit for is the reform of the Police Services Act allowing more powers to Chiefs to discipline their cops and modernizing the Special Investigations Unit, among other things. But in a last-minute backroom deal cut with Chiefs of police as his bill was being studied in committee, he ordered his Liberal cronies on the committee to carve out an exception that the SIU not be notified in cases where someone died as a result of police administrating Naxolone in opioid incidents. So, police investigate police when someone dies in their presence, which goes against one of the pillars of SIU’s existence. No doubt Naqvi thought this would endear him to the police. Not a chance.
Third, Wynne resigned as Leader of the Liberals but retains her seat without official party status. She’s not quite gone, unfortunately. She’ll have to hand over the limo keys and continue her life as a mere mortal. Many pundits, including me, warned her many months ago that if she really cared for the Liberal party she should step aside. But no, Wynne’s gargantuan ego came first. It’s as if Wynne was always trying to prove something. In one of her farcical election ads, she claimed to get up at 5am to run and would obsess with making our lives better. It wasn’t clear if the point she was trying to make was that, contrary to most of us, she gets up at 5am to run and how great she was, or that she was preoccupied with our welfare before the sun rises.
Knowing Wynne, she’s likely already plotting some kind of comeback.
In 2003 when the Liberals beat out the Tories, the NDP were left with non-party status with 7 seats. NDP Leader Horwath pleaded with Premier Dalton McGuinty to lower the threshold test so she could get that much needed status which includes funding and more prominence at the Legislature. McGuinty refused. Premier-elect Doug Ford should do the same when Wynne comes groveling with the same demand. We’ve had enough of Liberals in the last 15 years.