“The Ontario Liberal Party has turned ministers into salespeople, giving them hard quotas and telling them to sell the one product every lobbyist wants – uncontrolled access to the levers of government.”
A Brief One from NAL publisher Doug Draper
Posted March 30th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Word is out that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is about to prorogue the provincial legislature for a number of months while she shuffles her cabinet and feels around for a reset button that might lift the approval numbers she’s scoring in recent public opinion polls out of the toilet.
Indeed, the lavatory adjoining her government’s cabinet room has become so plugged with crapola over the past two-and-a-half years since her ascension to the premier’s chair that it is now in danger of covering her entire caucus in offal and spilling out over the Ontario hinterlands.
It’s bad enough we’ve had the billions of dollars of waste on energy projects, compounded by soaring electricity rates, payoffs to the bargaining units of teachers unions, plans to double fees for pharmaceutical drugs for seniors and escalating user fees for almost everything but breathing.
Now we are learning, through recent reports in The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, that Wynne is selling access to her cabinet ministers to wealthy special interests to raise funds for her Ontario Liberal Party’s coffers.
“The Ontario Liberal Party has turned ministers into salespeople, giving them hard quotas and telling them to sell the one product every lobbyist wants – uncontrolled access to the levers of government,” says the lead editorial in the Wednesday, March 30th edition of The Globe and Mail, under a heading; “Access is on sale.”
When Wynne first replaced Dalton McGuinty as Ontario’s premier in October of 2013, I was among many citizens across the province who applauded the arrival of the first woman – not to mention, the first openly gay person – to that office. And I shared in the hope, based on her support for public transit and more resources for education in portfolios she held earlier, that she pivot far enough away from McGuinty to serve as a breath of fresh air.
Through more than two years of watching Wynne and her surrogates at the helm – watching them lose the faith and waste the time of one good group of citizens after another through long and winding consultation processes that led to little more than mush in the end on a whole host of issues from health care to reforming the province’s land conservation and planning rules – that the hope I had for Wynne being anything more than another morally bankrupt hack like Dalton McGuinty has been completely shattered.
In fact, I can hardly believe I would ever say this, but I would rather have McGuinty back, who was easier to see through, or Mike Harris, who at least was straight with us about all the damage he wanted to do to public regulations and services, than have Wynne, whose con job has made her more deceptive and dangerous than any premier Ontario has had over the past 40 or 50 years.
“You will forgive us for not bowing to journalistic convention and referring to a “perception” of influence-peddling when talking about Ontario’s useless party financing laws. There is no “perception” that something is awry,” adds that March 30th editorial from The Globe and Mail. “The fact of the matter is that, thanks to the province’s legislated indifference to normal standards of behaviour and morality, Ontario’s Liberal government practises the systematic selling of access to wealthy donors from the corporate and labour worlds.”
You can read the entire The Globe and Mail editorial by clicking on – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/in-ontario-and-bc-weak-laws-mean-government-access-is-for-sale/article29424119/ .
Read a related story The Globe and Mail posted later this March 30th, 2016 with statements from Wynne’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa defending the government’s fundraising practices by clicking on – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sousa-defends-secret-liberal-fundraiser-as-part-of-democratic-process/article29440467/ .
I also urge you to visit a related commentary and story Niagara At Large posted on this issue earlier this March 30th, 2016 by clicking on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2016/03/30/globe-mail-story-ties-controversial-hydro-one-sell-off-to-ontario-liberal-fundraising-scheme/#more-18237 .
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