A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted May 23rd on Niagara At Large
As if Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne hasn’t already sunk about as low in the polls as any political leader ever has in Canadian history, here is the punch line.
Wynne has reportedly become so radioactive that even candidates in her own Liberal Party don’t want her visiting their riding in the few weeks left leading up to the June 7th provincial election.
“The offer was made if we wanted it (a campaign stop from the premier in the riding),” Rino Bortolin, Liberal candidate for Windsor West was quoted saying in a May 23rd story in the Windsor Star, “and we turned it down…We basically told her we don’t need her to come down… we don’t feel that actually strengthens our chances.”
The story goes on to say that other Liberal candidates in the province have danced around using Wynne’s name in their pitch, apparently mindful of some of the most recent polls showing the premier’s popularity trailing significantly behind Ontario PC Party leader Doug Ford and the province’s NDP leader Andrea Horwath, whose party has been surging in the polls in recent days.
One recently poll conducted for Global Television found only 12 per cent of the Ontarians contacted said they find Wynne trustworthy.
None of this seems all that shocking here. This journalist’s observations are not based on science or hard numbers, but I have repeatedly found that the mere mention of Wynne’s name in a mixed gathering, like a cashier line-up in a grocery store, is enough to elicit audible groans or quips like; “Time for her to go.”
I’ve heard more people than I can remember, including people who told me they were Liberal Party supporters, tell me they couldn’t understand why they didn’t replace Wynne two years ago, allowing for enough time for someone to take the reins of the party and hopefully shore up enough pubic support to at least avoid being crushed in the next election.
In the Niagara area, I have certainly also heard people engaged in public campaigns to save the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls and restore the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) as a body that puts conservation and environmental protection first, say they feel Wynne and her government have let them down.
Repeated requests to the Wynne government from area citizens and from Cindy Forster, an NDP representative in the Niagara area, to add a section to the province’s Conservation Act (while it was open for revision over the past year) that would allow the government to replace the NPCA’s administrators and board of directors, if necessary, went no wear.
That was the case despite veteran Ontario Liberal MPP Jim Bradley from the St. Catharines riding joining Forster in raising concerned about the way the NPCA is being operated with millions of our tax dollars. Bradley, himself, seems to have been marginalized by Wynne, despite important roles he has played in the party, including in cabinet positions, going back to the mid-to late 1980s.
Short of a miracle, it is looking like Wynne’s Liberals are heading for a meltdown on June 7th, as pundits now wonder if the momentum that appears to be on the side of Horwath’s New Democrats now will add up to a big win for them on election day.
I leave this commentary with an image of a cartoon I clipped out The Globe and Mail, depicting Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Grinch who stole Christmas each holding up cards they just opened. Wynne’s card reads; ‘Ontario Liberal Approval Rating 16%’, while the Grinch’s card reads; Grinch Approval Rating 16.5%.
That cartoon was published two Christmas’s ago when the Ontario Liberals still had a chance to dump Wynne for someone else. Maybe one day, Jim Bradley or someone else will feel comfortable telling us why they didn’t do it.
To read the May 23rd story in The Windsor Star, click on – http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/jarvis-ford-here-wednesday-wynne-not-invited .
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