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MARIN: Where’s Wynne?

July 22nd, 2018 | by Richard Paul
MARIN: Where’s Wynne?


Outgoing Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks during a press conference at the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Friday, June 8, 2018. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

You’d have a better chance of finding Waldo in a crowd then former Premier Kathleen Wynne in the legislative assembly.

Wynne’s always built her brand on her toughness. Campaign slogans such as “run don’t walk” and election commercials featuring her running up hills everyday allegedly at 5 a.m., obsessing with how to make our lives better were part of a carefully crafted persona she developed over the years.

You’d think Wynne was set to replace Gal Gadot as the next Wonder Woman.

Alas, she threw in the towel on June 2 and conceded the election, almost a week before it was actually held. Not exactly an action hero.

But where has she been since the legislature was called back on June 11, 2018? After all, it’s been well over a month since the provincial election. Wynne has appeared to be M.I.A.

Undeterred, Wynne the warrior tweeted on June 14 that she has “not in any way lost (her) passion for continuing this work — continuing to find ways to build our province up.”

Nice words, indeed. Very Wynne-esque.

But she snubbed the speech from the throne and skipped every question period since July 11. The two times we heard from Wynne since the election was when she grovelled for party status that she lost at the election, coming short one seat. And when she asked that her portrait be erected in the halls of parliament, like former premiers. And she wanted it done pronto.

The fact is she ran for a seat, won it fair and square and is the legislator for North York. Sorry, Kathleen, but you have to show up for work. The constituents of that riding need you to work for them. The Liberal opposition, even the tiny one now headed by Ottawa South MPP John Fraser, still play an integral part of democracy.

Of course, Wynne leading the annihilation of the Liberal Party of Ontario (which I and many predicted over the last year) must be a bummer. So is losing the prestige, the accoutrement that comes with the office and more importantly the power the office yields. Not to mention the dramatic drop in salary.

But since the June 7 election, Premier Doug Ford has moved quickly to dismantle her cherished nanny state. We heard not a whisper from her. Maybe she was just staying out-of-the-way and being magnanimous, while Ford was blowing up in smoke her social engineering programs like cap-and-trade? Perhaps, but I personally doubt it.

From what is known of Wynne’s persona, there are two of them. The “I-live-my-life-to-do good-for-you” and the political cut-throat Wynne. The electors saw through the former, while the latter is no doubt in remission, having lost the reins of power. Wynne and her former deputy minister Deb Matthews were once dubbed “the mean grandmothers,” a reflection of their dual persona. All smiles and hugs on the outside, some kind of a mean streak lurking on the inside.

The irony of all this is that Wynne kept reminding us during the election that it’s not about winning, it’s about fighting for what’s right.

So, before we send out an all-points bulletin for you Kathleen, come out and fight for what you consider right.


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