Political Silly Season in Brampton, Ontario


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Well, we somehow got through the Ontario General Election on June 12 and are headed into the run down for a municipal election scheduled for October 27, 2014.

Like many, I was astounded by the provincial results that hand the scandal prone Liberal a majority government (who’d have thunk).  There were lessons learned from the Ontario election and the late Jack Layton’s deathbed quote said it all, “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

I hold the opinion that there is nothing for the winner to boast about.  As much as Premier Wynne can boast of winning, the results indicate that Progressive Conservative Leader (Tim Hudak)  lost this election by boasting about writing pink-slips for 100,000 Ontario civil servants.  A valuable contemporary political lesson was to be had at the end of the day. People (voters) have little stomach for the mean style of politics that was depicted inside Hudak’s message.  I am not convinced that the voters forgave Wynne and her Grit caucus for the scandals.  It may be that voter anger over Gritscandal did not parlay into acts of random meanness focused at civil servants.   In his failure to specifically identify exactly which type of civil service job would be chopped, Hudak had inadvertently put each of Ontario’s 1.2 million public service jobs into play.  Add to that, the families, extended families and friends of those civil servants, and Tim Hudak’s foolish rantings turned victory into astounding defeat.  Mr. Layton was right as rain: “hope is better than fear”.

As to forgiveness for Liberal scandals, time will tell.  The Ontario Provincial Police delayed release of the most recent cache of backroom Liberal documents surrounding the erasing of key information for government hard drives. That information was scheduled to be released yesterday.

Turning to the current, we are watching the antics of former Liberal Cabinet Minister Jeffrey who jumped ship before the election and sought a soft landing in municipal politics.  She tossed her hat into the ring and announced that she is seeking the position of Mayor of Brampton.

Voters should be asking themselves how kindly the Premier and Ms. Jeffrey’s former Liberal caucus colleagues will view requests on behalf of the residents of Brampton by (heaven help us) Mayor Jeffrey.  I am thinking that the Grit caucus won’t treat Ms. Jeffrey’s pleading too kindly given that she abandoned them on the eve of an election. Who’d have thunk that Tim Hudak’s harsh words would have delivered victory to the party that Jeffrey abandoned?

Through her many years at the Provincial level of government, there is little evidence that Jeffrey paid much attention to local (Brampton) needs.  Under her watch, we lost a hospital and then were handed a glorified walk-in clinic in its stead. As mayor, we would expect her bring a full-scale (and badly needed) second hospital to community.  We would expect our “mayor” to champion post-secondary (university) educational facilities here in Brampton and to engage the Province into solving a myriad of local issues such as gridlock.  She did not do those things or even such causes while serving in the inner cabinets of McGuinty and Wynne. Hard to believe that Ms. Jeffrey in her recreated persona will now become Brampton’s advocate OR that her pleadings to the Ontario Liberal majority government will be heard now.

I suspect that Brampton voters will not treat Jeffrey too kindly for that matter either.  Exactly how should the electorate treat a person who has been elected to a position of trust and power who paid that trust back by way of ignoring the constituents who elected her?  I suspect that the words “self promoting opportunist” may come to the minds of most voters.

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