Roy Green: Ontario voters push back
Morning-after punditry notwithstanding, voters had had enough.
Enough of Ontario being led astray by the provincial Liberal Party.
Enough of a government engaged in accounting practices repeatedly challenged by Bonnie Lysyk, the provincial Auditor General. She warned this year that if improper accounting wasn’t ended, she might issue a negative opinion concerning Ontario’s public accounts.
This would have been the first time in Canada’s history for such an opinion concerning financial statements of any government to be placed on the public record by an Auditor General.
In an interview with me, Lysyk challenged the bookkeeping methodology of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government concerning the so-called Fair Hydro Plan, which had nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with hopeful political survival by temporarily reducing Ontario’s spiralling, and for too many, unaffordable electricity bills.
Speaking to the provincial public accounts committee, the Auditor General said: “We think this accounting is bogus.”
“Bogus” is a word I heard more than once concerning Wynne’s governance.
A November 2015 Ipsos poll for Global News found that 60 per cent of Canadians nationally disagreed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election promise to relocate 25,000 people, displaced largely due to the conflict in Syria.
Canadians feared security checks might be limited, with 67 per cent worrying terrorists may pose as refugees in order to enter Canada.
Reacting in Ottawa, Wynne, in the presence of Quebec Premier Phillip Couillard, accused Canadians of being racist. “What we can’t give in to, I think, is allowing security to mask racism. That’s the danger, that somehow talking about security allows us to tap into that racist vein when that isn’t who we are.”
Precisely. The IPSOS poll found 67 per cent of Canadians rejected the idea of closing our borders completely.
WATCH: Pollster Darrell Bricker explains why the 2018 Ontario election is powered by electricity
When thousands of Ontario residents faced electricity shut off because of crushing bills, the now-ousted premier appeared indifferent. Only when consumers loudly roared their increasing discontent did Wynne seemingly grudgingly admit to having made “a mistake.”
As the Ontario Progressive Conservatives sometimes exceedingly and clumsily worked their way through a party leadership makeover, it appeared at times as though they might give up their strong polling lead to Andrea Horwath and her New Democrats.
WATCH: Poll shows almost half of NDP voters say they just want to stop Liberals, Tories from winning
The NDP did close on the PCs in polling, but it was clear two weeks ago that time was escaping Horwath and her party. A possible minority government and a Liberal/NDP coalition became talking points. Voters decisively put an end to such speculation.
Doug Ford will lead Ontario from Queen’s Park for the next four years. New Democrats may decide Horwath is not a deal closer and choose another to lead the griping sessions known as question period. The Liberals have no options. A complete rebuild of their brand is required.
The balance of the week is set aside for celebratory quotes from the right and tears of frustration from the left.
And then there’s Patrick Brown, who today must feel a kinship with Pete Best.
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