1. It seems like months have passed since I first heard the shocking news that Patrick Brown was stepping down as the leader of the Ontario PC Party amid allegations of sexual misconduct, but in reality, it’s only been a couple of weeks. How time flies when you’re trying to digest the turbulent and ever-fluid world of politics.
Despite the horrible timing with an election just around the corner, I am relieved to see him gone. During his campaign, he attacked rival Christine Elliott for being a “red Tory,” then himself dragged the party off to the left of the political spectrum, effectively becoming Liberal-lite. He also boasted of how he would consult the membership before making any major policy announcements, specifically quoting the massive job civil service job cuts former leader Tim Hudak proposed during the last election. Then Brown went ahead and dropped a bombshell of his own by announcing he would implement a carbon tax.
That all said, I don’t like how he was removed from his post and, just like what happened with party president Rick Dykstra a week later, it smelled of a setup. As both men fight the allegations made against them, I will continue to presume their innocence until they are proven guilty.
2. Three candidates have emerged as leadership contenders, namely Doug Ford, Christine Elliott and Caroline Mulroney. This party member retains an open mind, but the more I hear about Mulroney, the less I like. In all probability, I will be supporting Ford or Elliott and at this point, I lean more toward to the former than the latter. Elliott would be a safe choice and one I could live with, but what sticks in my craw about her is how she abruptly resigned her seat and left the political arena after losing the 2015 leadership bid to Brown. Perhaps she had other personal reasons, but it had all the earmarkings of a spoiled brat who took his ball and went home after not being allowed to play quarterback. The masses in the caucus who supported her all stayed on and rallied behind Brown and she should have done likewise.
3. The fact that I will be voting in my second Ontario PC leadership election shows once again how much tenure I have acquired in my adopted home. It’s only been three and a half years, but in some respects, it feels like I’ve never lived anywhere else.
4. Despite what he told me personally at City Hall about wanting to get back into the private sector after a second term as mayor, I still get the very strong impression that if the PCs win the upcoming election, the next challenge they will face will come from a rebuilt Ontario Liberal Party led by Walter Sendzik. Just think, in his new position, he could spew his empty rhetoric to even larger audiences of gullible people who would lap up his promises to turn Ontario into a compassionate province like thirsty puppy dogs.
5. I could only shake my head after reading this article that came across my timeline this week in which Patrik Laine of the Mark Chipman Personal Hockey Club extols the virtues of Winnipeg.
As someone who hasn’t watched an NHL game in months, I don’t know much about him. I suppose I could look it up, but I don’t even know if he’s any good. But safe as to say the kid is naive in the extreme. Sure, he’s feeling the love because he’s a government-funded hockey player. And it’s not as though there aren’t many kind, caring people there. Some of them I still count as friends. But as someone who spent nearly five decades in the degenerate capital of the SPRM, the line about “everyone who lives there really cares about each other” couldn’t be farther from the truth.
If he had to live like a regular person, he’d sure be changing his tune in short order. Like after a few bus rides. Or a walk downtown. At any time of day. Listen and feel the hatred and vitriol in the air. And just wait until he gets mugged, stabbed and/or has his house broken into. Even hockey players aren’t exempt. Just ask former Fighting Moose Jason MacDonald, who packed up all his belongings in his car and drove all the way from Charlottetown only to become yet another victim of auto theft when he finally got to Winnipeg. Then he’ll learn just a few of the reasons why Manitoba leads the nation in losing people to interprovincial migration.
5a. I also laughed as Laine talked about his “sick” Wi-Fi. Mine was sick, too. That was because my ISP was the title sponsor of the building he plays half his games in. To borrow a line from a friend and former colleague, my service was up and down more often than a toilet seat. Just before leaving, there was a 20-day period in which my telephone and Internet service were down for 16 of them. Having a stable phone line and reliable Internet service are yet more reasons why I’m so pleased to no longer be living in that part of the world.