McKenna Move To Queen’s Park Is Not On: Tories



It has not gone unnoticed in provincial Tory circles that in late October, according to a Forum Research Poll, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s popularity was running at 14 per cent.

Progressive Conservative strategists feel Wynne is looking for a graceful way to step down and Tory speculation had it they thought Wynne could be replaced by federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

The Tories perceived it as a quiet disappearance of Wynne, a new leader in McKenna and a Grit win in the next provincial election.

Except the Civic hospital question, precipitated by McKenna, was handled initially like a sack of potatoes.

Accordingly, the Tories now have it that the McKenna move is dead.



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4 thoughts on “McKenna Move To Queen’s Park Is Not On: Tories

  1. I wasn’t aware that the opposition got to chose the leader of the governing party in Ontario.

    The Tories should know that it was unlikely that a newly elected MP would abandon her seat and her cabinet post to jump to Queen’s Park this early in her term.

    It might be different if the corresponding provincial seat were available but Yasir Naqvi is unlikely to be going anywhere soon and neither are most of the other Ottawa-area Liberals. The only possibility would be John Fraser and even the Ontario Liberals would grasp the optics of presenting another candidate for premier from the McGuinty riding of Ottawa South.

  2. The first part of the story is likely accurate. Premier Wynne has overstayed her welcome, just as PM Harper did. New Zealand’s PM John Key worked out the math and realized that eight years is enough. President Hollande is likely the best analogue for the situation. Out of his depth from Day 1, and currently less popular than the plague. He read the electoral tea leaves and has advised the thankful nation that he will not stand for re-election. Chancellor Merkel apparently listens to a different soothsayer.

    The second part of the story, as the Voter muses, is just speculation about who could replace Premier Wynne. Most of her provincial cabinet suffer from the same problems as Mulroney’s cabinet did more than two and a half decades ago. Too long in office, and no record of successes to run on. So, those who spend too much of their time pondering who could lead the governing party back to power are led to look at outsiders. Environment etc. Minister McKenna has just over a year of elected office experience, and thus one wonders whether this is just wishful thinking by a couple of local Liberals, wine glasses in hand. As for the Ontario PC’s thoughts on this, my take is that they are just seizing the opportunity to remind everyone of how out of touch the senior federal minister for Ottawa is with the community vis a vis the Tunney’s Pasture fiasco.

    Finally, while musing about local ridings, the Voter seems to have overlooked Ottawa West Nepean. Bob Chiarelli is now in his mid-70’s. He has accomplished a lot over his many decades long career of elected office service. I struggle to believe that he is ready to sign up for a term that wouldn’t end until well after his 80th birthday. It is time for Bob Chiarelli to stand down and enjoy the benefits of his well earned pension(s).

    1. Speculation has arisen every time Bob hits a milestone birthday that he’ll be headed out to pasture and he’s still hanging in there. He’s still fairly healthy and seems to love his job. I wouldn’t count him out yet.

  3. I agree that Minister Catherine McKenna is not even considering such a move.

    But if she were to make such a move, then the Ontario Tories would have a lot to worry about. McKenna would energize the Liberal urban base, especially in Toronto. The issue of the Civic Hospital means little in terms of provincial politics, and there was a peaceful resolution anyway. Any talk of that issue harming her is overblown. Furthermore, local Liberal MPPs, Liberal MPs (as well as the PM) and Mayor Jim Watson would be 100 per cent behind McKenna.

    This topic of Wynne’s departure seems to be manufactured by the desperate provincial Tories. Indeed, I foresee Premier Kathleen Wynne running for re-election. The real question is whether the provincial Tories will once again shoot themselves in the foot.


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