Former prime minister Jean Chrétien and his wife Aline today endorsed Glenn Thibeault, running for the Ontario Liberals in the provincial byelection in Sudbury. Thibeault deserted Thomas Mulcair’s NDP caucus to run for Wynne’s Liberals. Chrétien provided the endorsement even though it was Thibeault who knocked off former Chrétien cabinet minister Diane Marleau in the 2008 general election, becoming the first New Democrat to win in Sudbury since 1968.
Meanwhile, the United Steelworkers are running a radio ad in Sudbury, endorsing the NDP and taking direct aim at the “dirty politics” of Thibeault.
Usually, though not always, it’s helpful for a prospective party leader to have members of the legislative caucus on his or her side, the more usually the merrier.
Alison Redford won the Alberta PC leadership with little or no caucus support (and look what happened). Justin Trudeau won with dominant caucus support (and we’ll see what happens.)
In 2009, Christine Elliott tried to win the Ontario PC leadership. She had decent caucus support but finished third, well behind winner Tim Hudak who had some dominant caucus support. Elliott announced this week she is back for another kick at the can, and this time, she appears to be attempting a pre-emptive strike by locking up as much caucus support as possible.
She is the only announced contestant at this point with seven of her caucus colleagues on board. That means that, in a caucus of 28 PC MPPs, 8 (including Elliott) are going to vote for her to be leader — better than one-quarter.
Sylvia Jones is the only one of those seven who, as an MPP, supported Elliott then and will do so again now. Norm Miller was an MPP in 2009 but back then he endorsed Hudak. Now he’s endorsing Elliott. The other five were not MPPs in 2009.
Who else among her current caucus colleagues supported Hudak against her in 2009? Bob Bailey; Toby Barrett; Garfield Dunlop; Lisa MacLeod; Julia Munro; Jim Wilson; John Yakabuski; Ernie Hardeman. MacLeod is considered a likely rival … [Watch as I interview MacLeod on Battleground on Sun News Network last night]
The rest of the current PC Party caucus at Queen’s Park was either not around as MPPs in 2009 or did not back anyone (or, in the case of Randy Hillier, ran for the leadership, finished 4th, and said he is not running this time.)
In the case of the Ontario PCs, it’s also interesting to see which members of the current federal Conservative caucus jumped into the race. Elliott is the widow of former finance minister Jim Flaherty and many in Stephen Harper’s caucus and cabinet got their start at Queen’s Park.
Moreover, many names from the current Conservative caucus have been bandied about as potential Ontario party leaders. Those include Lisa Raitt, John Baird, Tony Clement, Michael Chong, Rick Dykstra, and Patrick Brown.
Here are are current Conservative MPs supported Elliott in 2009: Peter Braid, Colin Carrie, Chong, Ed Holder, Greg Rickford, Bruce Stanton, Peter Van Kesteren, Mike Wallace, Jeff Watson and Terence Young. Elliott’s husband, Flaherty, was the only member of the federal cabinet to support her bid for leader.
Other notables who supported Elliott in 2009: A Toronto city councillor named Rob Ford. And Richard Ciano, how is the current president of the Ontario PCs.
It’s worth reviewing who among current federal Conservatives supported Hudak in 2009: They included cabinet heavyweights Baird, Jason Kenney, Peter Van Loan, Clement, and Rob Nicholson.
Among backbenchers, the following supported Hudak: Gord Brown, Patrick Brown, Paul Calandra, Barry Devolin, Dykstra, Royal Galipeau, Daryl Kramp, Pierre Poilievre, Joe Preston, Gary Schellenberger, and David Sweet.
As an Ontario Progressive Conservative, Steve Clark is about safe as safe can be in his Eastern Ontario riding of Leeds-Grenville, but how does he – and other Ontario Tories — make more ridings more Tory-friendly? For Clark, the first step is going to the riding next door, Kingston and the Islands, and asking voters there why they don’t like his party.
Today, OPPA head Jim Christie was asked about these ads and the fact that the OPPA has donated thousands of dollars to the Ontario Liberal Party over the years, an apparently controversial move within the police union.. He said: “We’ve made it clear we have no issue with PC party just an issue with Hudak and where he plans to take future of membership. We donate to all political parties. I think over time we’ve actually donated more money to [Progressive] Conservatives. it’s normal and part of our political activity.”
I’m not so sure about that last part. Going to Elections Ontario political contributions table and looking up the contributions to each of the three main parties for the last five years, one finds that not a penny of OPPA made it into supposedly union-friendly NDP coffers and that while the PCs got some OPPA cash a few years ago, they got nothing in 2012 and 2013 and none so far in 2013. In fact, since 2011, the only political party that has received OPPA cash is the Ontario Liberals. Here’s the tale of the tape derived from Elections Ontario:
If the OPPA did, as Christie claim, give more the PCs or even give one penny to the NDP it must have been 2009 or earlier …
This is the latest ad from the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. They call it “Truth”. But in fact, it features their leader saying at least one thing that is demonstrably and unequivocally untrue and one other statement that is unlikely to be true. Let’s break it down by looking at two key claims Hudak makes early in this ad. (I’m assuming by now, you’ve watched the ad)
“The truth is that a million people in our province woke up this morning in our province without a job.”
Two new ads out this afternoon for consideration by those eligible to cast a ballot in the June 12 Ontario election. One is from the Liberals and a week after economists first raised questions about the math in Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s “Million Jobs Plan” hits Hudak about his math. The other ad (below) is from the Ontario NDP. The NDP takes shots at both the Liberals and the PCs and encourages voters to “switch” to Andrea: Continue reading New Ontario election ads: Hudak's math and Andrea's switchers
Today on the Ontario campaign trail, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak was indicting the Liberal governments of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne for letting 300,000 manufacturing jobs disappear on their watch. Now, while I was critical of Hudak and the PCs earlier this week for vastly overstating the number of “out of work” Ontarians, Hudak is pretty much spot-on with this latest number. Since October, 2003, when McGuinty took the reigns for the first time, Ontario has, in fact, seen 314,500 manufacturing jobs disappear. That’s what Statistics Canada says.
I was curious which industrial sectors fared worst or better during the Liberal reign and so I crunched the numbers from Statscan for three time periods: Since the McGuinty liberals first won office in October 2003; since the last Ontario election in Oct 2011 (the McGuinty/Wynne years) and the last 12 months. The most recent month for which data is available is April 2014. Continue reading The Liberal record on job creation by industrial sector