The Liberal government was afraid of defeat in election held in October 2011. The question was where to get votes? The answer was Mississauga. People in Mississauga were very unhappy about construction of a power plant there. And there are four ridings which could provide four seats to the Liberals. So, what they would do? Shortly before election Liberal government suddenly announced that it would relocate already under construction Mississauga power plant to a hostile riding traditionally held by a Tory candidate at the cost of 180 million dollars. That’s 45 million of the tax payers’ money for each of four Liberal seats in parliament. It helped Ontario Liberals to get 53 seats in provincial parliament. Just one shy of 54 needed for a majority in a 107 seats parliament.
Than McGuinty engineered the byelection on September 6, 2012 in Kitchener-Waterloo by appointing Witmer, the Tory, to a $188,000-a-year post as head of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, convincing her to give up the seat she’d held for 22 years.
However, the Liberals lost that byelection in a big way. The trade unions put 600 canvassers on the street going from home to home and convincing people to vote against Liberals. The amount of efforts by trade unions to defeat Liberals were just staggering and nothing like that was seen for a long time in the province political history.
After that byelection McGuinty’s Liberals have 53 seats, one shy of the 54 needed for a majority and the same total they held before the byelections were called.
The Progressive Conservatives are down to 36 seats, while the New Democrats climb to 18.
Having lost that crucial byelection McGuinty simply walked away in October 2012 in order to avoid to be blamed for his actions and to save whatever is left from the party image.
Thanks to McGuinty’s prorogation of the Ontario legislature to avoid his own tar and feathering last October — anything to avoid reality creeping in! — his successor must start with a Throne Speech (followed by a new budget).
Both are automatic confidence votes — and the Ontario PCs and Ontario NDP not only can bring this minority government down, they’re both ready to go to the polls.
Than Liberals got a new Leader and Premier-in-waiting Kathleen Wyenne.
It is hard to expect any miracles from a new Liberal Leader and Premier. During her leadership campaign Kathleen Wyenne didn’t discuss any changes to the party’s political agenda and didn’t offer any solutions to the numerous Ontario problems. She just campaigned under a slogan “I am better than my competition” and that’s it. No supporting evidence to such bold statement was ever provided.
Now Kathleen Wyenne has a priority – to avert for any cost a provincial election this summer which Liberals are destined to loose in a big way and with a big bung. She immediately jumped into action trying to make a peace with angry teachers by putting macaroni on their ears by saying that she would soften the attitude of the Ontario government toward the teachers what indeed is impossible to do because she doesn’t have any money for it.
For the same reason new Liberal Leader reached across to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, suggesting that she is prepared to work with her on a youth employment strategy. It sounds like an invitation for NDP to form a coalition government with Liberals. It is just amazing to what extremes Liberals are prepared to go just to stay in power. So the future is now in the hands of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. It would be her decision – to cause a new elections this summer, or to swallow Liberal bite. That bite could be very expensive for taxpayers as Witmer, the Tory, proved. But who cares?
There was a slight hope that Andrea Horwath wouldn’t be up for sale. At least somebody should have some principal position. It appeared that she didn’t. That means that no election this summer. Well, another year of disaster. But province is quickly running out of money. That means that next year should be very interesting as there would be many people financially pressed to the limits and ready to show their anger on the streets.