Liberal leadership race candidate briefing: Gerard Kennedy

Credentials:

  • MPP for the riding of Parkdale—High Park from 1999 – 2006 and for the riding of York South from 1996 – 1999
  • Member of provincial cabinet from 2003 – 2006 (Minister of Education)
  • Federal MP for the riding of Parkdale—High Park from 2008 – 2011

If elected, Kennedy would:

  • Use negotiation and bargaining, rather than legislation, when it comes to new teacher contracts. Kennedy is the only candidate who has called Bill 115 a mistake.
  • Kennedy has the advantage of being able to distance himself from the McGuinty government, since he has not worked for them for six years, but he stands behind its full-day kindergarten initiative and the rurally-unpopular Green Energy Act.

Supporters:

  • Former MPP George Smitherman
  • Former MPP Steve Peters

Odds of victory:

  • When it comes to winning leadership races, Kennedy certainly has his own record against him. He lost the Ontario Liberal leadership to Dalton McGuinty in 1996 and the federal Liberal leadership to Stéphane Dion in 2006. Third time’s a charm?

Photo sourced from the Waterloo Record.

More information available on Kennedy’s campaign website: http://www.gerardkennedy.ca/

Liberal leadership race candidate briefing: Kathleen Wynne

Today: Kathleen Wynne

Credentials:

  • MPP for Don Valley West riding since 2003
  • Member of cabinet from 2006 – 2012 (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs from 2011 – 2012, Minister of Transportation from 2010 – 2011 and Minister of Education from 2006  – 2010)
  • Former public school trustee for Toronto’s ward 8

If elected, Wynne would:

  • Repair the government’s relationship with teachers’ unions, which was soiled by McGuinty’s controversial back-to-work legislation this fall
  • Continue the government’s plan to reduce Ontario’s $14.4 billion deficit
  • Use her ability to “seek common ground on difficult issues” to avoid polarizing partisanship

Supporters:

  • Attorney General John Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands)
  • Labour Minister Linda Jeffrey (Brampton-Springdale)
  • Liberal MPP David Zimmerman (Willowdale)
  • Liberal MPP Mario Sergio (York West)
  • Liberal MPP Reza Moridi (Richmond Hill)
  • Past Liberal candidates Christina Bisanz, Lori Holloway, John O’Leary, Gloria Rezler and Fred Larsen

Odds of victory:

  • Not bad. Wynne has strong support within her caucus and NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s recent rise in popularity may make delegates favour electing a female leader.
  • On the other hand, as Education Minister for four years, Wynne has been very close to teachers’ unions in the past. Now that the Liberals are in their bad books, the unions could use their influence to knock her out of the race.

Etcetera:

  • Wynne has been known as a very left-of-centre member of the provincial Liberals, but in this campaign she is painting herself as an eager centrist willing to listen to both sides of the table

 

Photo sourced from Wynne’s campaign website: http://kathleenwynne.ca

Liberal leadership race candidate briefing: Glen Murray

The Ontario Liberal leadership race continues to make headlines as more candidates toss their hats into the race (Eric Hoskins became the sixth candidate to enter yesterday).

Over the next few weeks, Queen’s Park Today will bring you detailed briefings on each of the candidates, analyzing their platforms, supporters and the odds they will replace Dalton McGuinty.

Today: Mr. Glen Murray

Credentials:

  • MPP for the riding of Toronto Centre since 2010
  • Member of cabinet from 2010 – 2012 (Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Research and Innovation)
  • Mayor of Winnipeg from 1998 – 2004

If elected, Murray would:

  • Institute a “no-money-down” plan for college and university tuitions that would allow a greater number of students to borrow for their education
  • Create a 12-month interest-free repayment period for student loans and introduce tax incentives to encourage employers to assume students’ debts
  • Add a tax cut for the middle-class: Murray’s proposed plan would give a $500 tax rebate to families of four earning $70,000 annually, or a $200 tax rebate to single parent families with a young child in daycare earning that $35,000 annually.
  • Replace provincial RRSP and childcare deductions with grants that would save the province money but provide the same incentives to taxpayers

Supporters:

  • Techvibes.com’s Dan Verhaeghe endorsed Murray as Ontario Liberals best choice for premier in order to improve technology and education in the province.
  • Former minister George Smitherman and former Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie attended Murray’s leadership announcement, but neither formally endorsed him.

Odds of victory:

  • Probably not great. Murray has spent less time as an MPP and as a member of the Ontario Liberal Party then any of the other candidates and is currently lacking any big name endorsements.
  • Murray’s platform lacks substance and does not account for how the province would finance his proposals, particularly the tax cut for the middle-class, or how he will deal with the larger problems facing the Ontario Liberals.

Etcetera:

  • Murray says that if he wins the leadership he will recall the Legislature on February 19, 2013 — the day the spring session begins on the Parliamentary Calendar.

Visit Murray’s campaign website: http://www.renewliberal.ca for more.