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Chretien to the rescue of Ontario Provincial Liberals

Chretien to the rescue of Ontario Provincial Liberals

Photo: From left to right — Danny Montesano, Jean Chretien e Rocco Grossi
 
Vaughan – Ontario has not seen political campaigns like the current one (even if it has not officially begun) for some time. Logic has gone out the window. 
Gut – and gutter – politics seem to be the order of the day.
Traditional “allies” seem to be turning against each other and their partisan “friends”. Their differences are playing out in the Press; civility is ceding to pettiness. “Strategists” seemingly determined to project a monopolistic understanding and interpretation of contemporary communications and human interaction, set aside “corporate memory” and networks of the past.
Not so fast, say some. There still good wine available in those already pressed grapes. They must be advising Steven Del Duca, Minister for Economic development in Ontario, and as of Tuesday evening the official, uncontested nominee to represent the Liberals in the next election.
Del Duca is the target of Laborer’s International Union (LiUNA) protests. Tuesday, LiUNA assembled some 2,000 workers on the lawns of Queen’s Park to protest the Budget Omnibus Legislation and Bill 31. It seems Del Duca responded “as good as he got” at his nomination meeting.
The banquet hall was filled to the brim with his supporters and more. None of them discouraged by the LiUNA protesters outside who tried to discourage entrants. In fact, the protesters would have had more success in delivering their message and in achieving their goal if they had simply called the Fire Marshall to effect an evacuation of a room whose capacity was exceed by at least 1,000 people. A competing rally by the newly elected PC leader on the Airport Strip, one month ago, would dearly have loved to have a similar number of “standing room only” people.
This was a much more enthused crowd. The main speaker, the Right Honourable Jean Chretien was also just the right message and messenger. In his folksy style, he reminded everyone of “choices”. In his view, Liberals have always been “managerially to the right” while “pre-occupied with social issues”.
Proof? He pointed to nine consecutive balanced budgets under his and Paul Martin’s administrations. An increase in transfer payments to the provinces of $75 billion over a ten-year period while reducing the Debt and expanding the economy. “That’s our legacy and our constant goal: create and share the wealth”, conversely, he quipped, “Tory (Conservative) Times are hard times”. 
In other words, “stick with who makes it work”, said Chretien. 
It is a message that must resonate. Six former MPs and Cabinet Ministers, the Mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, six provincial Ministers, a dozen MPPs and candidates joined an overflow crowd of 2,000 to cheer on the former Prime Minister and former, provincial cabinet Minister Greg Sorbara as they drove home the point. 
Score another one for Jean Chretien. His wife, Aline may have to release him from retirement more often so that their provincial cousins in Ontario stay focused – as they were last night. 
 
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Mar Sun ,2017