Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Liz Witmer's Political Karma

As a survivor of the Mike Harris years in Ontario, I have very vivid memories of what was undoubtedly the most mean-spirited and incompetent of provincial regimes I have ever lived through. Their economic 'strategy' of slashing and burning, selling key assets such as the 407 to foreign consortia to conceal their colossal fiscal ineptitude, and appeasing big business left a lasting legacy of discontent; as well, their divisive rhetoric pitted Ontarians against one another, much in the same manner as the Harper regime has done throughout Canada.

While she was Harris's Labour Minister, Liz Witmer set her sights on The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, slashing both the benefits paid to workers and the premiums charged to business. As Martin Regg Cohn points out in his column today, Ms Witmer, recently appointed head of WSIB, is about to experience some political karma as she contends with the results of her former intervention: the board currently faces an unfunded liability of over $14 billion.

No doubt Ms Witmer will bring her much-vaunted abilities to bear on the situation.

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