Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dalton McGuinty: A Man Running Or On The Run?

I have to admit, I find the imagery extraordinarily pleasing.

Like a man on trial for criminal offences entering the courthouse via an underground passage to avoid the media glare, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stole through the back door during a Wednesday evening stop at the campaign headquarters of Liberal lawyer Eric Davis, who is vying to give McGuinty his majority as he runs in the Kitchener-Waterloo byelection today.

Davis is trailing the NDP candidate badly, but that was not the reason for the premier's covert entrance. It was to avoid protesters out front angry at plans to privatize the Ontario Northland Transportation Corporation.

A photo showing an agitated electorate would not be consistent with the image the unflappable McGuinty likes to project of competent and trusted leadership.

It kind of reminds me of his school photo-op the other day, when he toured École élémentaire Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, whose teachers belong to a union that has settled its contract. The potential for unwanted publicity would have been too great had he made an appearance at a school whose teachers are members of either the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario or the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, given that their collective bargaining rights are being stripped away by McGuinty's government.

It is a fact, among many others, I suspect the voters of Kitchener-Waterloo will keep in mind as they cast their ballots today.

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