Calgary Grit: Quotes of the Year

Scroll to the bottom to vote on your favourite quote…

ford plenty to eat

“I am Conservative. I am a traditionalist. I wish I left Cabinet in the traditional way – with a sex scandal!”
-Stephen Fletcher, after being removed from Cabinet

“When I stand back and look at the cast of candidates, even I would pick me. I have to be plain about that.”
-Sandra Pupatello

“You know, there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we (Read more…)

Calgary Grit: Lessons Learned

Goodbye Minister of Finance Takhar. Hello Minister Responsible for Seniors Takhar.

Goodbye Minister of Finance Takhar. Hello Minister Responsible for Seniors Takhar.

You win some, you lose some. Or so I hear.

Regardless, win or lose, we can all take home valuable lessons from the OLP leadership race – and with no fewer than 5 other Liberal leadership races ongoing in Canada, these are rules all Liberals should heed.

1. Play Nice: It likely shouldn’t be a surprise that the majority of the defeated candidates and delegates went to Wynne over Pupatello, considering the latter had spent much of the race belittling them and, just days before the convention, proclaimed “ Continue reading

Ontario Liberal leadership: on the numbers

62298_393466764077929_1219298584_nAs a Kathleen Wynne delegate to the leadership convention, I will probably take some time in trying to articulate the significance of the win and not rush into a blathering post about how freakin’ awesome it all is. (By the way, Adam Goldenberg really nailed the personal aspect in his post for Macleans.) For now, a few thoughts about numbers.

Going into the first ballot, we knew how the delegates would vote because the ballots were pre-printed – you had to support the candidate for whom you ran, obviously, or the first ballot results would not reflect how your Continue reading

Calgary Grit: Convention Math

Wynne Pup

On Saturday, Maple Leaf Gardens was a cauldron of emotions. There were tears, broken promises, dashed dreams, and shrieks of pure unadulterated joy. That’s to be expected when you bring 2,000 people with very different motivations and beliefs together, and ask them to figure out who will govern a province of over 12 million people.

Yet despite all of that, in the end, what mattered more than the signs and scarves and speeches were the cold hard numbers. So it’s worth pausing to study the math behind Kathleen Wynne’s historic victory:

The First Ballot

The big story of the first Continue reading

A BCer in Toronto: Day 2 a Wynning day at #olpldr

After about two hours
sleep, I made the trek downtown from Scarborough bright and early
Saturday morning to see if I had a shot at being promoted from
alternate to voting delegate, and would have the opportunity to casta vote for Gerard Kennedy in the Ontario Liberal leadership race.
Alas, I wasn’t on the list, so I could only watch, cheer, persuade, and hope for the best.

Paths to victory

Going in, Kennedy was a
long-shot, but there was a path to victory for him. It had to happen
early, though. 
The first ballot results were pretty well set (Read more…)

Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: 2013 Ontario Liberal Party Leadership

Ontario Liberal Party Leadership 2013

Eric Hoskins | Gerard Kennedy | Sandra Pupatello | Charles Sousa | Harinder Takhar | Kathleen Wynne

Omar Ha-Redeye will be provided coverage of the 2013 Leadership Convention as an accredited blogger.

Featured posts:

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Sandra Pupatello Pitch Speech

The inestimable Jeff Jedras (who is sitting next to me)  said Sandra Pupatello sounds a bit like the gal from Fargo, and there is some truth to that in her small-town accent.  ”What you see is what you get” seems a key part of her message, and what you see is a big personality with big hair, a little corny at times but with a touch of the Iron Lady in her  as well.   “I will bring the opposition to their knees,” is a paraphrase of one of her applause lines, and so far its the one this morning Continue reading

OPSEU Diablogue: In Brief: Hospital cuts as transfers, Pupatello’s ego gets the better of her

Pop quiz: who wrote this: “Our government expects – as do health care providers – that this change will exacerbate the health conditions of patients with chronic conditions and those who are at risk of developing such conditions. In addition, … Continue reading

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Pupatello And Wynne Support Offshore Wind

Offshore wind should be a slam-dunk.  After all its offshore, wayout of sight of any protesting NIMBYs.  So it is good to know that the two front runners in the OLP leadership race have come out in support of the concept. From a North American Wind Power presser:


Calgary Grit: Down to the Wire

We’re now down to the stretch drive in the OLP leadership sprint, with the following (still unofficial) delegate count after this weekend’s round of voting:

Pupatello 506
Wynne 468
Kennedy 259
Takhar 244
Sousa 204
Hoskins 104
Independent 67

It’s a fractured field, and that becomes even more apparent when you consider no candidate received over 22% of the actual votes cast. It will come down to the convention, at which point delegates will be free to jump any which way after the first ballot. As history has shown, delegated conventions are unpredictable beasts, so it’s anybody’s guess who exits Continue reading

BigCityLib Strikes Back: OLP Candidates On Wind Tubines

Didn’t like this bit:


Kathleen Wynne is uneasy about the quality of information fuelling the renewable energy debate.

“Where is the evidence and science in making these decisions?” asks Wynne. “I’m not sure there are conclusive arguments on either side of these issues—whether it’s health issues or environmental issues. I want to make sure we are operating on the best evidence possible.”

Actually, the evidence that wind turbines effect Ontario property values is crap; the evidence that their presence has a negative effect on the health of people living close by is crap; and the claim Continue reading

Calgary Grit: How They Stand

It’s been hard to get any kind of quantitative read on how the candidates stack up in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race to date. Gerard Kennedy may be leading the polls among Ontarians, Sandra Pupatello may be winning the endorsement race, and Kathleen Wynne may have raised more money dough than anyone else, but none of those numbers give us anything more than a hint of how rank and file Liberals will vote at the delegate selection meetings this weekend.

What may provide more insight into how much support the contenders actually have are the number Continue reading

Calgary Grit: The Air War Begins

The Ontario Liberal Party’s leadership race has been largely fought on the ground until now. With such a tight timeline, the campaigns were forced to focus almost exclusively on signing up new members until November 23rd. There have been polls, endorsements, and a few policies rushed out the door, but most of the race has taken place outside of the public eye. Heck, Harinder Takhar didn’t even declare until after the membership deadline.

With that deadline passed, today’s debate in Ingersoll gave the candidates their first real opportunity to make their pitch to undecided Liberals and potential delegates. Or, at the very least, an opportunity to make their pitch to the media. There were more protestors than Liberals watching the debate live, and if Twitter is any indication, most who tuned in online had already made up their minds. So today was very much about the candidates defining themselves and trying to drive the narrative until the delegate selection meetings in early January – when the media’s attention will no doubt turn to delegate counts and convention deal making.

Since so few undecided voters were watching, it’s hard to name “winners” and “losers”. In my view, Wynne, Kennedy, and Pupatello were the strongest speakers and the most comfortable on stage, but they were also the three candidates who put the fewest concrete policies out there. I’m too close to this to objectively judge what impact, if any, today’s debate will have on the leadership race but, to the best of my ability, the following appear to be the narrative each candidate was trying to advance.


Kathleen Wynne said “Liberal values” four times in her opening statement and kept a positive tone throughout the debate, which makes a lot of sense given she’s likely the frontrunner at this point. She raised a few eyebrows with her promise to name herself Agriculture Minister – I don’t personally think the Premier should be the Agriculture Minister, but it’s a symbolic gesture to rural Ontario that is sure to make its way into most debate recaps.


Gerard Kennedy set out to speak the “tough truths“, focusing on the very real challenges the party is facing and framing himself as the candidate best able to offer voters a “fresh” start. He was candid that the OLP has been sidetracked, that many voters in rural Ontario feel they’ve been overlooked, and that the OLP needs to earn back Ontarians’ respect. In this vein, he was the only candidate to reference the Drummond Report, or to acknowledge that there are very real choices facing the government.


From his opening statement, Glen Murray declared the party needed “workable ideas, not just big words and big Liberal values“. He then spent the debate tossing out ideas, facts, and figures at every opportunity. He clearly tried to stake out his ground as the “ideas candidate” and, in the eyes of some, succeeded.


Many pundits have said that Sandra Pupatello came across as too “angry”, but I think she succeeded in portraying herself as a “tough” fighter, ready to take on the NDP and PCs. In the end, delegates are likely to side with the candidate they feel has the best chance of winning the next election, and while I don’t personally think Sandra is that candidate, it’s been smart of her to consistently push the narrative that she is.


Charles Sousa & Harinder Takhar were both a bit stiff out of the gate, but warmed up as the debate went on (Sousa especially). Both focused heavily on fiscal issues, promoting their real world business experience, and tossing out a slew of ideas to boost the economy and help “job creators”.


Eric Hoskins positioned himself off as a political outsider, touting his real world experiences as a medical doctor and humanitarian. He came across as very likable, but I’m not sure he managed to stand out from the crowd as much as he would have liked.

The Progressive Right: Sandra Pupatello for Premier #olpldr #onpoli

I support Sandra Pupatello as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and to be the next Premier of Ontario.

The challenge for an Ontario Liberal with this race is there are so many qualified candidates with a varied set of positions, experiences and attributes. The ultimate tipping point for me — similar to why I’m supporting Justin Trudeau in the federal realm — is that Sandra is a fighter. I want a leader who will not back down from criticism or attacks by the opposition. Sandra’s strong and she’s a winner.

Plus, I think, Sandra being the “non-Toronto” candidate makes Continue reading

Scott's DiaTribes: Sandra Pupatello replies first to my set of questions

The first of the Ontario Liberal candidates to respond to the questions I sent off to them/their campaigns has responded; that honour goes to Sandra Pupatello. I was actually sent these answers to me on Saturday, but they sent it to an outdated Progressive Bloggers email account, else I’d have posted it last evening. I’ve learned however their campaign also does due diligence, as I was asked today (out of the blue) if I’d seen them yet, and when I explained I hadn’t, the campaign immediately forwarded the replies to my proper email address.. so bonus marks for that.

I submitted these questions to Ms. Pupatello in written format (as [...]

Scott's DiaTribes: Scorecard Update on Ontario Liberal Party candidates answering questions.

So I’ve had four people from four different campaigns ask me to send out the little questionnaire I’ve prepared to their candidate who is running in the Ontario Liberal Party race: that would be Sandra Pupatello’s campaign, Gerard Kennedy’s, Charles Sousa, and Kathleen Wynne. I’ve not yet heard back from Eric Hoskin’s campaign, or Glen Murray’s (some of that due to the fact I’m not yet aware who is running the latter two’s social media/P.R campaign, else I’d have fired off an email myself).

They’re all at various stages of planning and such, so I was told in some cases it may be a week or 2 or perhaps a [...]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The Thing With Sandra Pupatello Is:

At this point, I like the plain-speaking Sandra Pupatello for the job, and I’m guessing she’s entering the race as the favourite. Should she win, she would, of course, make history as Ontario’s first female premier. I am somewhat perplexed, however, that Ms. Pupatello decided not to run for re-election last year, saying it was time for a change. Yet here she is competing for more of the same. Let’s hope this is not more of the usual Liberal duplicity or mendacity we’ve come to expect from this edition of the Ontario Grits.

Not necessarily a killer thing, and of course all the other potentials have their things too.  But this one is one of hers: opportunism would be the accusation, I suppose.

By the way, the link is to Russ Campbell, who is Tory but relatively sane.  And he isn’t the only one pushing this line.  But what do I know anyway?  Apparently the Ontario Liberals need to promote somebody from outside of Toronto.  Why is that?  Why do people hate Toronto?  Is it because we are so beautiful?
At this point, I like the plain-speaking Sandra Pupatello for the job, and I’m guessing she’s entering the race as the favourite. Should she win, she would, of course, make history as Ontario’s first female premier. I am somewhat perplexed, however, that Ms. Pupatello decided not to run for re-election last year, saying it was time for a change. Yet here she is competing for more of the same. Let’s hope this is not more of the usual Liberal duplicity or mendacity we’ve come to expect from this edition of the Ontario Grits.

Calgary Grit: Your Weekly OLP Leadership Update: Can Kennedy Restore a Liberal Camelot?

With the membership cut-off fast approaching, it seems likely we’ll have a good idea of the field of candidates to replace Dalton McGuinty within a few days. This week, Laurel Broten, Brad Duguid, and George Smitherman added their names to the list of those taking a pass, prompting a round of “no one wants this job” headlines.

The reality of the situation is far different. It seems almost certain the race will have between 4-6 viable candidates, with a couple more along for the ride. That’s as competitive as any leadership contest in recent memory, and you can be Continue reading

Calgary Grit: OLP Leadership Update

While Federal Liberal leadership aspirants are free to subject their candidacy to a year-long striptease before declaring, Ontario Liberals do not have the luxury of time. With the membership cut-off in just four weeks, there’s little time to play coy.

Yasir Naqvi mulled it over for a few days before deciding to bide his time for a future bid. This week, Dwight Duncan and Chris Bentley both announced they would not be candidates for the leadership – or the next election. Both decisions are understandable given the amount of time these men have spent in politics, and the baggage they Continue reading

Calgary Grit: After 16 Years of McGuinty, What’s Next for OLP?

Sixteen years ago, Dalton McGuinty won the Ontario Liberal leadership race at 4:30 am, after 5 rounds of voting. Always one to defy expectations, McGuinty worked his way up from 4th place over the course of 9 hours in what was truly one of the wildest leadership conventions in Canadian history.

Although it’s almost impossible to read a leadership race’s ultrasound just a few days after conception,the early snapshot points to another unpredictable contest.

While many high profile names have shied away from the federal Liberal race, the OLP offers a more attractive prize and a higher probability of success. Continue reading