Why I Joined the Wynne Camp

Ontario Liberal Party Leadership 2013

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

It took them some time. In fact quite a bit of time. But eventually members of the Wynne camp addressed my concerns about the “ethnic” voting strategy. An apology was issued to those who received the messages, and I personally observed it being sent.

Although nearly every member of the Wynne camp was sympathetic, nobody was able to actually execute action. Mistakes happen. I get it. I like to have them fixed. I like to think emphasizing this issue will highlight to the party the importance of developing effective and accurate communication strategies.

The Premier’s Office has done an excellent job in the past 9 years in building close ties with visible minority communities to help address their unique needs and concerns and building a collaborative relationship with them. Let’s hope the next leader will maintain a vibrant and talented community relations staff to continue this good work.

After the conclusion of the first ballot Dr. Eric Hoskins joined the Wynne camp. Although I attended the convention as an independent media observer, I was selected and had the option to stand as an alternate for Hoskins in Beaches-East York. I know Hoskins from when I lived in St. Paul’s and was involved in the riding association, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him. When he joined Wynne I did not automatically join with him because I’m not formally part of the camp, but it did open up conversations with the Wynne team. To be fair, I spent quite a bit of time talking to Pupatello delegates as well.

Hoskins may have been last on the ballot, and the first out in this race. But he’s a Member that I deeply respect, given his background in clinical health and provision of services in developing countries. One of my pre-law backgrounds was in emergency management and disaster management, so I know how difficult relief work can be. I also know that people who enter this area and actually spend time in the field are not interested in power or padding their resume. They have a level of altruism that we probably need a lot more of in Ontario politics.

Wynne will recall the legislature by Feb. 19, which has been a sticking point for many members of the public. The party needs to preserve this relationship. We do not want to use prorogation for political purposes the way some claim the Federal government has done in recent years.

Wynne’s credentials have always been strong. Resolving this issue allows me to offer my support. But some of her credentials are especially important in resolving what is the most immediate and pressing issue facing the party. There are currently thousands of protesters (estimated 15,000 by the police, and growing) encircling Maple Leaf Gardens, and they are angry.

Wynne has experience as a public school trustee, fighting the cuts to education by Mike Harris. She has been a Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education (who was incidentally Gerrard Kennedy), and was Ontario’s Minister of Education from 2006-2010. During this time she created the Minister’s Student Advisory Council, which seeks input from 60 students from Grades 7-12 to improve our school’s system.

Certainly a Minister capable of developing creative solutions to foster student input can presumably do the same for fostering discussions with teachers.

Omar Ha-Redeye Joins Kathleen Wynne