Have you ever talked with or written to Kathleen Wynne or any one of her colleagues trying to get assistance, advising them to do “something”, questioning them on their actions or public announcements, or in fact anything whatsoever?
Have you ever been present during a conference or meeting with her or any of her fellow MPP’s and wondered “what the hell did they say” afterwards?
OR have you ever had a “one on one” conversation with Wynne where you have laid out in no uncertain terms what a problem is and even offered up a solution and waited for an answer after she said “we will look into it and get back to you”?
If you think your alone in this lack of action or no response whatsoever, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Credits: DAVE ABEL/QMI AGENCY
SHAWN JEFFORDS | QMI AGENCY
TORONTO ─ Dear Premier Kathleen Wynne, please call an election.
That message wasn’t written this month after the Liberals dropped two key byelections, but was among nearly a dozen of the e-mails sent to Wynne the week she took office as Ontario’s newly-appointed premier in February 2013 urged her to go to the polls.
QMI Agency obtained copies of 258 of the e-mails written at that time ─ by Ontario residents to the premier’s official website ─ under the province’s freedom of information legislation.
While privacy laws ensured any identifying information was blacked out, the messages painted a complex picture of the task awaiting Wynne as she took over from Dalton McGuinty.
Grappling with her predecessor’s legacy was a consistent theme:
– “Please call an election at the earliest opportunity,” wrote one person. “You have only been selected by your party and not by the people of Ontario.”
– “You were there,” wrote another. “You were part of every single policy and for all your canned rhetoric to the contrary, you still are. You have already stepped out of the new light into the same old darkness.”
– “I wish you had the guts to call an election,” said a writer. “You’re living on borrowed time.”
But Nelson Wiseman, a University of Toronto political science professor, cautioned he wouldn’t read too much into the griping.
Wynne is far from the first leader to become premier or prime minister without having first won a general election.
“It’s actually the norm ─ it’s not exceptional,” Wiseman said. “Most premiers seem to have come to power that way.”
The e-mails cover a variety of topics including the gas plant fiasco, the Ornge scandal and dissatisfaction over eHealth. But the fractious talks with teachers stood out as a point of concern for many writers.
Those who sent messages to Wynne wanted the labour strife put to rest, no matter what side of the argument they were on.
“I think it is time for people to let their leaders know that a passive devil-me-care (sic) attitude to the gravity of this situation will no longer be tolerated,” a woman wrote in a Feb. 11, 2013, urging the government not to give in to union demands.
But teachers and students also weighed in.
“I am frustrated by the approach that the past government has taken by imposing conditions rather than negotiating,” wrote a male teacher. “Thus, I am pleased by the door that you and your minister (of education) have reopened to dialogue with my union.”
Wynne was the target of a minor letter writing campaign, receiving five missives from students at E.L. Crossley School, in Fonthill — about 20 km west of Niagara Falls.
As members of their school’s marching band, they were upset a school trip to a competition appeared to be in danger because teachers were opting out of extracurricular activities in protest.
Wynne also received what seemed to be desperate cries for help, often from people on the brink of bankruptcy or living in abject poverty.
A spokesman for the premier’s office said written correspondence is one of many ways in which Wynne communicates with her constituents
“Over the past year, she has also visited 105 of Ontario’s 107 ridings ─ she Skyped in to the remaining two ─ held jobs roundtables and even a Google hangout,” said the spokesman. “Each of these mediums have given the premier the opportunity to hear the successes and challenges that each community faces.”
Wiseman said he doubts the premier saw any of the e-mail messages sent during her first week in office.
They were likely viewed by a staffer, who would pass on anything of importance.
“I doubt that she saw any of these e-mails,” he said. “I don’t think they, quite frankly, add up to all that much. They’re interesting … (People) will have their say at the ballot box.”