M.P. Gerard Kennedy resurfacing in fashion – Commentary by Ken Smith – Cornwall Ontario – February 28, 2010

M.P. Gerard Kennedy resurfacing in fashion

Maybe you remember M.P. Gerard Kennedy. He gave us single-handedly Stephane Dion.

Kennedy, third in the 2006 Liberal leadership race thought an alliance with Quebec’s Stephane Dion in fourth place would beat frontrunner Michael Ignatieff.

Kennedy was right and the Liberals ended up with a fourth-best leader. Dion then carried the party to its lowest percentage win of the popular vote in Liberal history in 2008.

Before the year was out the Liberals moved Ignatieff to interim leader to replace Dion. Look at all familiar to the original poll standings in the 2006 Liberal leadership?

English-French inter-party alliances are nothing new. They trail back to Sir John A. MacDonald, Sir Georges Etienne Cartier and Confederation itself, 143 years ago.

Why aren’t antiquated Canadian policies revived? What works conveniently for one party may work conveniently for another party some other time.

Kennedy, between making Dion king and the Liberal run-up to the last election, seemed to disappear. His reason for the low profile was he’d taken a position as a visiting prof at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management during 2008.

Now he has resurfaced in fashion, stepping on the provincial Liberal’s signature transportation policy.

Metrolinx, the new transit authority for Toronto’s GO train service, is to complete the long-anticipated rail link between Union Station and Pearson’s International Airport by 2015; in time for Toronto’s hosting of the Pan-Am Games.

Granted some constituents in Kennedy’s well-to-do riding of Parkdale-High Park have complained of construction noise and diesel pollution from the trains, but none have been as disruptive as Kennedy himself who doesn’t live along the tracks.

Kennedy decided to go over the heads of provincial regulators straight to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

“It’s a provincial issue in most of its respects,” stated Kennedy. “But it was done so badly that it became a federal issue.”

Ironically, Kennedy was Ontario education minister from 2003-2006. In effect he may be forcing the Ontario Liberals to ask the federal Conservatives to intervene against the CTA.

From 1983 to 1996, Kennedy was original executive director of the first Canadian Food Bank in Edmonton and then at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.

Born and raised in the town of The Pas, Manitoba, Kennedy is of Ukrainian heritage on his mother’s side.

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1 Comment

  1. Federally, the Liberals are paying for mistakes by the previous Liberal adminsitration boondoggles, and I hope that happens next year in this province.

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