CFN – With the resignation of long-serving Tory MPP Elizabeth Witmer, Dalton McGuinty and the provincial Liberals have been given a gold opportunity to re-claim their coveted majority at Queen’s Park.
Witmer’s resignation comes as the Premier nominates her to become the chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) In a statement made by the Premier on the matter, he says that “Elizabeth Witmer is exceptionally qualified to be the Chair of the WSIB. Elizabeth will bring strong leadership to the WSIB board as they work to eliminate the unfunded liability while helping injured workers and reducing red tape for businesses” however we the electorate will have to wait and see the level of competence she will bring to her new position. Hopefully she is the right choice.
As I stated in my last column women are still under-represented in Canadian politics and it is always nice to strong women in leadership roles in this country. I would therefore like to offer her my sincere congratulations and hope he has much success in her new role as chair of the WSIB.
Since only one seat stands between minority and majority governance, the results of the by-election to be held in Witmer’s riding of Kitchener-Waterloo have the potential of having a great impact on the make-up of the legislature.
Tories have most to lose in by-election
The incumbent Progressive Conservatives, who have held this seat since 1990s have arguably the most to lose in this bi-election. Not only will this be a means of the electorate measuring the effectiveness of their job in opposition, but a lose in the riding would be devastating seeing as this has been one of the steadiest ridings as longevity goes.
NDP’s Kingmaker status in jeopardy
While in minority parliament, the third party is given a significant amount of power, a Liberal win would mean an end to their Kingmaker status in the legislature. Without this Kingmaker status the Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath would not have been able to convince Premier McGuinty to add a 2% surtax on this province’s richest 1% in order to ensure they pay their fair share. While it would be great to add a new member to the NDP caucus at Queens park, a Tory win would also ensure that the NDP still has a powerful voice in the Ontario legislature.
Liberal victory would mean majority government
If the McGuinty liberals are the ones who end up triumphant on the night of this upcoming bi-election it means they will have regained their majority, and will be able to bring stability back to Queen’s park. They will no longer have to negotiate with opposition parties in order to pass their budget and will not have to make compromises in order to avoid a full-scale provincial election.
In a act of non-partisanship, I reached out to the riding association of all three major political parties in the Kitchener-Waterloo electoral district. The only party to get back to me before the deadline I had provided to them was the Ontario Liberals.
The president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario Liberals Simon Tunstall was nice enough to provide the following statement:
“We congratulate Elizabeth Witmer and wish her the best in her new role at the WSIB. Our focus is on getting the best representation for KW families. And the fact is, only Ontario Liberals have a plan to keep the economic recovery on track by taking strong action to balance the books and continue to create good jobs for families“
Born and raised in Cornwall Ontario, Stéphane is a social activist and political science student at the University of Ottawa who is avidly passionate about politics, policy-making, as well as getting youth involved in the democratic process.
Stéphane also loves to observe and explore his surroundings, take part in rational discussion, learn new things, write, and meet new people.
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