06.12.2013 05:27 AM

Dalton McGuinty (updated)

Kinsella says that McGuinty was a “winner.”

“He had many, many policy achievements,” he said.

“Politically, however, his greatest achievement was to be the winningest leader in Ontario’s recent history.”

After working/volunteering for the guy for more than a decade, I still respect and admire him. However, I was heartbroken over what happened late last week – as I said to some equally-shocked Liberal friends, “Chretien would have never, ever done that to any of us, even if we deserved it.”

My relationship with Chretien was different – basically, I had one. Lots of words are often used to describe McGuinty: friendly, gregarious, funny, and so on. They’re all true. But another description is also true: “aloof.” He was, for most of us, impossible to know well.

I don’t know if it was a case of people around him keeping him away from others. I don’t know if it was him, and that he favoured privacy. Whatever the reason, he was (and is) an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

He made mistakes, as we all do.  Personally, I thought it was a big mistake to not immediately resign when a new leader was selected.  I thought prorogation was probably unnecessary.  I thought that damned press release – which I cannot get over – was a mistake.

Most of all, I thought it was a mistake not to do what Chretien always taught us: fight back.  Fight, fight, fight: never give any quarter.  Never give up.  Admit that you’ve lost battles, sure, but never the war.

I will have more to say about this in Sunday’s Sun.  But, in the meantime, I wish him and his family well.  As no less than this guy showed us, on the same day, people eventually forgive and forget.


  1. Louie says:

    He might be the “winningest leader in Ontario’s recent history” but he’s also the most incompetent and gutless. Adios Dalton…about 9 years too late and I can’t say will miss you.

  2. Cynical says:

    Whatever he MIGHT have done, he put our province back together after the Harris Wrecking Crew. For that, my thanks.

    • steve says:

      Lee Quan Yew the President of Singapore met with the Junta ruling Burma. He laid out a plan that in 20 years would have Burma rivaling Singapore. The leading General replied. ” I have no plan but I can assure you in two weeks I can have Singapore resembling Burma.” Its so hard to build, so easy to destroy.

  3. Pipes says:

    Always retire as a Champ and not a Chump.

    Sadly he chose Chump.

    Really too bad,

  4. Mulletaur says:

    Leaders come and go, but the party is forever. That is where our first loyalty lies.

  5. Marc L says:

    Is the ability to win elections all that matters to you? His so-called “policy achievements” were done with borrowed money and tax increases. Any clown can achieve what he did by spending like a drunk millionaire without any restraint whatsoever. The hard part is making the right choices with a limited budget. He never did that. He just taxed, borrowed and spent on things Ontario visibly could not afford. That,s not good fiscal management.
    Funny the way the ultra-partisan mind works — had this guy been a Conservative you would have been all over him. He is one of the worst fiscal managers I have ever seen, and coupling that with the touchy-feely “premier dad” crap just makes his whole record a big cynical farce.
    Ontario is now headed down the same economic road as Quebec. At least you guys don’t have the separatist BS to deal with.

    • Louie says:

      Well said…..be bought labour peace with money he didn’t have and created a sinkhole of debt that will take years to get out from..if we ever do. Needless programs….complete mismanagement….and zero accountability. Finally….when it’s simply impossible to spin the disaster any further…he slinks off and leaves the rotting carcass of his legacy to the new Premier, who I think is just as incompetent. As things begin to surface….I suspect we will see Dalton again at a judicial enquiry….or some other criminal proceeding. Looking forward to seeing that day.

    • Kevin says:

      You nailed it Marc. All borrowed money.

    • Marc L says:

      And, how is what Harper is doing or what Harris did relevant to my point exactly?

  6. steve says:

    You were not perfect Dalton. You failed to clean up the mess left by Mike Harris, voters should never forget the roots of Orange, E-Health and OPG all were established by the Conservatives. However, your green energy, early education, health care funding, GO and TTC improvements, and greenbelt legislation will serve Ontarians well for generations, thank you Dalton.

  7. Tim says:

    Can someone get to the fucking point on this one please? Why were these termination fees so expensive?

    Contracts have early termination fees. I’m on board so far. But how on earth did we get so high here? Explanations please. It’s as bad or worse than the 407. No wonder everyone is so cynical.

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