07.31.2017 12:10 PM

Why Kathleen Wynne benefits from losing Glen Murray

Glen Murray, the Ontario minister of the environment, is gone. Some may interpret this as a loss for Kathleen Wynne. It isn’t.

It’s awesome.

One, I know Glen Murray. I’ve briefly worked with Glen Murray. I don’t like Glen Murray. Neither do a lot of people who are obliged to deal with him.  He doesn’t listen, and he considers himself the centre of the Universe.

Two, he is the loosest of loose cannons.  Hell, he’s rolling all around the deck, crashing into innocent bystanders, 24/7.  He was a migraine for successive Premiers.  He won’t be recalled fondly by a lot of the people who run the show, believe me.

Three, as the Star smartly points out, Kathleen Wynne doesn’t have to have a by-election to replace him – but, even if she does, she’ll easily win again in Toronto Centre.  That’s the safest Liberal seat in the province after Ottawa Vanier.

Glen Murray didn’t even have the grace to announce his departure in Toronto, in the seat he had the privilege to represent.  He did it with a statement issued out of Calgary.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Glen.  You won’t be missed.


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    But was Toronto Centre also the Center of the Universe? That might explain a few things!

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    P. Brenn says:

    don’t know the man but he always struck me as a know it all..didnt get how he left Winnipeg and got nomination in safe seat in TO when there were so many other liberals to pick from …how good a gig is Pembina and does the limelight shone on principals there

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    Steve T says:

    As a Winnipegger, it is interesting to watch this unfold, and read the Star article about the matter involving our former mayor. The Star makes sure to point out Glen Murray’s sexual orientation, in the typical self-congratulatory way of the left. Aren’t we past that by now? Shouldn’t politicians be judged solely by their merits and drawbacks as politicians? The same thing gets trotted out now and then for Kathleen Wynne. It’s almost like we are being told to take it easy on these politicians, because gee whiz they are trailblazers. I’m glad to see you haven’t fallen for this, Warren, and rightly call out Murray for his foibles.

    To me, this will be a true sign of our progress as a society – when politicians of every race, religion, and sexual orientation can be criticized equally, without feeling the need to congratulate ourselves on being so darn progressive to elect them. Presumably (hopefully?) we are electing them because of their merits, not because we feel the need to check a box.

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    Doug Brown says:

    Sounds like a good fit for Pembina

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    James Smith says:

    I agree 100%. I have met the man 3 times & was underwhelmed each time.
    1st time I met him at QP in a friend’s office & he was all guy Smiley “call anytime”. A month later I sent an email asking on behalf of a friend in Colorado who’s 8yr old who was doing a project on Manitoba if he’d send a little note about Manitoba. I get that he’s Mr Important, but Three weeks later I got a staffer’s generic Email about how busy the minister was.
    3rd time was at a Nomination Meeting, he did the minimum, didn’t mingle much, and other than quick handshake as he entered the room didn’t even acknowledge former PM Turner who was a special guest.

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      Pedant says:

      I can’t believe I’m forced to defend Glen Murray here, but it really isn’t the job of Ontario cabinet ministers to do the homework of American school children. You’re lucky to have received a response to such a ridiculous request.

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    Charlie says:

    I actually have a personal story about Glen that I was gonna share, but the vibe of this blog post may not jive with my anecdote.

    Suffice it to say, he’s probably the last good mayor we’ve had in Winnipeg.

    Side note: I honestly don’t know how Ont. Liberals don’t see this as “running out of a burning building”. I would be very reticent to treat this as any kind of typical turnover/departure. This looks and feels like John Baird circa 2015.

    Not good optics for party thats well into its teens in power.

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    Miles Lunn says:

    I am not so sure a by-election can be avoided nonetheless she benefits from the fact the main competition is the NDP not PCs who seem to be stuck in the low 20s although the re-distributed riding is much more NDP friendly since Rosedale gets lopped off. My understanding is a riding can only be vacant for six months so if he resigns immediately, she must call one by January 31st and with a five week campaign that means around the 2nd week of March there would be one. If one resigns after the last week of October than agreed as the writ for the general election will likely fall in the final week of April. Also in all practicality if he stays on until the third week of September one can be avoided as Wynne would have to call one on the third week of March for the end of April so by the by-election date the write will have fallen cancelling it. But I am not sure you can legally go 10 months with a vacant riding. I could be wrong, but that is my understanding.

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    Josh says:


    That’s me! Send me spam and porn!

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    Pedant says:

    I had the misfortune of meeting Glen Murray about 10 years at an event in Toronto. Arrogance personified. A distinctly unpleasant individual.

    Which raises a question : if McGuinty and Wynne both found him to be a pain, why wasn’t he let go after all these years?

    It’s not like they needed another downtown Toronto cabinet minister. Identity politics?

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    Dork in East York says:

    Any word on who has their eyes on Glen Murray’s seat? Seems ripe for a high profile Grit.

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    Joseph says:

    Lots of folks seem to be upset that Murray, an ex-mayor and cabinet minister “considers himself the centre of the universe.” I’m curious which other politicians they’ve been spending time with! Perhaps its the unfortunate rarity of a mission-driven individual in politics (other than the mission to be re-elected) who doesn’t suffer people getting in the way of his mission? I for one appreciate and respect the clarity that Murray has towards the fight against climate change. With the cap-and-trade program firmly in place and other key elements progressing, its a legitimate time to hop to what is perhaps Canada’s highest climate-impact environmental NGO. Canada is going to need a tonne of work to catch up to Ontario’s climate leadership, and I’m glad Mr. Murray is here to help.

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