10.24.2017 04:41 PM

From the archives: Dear good people of Sudbury

[Originally published January 2015.]

You’re in the middle of a by-election and whatnot, but this shouldn’t take long. Stay with me.

The notion that Kathleen Wynne – one of the most honest politicians you could ever care to meet – would ever, ever need to offer a job or an appointment to a former candidate to step aside is this:

It’s crazy. Crazy.

Here’s why: as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, she doesn’t need to offer anyone a consolation prize, or an appointment, or even the time of the day. The reason why is right there, in black and white, in the constitution of the Liberal Party of Ontario: candidates can get appointed “in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.” Section 11.8, folks. Check it out.

What does it all mean? Well, it means that the Opposition want you to believe that Kathleen Wynne didn’t have the power to do what she did, and that she therefore broke the law when she did something she didn’t have the power to do. But she always had that power. Ipso facto, no rule broken.

Still with me? Good. Head hurt? Mine too.

If this whole thing reminds you of the “scandal” about “deleted email” that wasn’t a scandal at all – ie., the emails still exist, and are in the Ontario government server out in Guelph – it should. It’s the Opposition, and probably the OPP, trying to manufacture a scandal during a by-election they stand an excellent chance of losing.

Let me sum up with this: to break a law, you need a law to break. Here, the only law that is relevant is one that gave Kathleen Wynne the power to do, you know, what she did do. Period.

So. There you go, good people of Sudbury: the truth. May it guide you between now and election day.

Sincerely,

Warren

P.S. One more thing. Section 11.2.5 says anyone who “engages in conduct or a pattern of conduct which shows lack of respect for other people” shouldn’t be a candidate. I’d say secretly taping a bunch of people, then broadcasting the results all over Kingdom Come, ain’t terribly respectful. But that’s just me.

23 Comments


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Steven says:

    Things must be pretty desperate in the PC and NDP glass houses.

    P.S. The insertion in the last several years into politics of RCMP ( remember the NDP’s “leak” of the Zaccardelli letter mid-2006 campaign re Ralph Goodale ? ) and OPP “investigations” of the OLP is the the more worrisome issue. To whom are they accountable after the wrongly maligned have cleaned off the smear?


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    Lance says:

    I’ve grown up in this riding, and lived here all of my life. And the question many here in Sudbury have is that if the Premier does indeed have the sole discretionary power to make appointments, then why are these two underlings appearing to speak on this tape as if they do or are appearing to do so on the party’s behalf? Why would they do that?

    And with all due respect, don’t assume that the result of this by-election is a foregone conclusion that the Opposition will lose. It would hardly be the first time that an NDP candidate held this riding, and the massive labor based voters in this city are pissed at Thibeault. PISSED; a big part of the same provincial labor vote that mobilized to help ensure that Hudak didn’t become Premier after his idiotic 100,000 government job cut idea and thereby helped ensure a Liberal majority.


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    Cole says:

    This article misses the point. Of course, any Party leader can appoint any candidate they want, they have the right. Wynne or her team offered a job/appointment for him to quit the race because they wanted him to go quietly. Giving a patronage appointment means nothing to a sitting Premier, it can be used to make an angry (and vocal) potential candidate go away without the candidate resorting to a scorched-earth strategy.

    Unfortunately for the Liberal Party, even giving a paid-position wasn’t enough for Andrew Olivier to go away quietly.

    The tapes are VERY clear that something was being offered, it boggles my mind that anyone listening could deny as much. If it was Wynne’s staff going rogue, they should be fired. Seems pretty black and white to me.


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      Lance says:

      And that is the thing, so here are two $640,00 questions – if only the premier can make these appointments, as these experienced staffers would know, then why would they act unless they felt certain that they were given direction to do so? Why would they take that upon themselves to offer something they don’t have the authority to give?


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    ben burd says:

    Hey Warren a little confused here since when did the Constitution of the Liberal Party become the law of Ontario?

    She may be in line offering plums under the Liberal Party rules but still stinks when put up against the criminal code.


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    chris says:

    Warren you’ve hit a new low. Of course, you are a Liberal.


  6. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Tiger says:

    The taped conversations don’t look good.

    Of course, you don’t really want the kind of person who’ll tape conversations and leak them to the media as a candidate. Frankly I’d disallow a candidate like that if I were leader, period.

    But let’s be clear: even though Kathleen Wynne had and has the unfettered power to appoint candidates, that doesn’t speak to the issue of whether her people offered someone an inducement to stand down.


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      doconnor says:

      “Of course, you don’t really want the kind of person who’ll tape conversations and leak them to the media as a candidate.”

      I guess that is too much accountability for you.

      Does it really count as a leak when he didn’t do it anonymously and they where his tapes to publish?


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Warren says:

        Under the old Broadcast Act, what he did was illegal. You can tape for personal use. You can tape secretly and broadcast, which is what he did.


        • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
          Tiger says:

          But under the new one it’s legal, I’m guessing?

          ***

          Re the Premier’s people — it’s plenty easy to break the law on something (attempted bribery) even when just being straight about things (“I appoint Thibault, he’s our best bet for Sudbury”) would have been perfectly legal. That’s the trap they’re in here, no?


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            Lance says:

            “I appoint Thibault, he’s our best bet for Sudbury”.

            Oh yeah? Why exactly?


          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            Tiger says:

            Can get into plenty of political trouble for that statement, but no legal trouble. Which is the point here.

            They seem to have tried to avoid that political trouble, and therefore (hilariously) are now potentially in legal trouble.


        • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
          nimblejack says:

          And Section 61 of the Election Act states it is illegal to “directly or indirectly . . . give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office or employment ton induce a person to become a candidate, refrain from becoming a candidate or withdraw his or her candidacy.”


          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            Warren says:

            Again, have the courage of your convictions. This comment is fine. But you will be more credible if you use your real name, etc. to make serious accusations. That’s how I do things. You should give it a try.


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            nimblejack says:

            My bad .. typo on the act section. It is…

            Ontario Elections Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER E.6
            Corrupt Practices and Other Offences: Penalties and Enforcement
            Bribery

            96.1 No person shall, directly or indirectly,

            (a) offer, give, lend, or promise or agree to give or lend any valuable consideration in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote;

            (b) advance, pay or cause to be paid money intending that it be used to commit an offence referred to in clause (a), or knowing that it will be used to repay money used in the same way;

            (c) give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office or employment in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote;

            (d) apply for, accept or agree to accept any valuable consideration or office or employment in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote;

            (e) give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office or employment to induce a person to become a candidate, refrain from becoming a candidate or withdraw his or her candidacy. 1998, c. 9, s. 44.


    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Lance says:

      So ask yourself – why WOULD he believe he felt it necessary to tape such a conversation unless he wanted to have proof of what he alleged later? Why would he be thus prepared to record a conversation? Did they have a similar prior conversation?

      The only thing that really seems odd is him being so reluctant to come forward with such proof of what he alleged. He should have immediately provided his proof after making his allegation.


      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        doconnor says:

        According to The Star he records his phone call because he can’t take notes because of his disability.

        I think he was reluctant to come forward because he didn’t want to interfere with police investigation and was waiting for them to get a warrant for the tapes. When the OPP announced the investigation was closed without trying to get the tapes, to released them.


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    Jeff says:

    As Kathleen Wynne has stated repeatedly, she wanted Andrew Olivier on board with the party, she just had another candidate in mind for this riding. Given Thibeault’s popularity in Sudbury, this made a lot of sense. The tape Olivier released reveals exactly this and only this. They wanted another candidate, but were also interested in hiring Olivier for an unrelated position. Why wouldn’t they be?

    Why do people automatically assume that there’s a nefarious agenda behind wanting to hire Olivier, an experienced and popular professional with a promising political background? The police found nothing criminal in the actions of Wynne or Sorbara and I don’t see how not giving a guy candidacy, then offering to discuss alternative possibilities violates any ethical code. This is such a non-story.


  8. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /nfs/c05/h06/mnt/72829/domains/warrenkinsella.com/html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    nimblejack says:

    Dear “Nimblejack”

    This web site is not a forum for you to accuse people of criminal offences using an assumed name. If you wish to do so, use your real name and address, please, and back up your claims. http://warrenkinsella.com/articles/comment-rules/

    But I have no intention of getting sued because you lack the gonads to be honest about who you are.

    W


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    MC says:

    I don’t disagree with your analysis — because I really don’t know any better — and I haven’t really looked into the details here, so perhaps I am speaking out my, you know, but here’s advice I sometimes give my condominium corporation clients: if the owners balk when you do what you are entitled to do, maybe you shouldn’t have done it anyway.

    It’s that old distinction between having a right, and doing what’s right.

    Maybe Wynne had the right to do what she did; and maybe that means that she didn’t do what she’s accused of doing; but people seem might peeved anyway. I don’t think they care if she had the right, because they think, or feel, that the thing she had the right to do, wasn’t right.

    For someone who really deserves the adulatory expression, “one of the most honest politicians you could ever care to meet,” that should have been enough to make her not do it. Or at least to apologize sincerely and fix it after the fact. (I recognize fixing might not be in the realm of possibility here; but apologizing always is.)


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    Miles Lunn says:

    It’s been two years since anyone has commented but since re-posting I might as well. In some ways it helps it was dismissed now which was never a surprise as opposed to the federal Tories where Duffy got acquitted after they had been turfed from power. In terms of impacts in the next election, I think the biggest thing the Liberals have going against them is they have been in power for 15 years and developed a lot of baggage and people want change. This is just one of the many things people will be unhappy about.


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    James Smith says:

    “Makes Legal History” is how the Star headlined this story. I hope Mr B has to pay costs.

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