Cabinet quickie roundup

It’s a not-bad shuffle, as shuffles go.

Quickie hot Kinsellatakes™:

  • Melanie Joly to Tourism: A big demotion, although she probably doesn’t even know it.  She was a disaster at Heritage. Unfit for any ministry, let alone Parliament.
  • Jonathan Wilkinson to Fisheries: Big promotion. Trudeau needed more B.C. bench strength, and this probably helps.
  • Amarjeet Sohi to Natural Resources: I’m a big fan of this guy.  Love the bus driver back story.  An Albertan was needed on this file – so, smart.
  • François-Philippe Champagne to Infrastructure: A few of my colleagues have dealt with this fellow, and they rave about him.  Smart, professional, maybe a future leadership prospect.  Has friends in every party.
  • Bill Blair to something called “Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction”: Given the fact that Blair was responsible for Harper’s G20, which an outside review accurately called “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history,” it sounds like the feds plan to take a bit of a harder rhetorical line on border issues – or, more than Ahmed Hussen did, at least.  We shall see.  The Ford folks, at least, are relieved.
  • Dominic LeBlanc to Intergovernmental: Surprising. No Prime Minister relinquishes their hold on intergovernmental files – ever.  But maybe Trudeau knows he needs someone to calm the churning provincial waters.  Dom can do that – but the Fisheries Dom, not the House Leader Dom.
  • Pablo Rodriguez to Heritage: Pablo is amazing.  Liked on all sides of the House, trilingual, affable, smart. He once said to me how smart and respected Lisa is, so that means he has excellent judgment, too.  (And, in a coma he’ll do better than Joly did.)

The groping scandal suggested to me Trudeau would dial up the number of women in cabinet, but he really didn’t.  It’s about the same. Maybe he doesn’t think he has any exposure in that regard.

Not sure he’s right about that.


This is a hate crime

It is also an attempted murder on a man because he is a Muslim.  It needs to be condemned by all, and pursued by police with a vengeance.

Mohammed Abu Marzouk, 39, was just about to head home from a picnic he was attending with his family near the Mississauga Valley Community Centre on Sunday night when two men passing on foot behind his car started shouting at the family, “f–king Arab people! Terrorists,” his wife, Diana Attar, said in an exclusive interview with CBC News.

“Please don’t touch him, please don’t hurt my husband. I have two little girls, please don’t hurt my husband,” Attar remembers pleading.

Nearby, she spotted a police car and ran to ask for help. When she returned, her husband had fallen to the ground, blood spilling from his ear and pooling around his head. Moments later, he lost consciousness and Attar began reciting prayers that Abu Marzouk would survive.

The father of two was rushed to a Toronto trauma centre with what his family says were multiple fractures to the face along with brain hemorrhaging. Almost immediately, he was taken into surgery where Attar says they “removed a part of his skull” to stop the bleeding and put on a breathing tube. 

All the while, Attar says, her four-and six-year-old daughters were asking her if their dad had died and if they would ever see him again. 


What Kathleen Wynne is owed

Steve Paikin is a nicer guy than me. As seen here, he is urging people to forgive Kathleen Wynne’s disappearance from the legislature.

I am not so forgiving.

The Ontario Liberal Party was my political home. I was proud to run its winning war rooms in 2003, 2007 and 2011, and to serve under Dalton McGuinty and Don Guy. I was equally proud to work with great people like Chris Morley, Laura Miller and Brendan McGuinty.

Kathleen Wynne – and her Wizard and her Board, the ones who pushed out dissenters and made themselves a fortune in contracts from both the party and the government – have destroyed the Ontario Liberal Party, perhaps for good.

This is Kathleen Wynne’s legacy:

• The loss of party status, and all that goes with that.

• A double-digit debt, one that will be impossible to pay off for years to come.

• The worst election performance in Ontario political history.

• A party that is reviled and despised, and with no sense of what it stands for anymore.

When the microphones and cameras were pointed her way, Kathleen Wynne was charming and exuded warmth. When they weren’t, Kathleen Wynne was just another politician: a ruthless operator, one who was willing to say and do anything to hold onto power. One who believed it was all about her.

To my friend Steve Paikin, then, I respectfully dissent. I say, instead, that this is all that Kathleen Wynne and her loathsome wrecking crew are owed:


Let’s talk about sex


Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government appears to be retreating from its decision to teach the 1998 sex-education curriculum, which predates Google, social media and same-sex marriage.

While Education Minister Lisa Thompson reiterated the updated 2015 syllabus, which is opposed by social conservatives, is being scrapped, she insisted issues of consent, gender, same-sex relationships, and cyber safety would still be taught this fall even though those elements are not included in the old lesson plan.

Good decision.  They clearly listened to Canada’s Best-Loved Punk Political Podcast™, The Kinsellacast, wherein I said they were making a mistake.

You’re welcome, children of Ontario.  My bill is in the mail, parents.