11.08.2012 10:05 AM

Sandra…for a change

For the Ontario Liberal leadership, I’m supporting Sandra Pupatello. She announced her candidacy just minutes ago here in Toronto, and she’s heading next to her home in Windsor to declare her intentions before a big hometown crowd.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be writing more about why I’m supporting her. But for now, here are ten reasons why I think Sandra is simply the best person for the Ontario Liberal leadership.

1. She is the only candidate who can win the coming election. Period.

2. As long as anyone can remember, we’ve never won with a Toronto leader. Sandra’s from Windsor, and proudly so.

3. She’s multilingual and she’s whip-smart. She’s fun and she’s one of the most likeable politicians I’ve ever met. She’s the candidate the PCs and the NDP fear the most.

4. Coming from Windsor, she knows how to defeat the OLP’s strongest adversary – the NDP. But she enjoys beating Cons, too. And she’s never lost an election.

5. She has held senior portfolios like economic development, and trade. She’s got the right kind of experience for these tough economic times.

6. Jobs, jobs, jobs: her number one focus is the security provided by a stable, well-paying job. That is the centre of her economic policy.  It’s what Ontario needs.  She is what Ontario needs.

7. She treats every taxpayer dollar as a sacred trust. She’s frugal, and she’s careful with every dollar. That’s how she’ll govern, too.

8. With Sandra, what you see is what you get. That’s how she is. Taxpayers rightly demand that we be straight with them. That’s what they’ll always get with her.

9. Sandra left government to work as a senior, and successful, business executive. She’s therefore been far from any of the the controversies that have beset her competitors for the top job.

10. She doesn’t buy into the Left vs. Right, labour vs. management, urban vs. rural stuff that others are so preoccupied with. She can win everywhere in Ontario, with the support of people from all walks of life, and every point of view. And she will.

Sandra Pupatello provides the kind of change we need, and not just in the Ontario Liberal Party.

She’s a winner.  And, if given the privilege of leadership, she’ll win the next election. Click here to support her, too!


  1. TimL says:

    She seems like their best choice. And “careful with every dollar” would be a nice change from the last guy.

  2. buck says:

    Is that her real logo?
    I’m sure there are many people who could help out on improving that, but if inexplicably that’s not the case – drop me an email.

    • Warren says:

      All ideas are welcome!

      • Np says:

        If all ideas are welcome, I’d say this: She’s not change and she doesn’t need to be. Any Liberal candidate who runs on a platform of change (either in the spring election or in this leadership race) is playing right into the hands of both the NDP and the PC’s. I’ll say that again because it bears repeating: If you guys run from your record, you’re dead! The Ontario Liberals have done nothing wrong (or so their messaging should read) and we’re not running on a campaign of change. McGuinty navigated Ontario through some rough seas. Now we have to deal with ice floes and SP is an even stronger engine with an even more aggressive propeller and an even thicker hull to help us bust our way through. We’re not changing course or re-evaluating our decisions, we’re increasing speed and SP is the leader to do it. Anyone who knows her knows this imagery will work. She’s not change and she doesn’t need to be. She’s Ontario Liberal 2.0 and she knows her stuff.

        BTW, I’m not a Liberal partisan.

      • KL says:

        fired you an idea, hotmail

    • Mr. Murdoch esq. says:

      Ya man. As soon as I looked at her logo, it reminded me immediately of one of the two worst Municipal Councillors in the history of Toronto. So font and style changes would be good and appreciated.

  3. Mike Chopowick says:

    Ok. Now change the date to 2002. Replace “Sandra Pupatello” with “Ernie Eves”. You see where I’m going here? The similarities are uncanny.

  4. Michael Behiels says:

    One more big reason

    Sandra will be the first female Liberal Premier of Ontario, joining a stellar group of other female premiers.

    Now such a team could give Harper a run for his money?

  5. Cath says:

    She’s a good choice for the provincial Liberals. She’ll provide a challenge for both Horwath and Hudak on different levels, but a challenge nevertheless.

  6. bigcitylib says:

    Is she doesn’t win does this mean someone else runs the Lib war room next Spring election?

  7. Nick H says:

    So a party that has been in government for three terms is gonna run a “change” candidate? Based on the laughable premise that because Pupatello left government for a year she is now an “outsider”?

    Can she even win in Windsor-Tecumseh? Its going to be hilarious if she losses Dwight’s seat to the NDP. Maybe that will be enough of a wakeup call for the OLP to pull its head out of the sand.

  8. Chris says:

    Where does she stand on Bill 115 and collective bargaining in general?

    • Nick H says:

      Now why would the OLP go and ruin a perfectly good leadership launch by actually discussing Pupatello’s stand on real issues? Sandra is “frugal” and she is “straight with taxpayers”, what more could you want? Actual policy or where you stand on specific bills just isn’t appropriate when we’re talking about choosing a party’s next political leader. Just ask Warren “run from the left, govern from the right” Kinsella. Politics is a boxing match, we really wouldn’t want to ruin it by talking to people about specific bills or committing to any particular policy. Much better to run on vaguely defined but rigorously focus grouped “values”.

  9. If I’m allowed to say here, I’ve actually met Ms. Pupatello many times in person, and I would agree with you that she is extremely personable and smart.

    However, being personable doesn’t forgive holding wrong ideas or executing just OK ideas badly. It’s 8 years of wrong ideas and bad execution that have landed our province in hot water. One year away from politics doesn’t suddenly immunize you from the 7 years at the cabinet table where decisions on eHealth, ORNGE, Green Energy Act, eco-taxes et al were made.

    And reading your Point #10… there’s the saying “if everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody”. She’s going to be some utopian leader that crosses all demographic lines in our province? That’s a stretch. Isn’t Sandra the originator of the “war on children” expression to describe Harris cuts? That’s an example of over-the-top hyperbole, not sober diplomatic leadership.

    Well, good luck. I’m not a fan of Hudak, but I still think its time for the PC’s to take control. But Pupatello would be better than NDP-lite Murray or Wynne and would definitely be infinitely better than Premier Horvath.

    • Cynical says:

      “but I still think its time for the PC’s to take control”

      If you could round up a more than a corporal’s guard of actual PROGRESSIVE Conservatives, you might get some traction.

      Until, then, they can stay on the bench.

  10. AJ says:

    I’m a good ol’ Tory but even I think she will would the next election if she is Premier, and deservedly so. Being from SW Ontario, she can work with both rural and urban interests (crucial in SW Ontario politics). Also being from Windsor, she has a little bit of that American Style piss and vinegar in her and won’t back down when the fight get dirt. Genteel and polite to a fault, she is not.

    If she can win the leadership vote, she is a shoo-in come election time.

    I like that she is also from outside the Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal triangle which I think is crucial for the next OLP leader. The OLP is weakest outside this area and she understands that it is a “different province” with different concerns, wants and needs than the big population centres.

    A vote against her though might be that she is from Windsor… It is far south from the major population centres, and quite frankly Windsor has a different culture, both social and politically, than the rest of the province. They like their politicians to be fighers who deliver the pork in Windsor. The place has a huge chip on its shoulder too and truly believes “Ontario ends at London.” She didn’t grow up supporting the Leafs and Blue Jays. She didn’t come up from the GTA wing of the Liberal Party but from the aggressive and union heavy SW Ontario wing of the party which has much less votes and is economically depressed. This will hurt her somewhat. It’s a mix of US and Canadian culture and she might be too socially liberal, pro-union, combative and in your face for some folks in the Liberal Party.

  11. kre8tv says:

    Tagline rings better to my ear if it were simply “for change.” Not crazy about the typeface and the all caps. But the candidate’s credentials do have my attention.

  12. tfalcone86 says:

    She is going to be great. I can hardly wait.

  13. Mr. Murdoch esq says:

    Yup she has my vote and all the people I influence too-all three of them.

  14. Nic coivert says:

    I think the NDP is very weak provincially, beneath Horvath’s bravado they are very thin, Hampton left them in a rumpled heap, and Hudak, as south of the border has recently shown, has willingly allowed himself to be hobbled by belligerent right wing nut jobs. SP will have some room to grow in.

  15. Bloody Bounder says:

    I agree that Sandra Pupatello would, by far, be the best choice for the
    next leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.

    I have a couple of questions for you Warren:

    1} Would you say Sandra Pupatello will most likely propose socio-economic
    policies, as part of her leadership bid of the OLP, which are centre-left, or at
    least to the left of Dalton McGunity?. As you correctly note, the Ontario NDP
    is the biggest electoral threat faced by the OLP, so a move from the
    centre-right/centre under Dalton McGunity to the centre-left under Sandra
    Pupatello would be most welcomed by Trudeau Liberals such as myself,
    who have become deeply disillusioned by the centre-right/neo-Liberal reign
    of Dalton McGunity which has seen de-listing of OHIP services; no real increases
    to Ontario Worls (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Programme (ODSP); pitiful
    funding for Ontario municipalities to pay for public transit; ongoing proposals to
    privatize Crown Corporations; inaction on evictions faced by families who are
    unable to pay their rents or mortgages during a time of deep recession job losses
    which is no fault of their own (amending the Landlord-Tenant Act to better protect
    tenants would be a good start on this issue); a 50% cut of funding to the
    Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). The CSUMB has been
    available to Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
    recipients who are facing difficult crisis situations. This benefit has been used to:
    secure housing by people leaving shelters or hospitals; to pay rent arrears in order
    to avoid eviction; to pay utility arrears in order to avoid having your water or heat
    cut off during the freezing winter months; and purchasing basic household items such
    as a bed or mattress. Currently, some 16,000 people a month across Ontario rely on
    this vital benefit. It it any wonder that so many OLP voters who are social-liberals
    and eco-liberals are starting to look seriously at both the Ontario NDP and the Ontario
    Greens, as the OLP drifts more and more to the centre-right where the neo-Liberal wing
    has reigned supreme for the past 9 years…

    2} Do you personally believe that Gerard Kennedy will run for the OLP leadership?.
    Gerard Kennedy is most certainly the sort of centre-left/social-liberal I want to lead
    our party and province.

    • Bloody Bounder says:

      Could you please reply to my two previous questions
      when you get a spare moment, Warren?. I would very
      much like to know your thoughts.

      • MississaugaLibPeter says:

        2) You will know as soon as tomorrow or no later than this upcoming Monday.

        • Bloody Bounder says:

          Do you think Gerard Kennedy will run for the OLP leadership, LibPeter?

          I would also like to know Warren’s thoughts on my two questions
          when he has a moment to spare.

        • MKS from durham says:

          Gerard could much more easily be the outsider candidate than Pupatello, and run with out being tarred with the scandals of the McGuinty Government. But to to that, he better get in the race quick or he will have no time to sell memberships before the deadline. It will be pretty much futile being the outsider trying to appeal to the existing membership base. The clock is ticking!

          • Bloody Bounder says:

            Well said, MKS.

            I personally would love to see Sandra be the next leader of the OLP
            and Ontario’s first female Premier, but I am not entirely convinced
            that she is the best person for the job. I am a social-liberal and on
            the left-wing of the OLP. I believe Gerard is also a social-liberal and
            on the left-wing of the OLP. I have been telling liberals for years that
            they need to move leftwards if they want to be able to counter the
            Ontario NDP. We don’t need a neo-liberal Ontario Liberal Party
            and a neo-conservative Ontario PC Party competing over who can
            best lower taxes, privatize public assets, weaken the welfare state,
            outsource, offshore, downsize and otherwise kiss the butt of
            Bay Street. If the OLP opts for another neo-liberal leader to
            replace McGunity then I think the Ontario NDP has a real chance
            of winning the next election…

  16. Patrick says:

    I hope when your partisan process is done we can have a functioning provincial legislature again where, y’know, we won’t have 103 MPPs being payed to not sit in the legislature.

    For a woman you claim to have the capacities you do, pretty ham-fisted comments about the legislature’s eventual return. Interpreted by many Ontarians as: “MY seat. Then we can have a legislature.”

    Total meh, but we’ll see how the campaign shapes up, Team Prorogation.

  17. Chubsy Ubsy says:

    Quitting a Bay Street gig to captain a sinking ship? There’s one for the scrapbook! However, the Tories have Hudak as a leader and we saw what the NDP did to Ontario. Yep, if Sandra wins it…that red boat will float. I’m no Liberal, either. I do recognize Sandra as being tough as nails.

  18. M-J says:

    Are we to assume that you are toiling for Ms. Pupatello?

  19. Kelly says:

    As long as leaders of any party are afraid to raise taxes to pay for the services that we all crave and that should have been properly funded originally when they were delivered, Ontario will have a dark future. Either Pupatello understands we’re all in it together and we need to spend collectively on good infrastructure education and reasearch and public health etc or we decide that it’s more important to spend more as a province on Chia pets, JLo movie tickets and Hummers. I’m hoping she’s not chickenshit. I don’t think she is, but I hope I’m not wrong.

  20. Ryan says:

    Sandra launched her leadership campaign in Windsor tonight and there was plenty of energy in the room. She commands a room like very few can in politics and she has more charisma than Hudak and Horwath combined. She is positioning herself as a candidate who can mend fences for the Liberals and it’s important to note that C.A.W. President Ken Lewenza was in attendance for her Windsor launch. Sandra joked that if she can work with Ken, she can work with anybody. That comment drew a lot of laughs from the crowd and showed the sense of humour she would bring to the position. She also took the time to introduce Lewenza and he received an appreciative round of applause from the crowd. Labour unions see new opportunities with Sandra as leader. Sandra’s ability to garner support from people in different sectors in the province is exactly what will have Horwath worried. Sandra also mentioned that the Conservatives wasted no time in attacking her after she met the Toronto press today and announced her intentions. This of course, means that Hudak must be getting nervous already as she correctly pointed out. She told everyone there tonight that “the fire” is back and that’s bad news for the opposition and they know it. Sandra brings a lot to the table as Warren outlined above and many of those personable qualities were on display tonight. The other contenders for the leadership have their work cut out for them.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      Ryan, the media appears focused on her prorogue comments, so they have not reported anywhere how many MPPs were at her launch. Wynne had two, so I was wondering what Sandra’s MPP support was. Thanks.

      • Ryan says:

        You’ve probably read by now who was at her Windsor rally. Many M.P.P.’s are still waiting for the entire field to take shape before making a decision. Much of the southwest fell into the hands of the Conservatives or the NDP, but I do think Sandra could help the party take those ridings back. Former M.P.P. Pat Hoy from Chatham-Kent Essex was there and he represented a largely rural riding for 16 years before retiring. Sandra will have significant appeal in ridings like Hoy’s and that gives her an advantage over the Toronto contenders. A leader from Toronto has limited appeal outside the GTA and the Liberals are in dire need of a comeback in the rural areas. Sandra can lead that charge in the smaller rural centres.

      • MississaugaLibPeter says:

        Hi Ryan!

        Just trying to assess who my choice – Gerard – should not bother calling right now. I am sure he will call even the partisans after he declares his intentions. That is also the feeling that I got, that many MPPs are waiting to declare support. I know initial thresholds required to run would have fallen significantly since none of the declared aspirants have yet to have a handful. The only MPP who I believe could get a handful would be Harinder, but I do not believe he is running. The question then would be: Is he going to stand by the side of fellow Mississauga MPP Charles or one of the other two yet to declare officially?

        • Warren says:

          Peter, how are his calls going to caucus?

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            Good. Was initially challenging but The Star poll and MPPs having more time to assess their choices has helped. Support is there, both with MPPs and volunteers (our one-day, draftKennedy initiative satisfied Gerard’s threshold).

            The key is making sure all MPPs are united after the last ballot.

          • Warren says:

            Hey Peter: enough with this stuff. If you want a Kennedy web site, go start one. It’s not wanted or welcome here.

  21. Michael S says:

    She’s the only dipper-whipper in the bunch. Just a hint: The current Landlord-Tenant Act, which dates back to the 1980’s, does not apply to condos, the only form of multi-unit housing being built these days. There is a bomb about to go off that exposes renters and buyers of condos both to the whims of condo corporations, a rare case of the small-time investor landlord and the low-income renter being mutually screwed by unknowingly having the rights they assume they have subsumed by the rights created by condo developers: As it stands, a condo corporation could ban your grandparents, your kids, or your dog, and there’s not much you can do about it either as a tenant or a landlord. Those right are subsumed. A “Smart Puppatello” would consider combining the Landlord-Tenant Act and the Condominium Act into a Housing Protection Act that would bring consistent rights and responsibilities to all forms of housing in Ontario.

    You know that condo you bought, the one you rent? The condo corporation has more rights over it that you do either as a landlord or a tenant, and there’s nothing either one of you can do about it. It varies from condo to condo, and the condo corporation has unreserved ability to change your rights at any time. As we urbanize and increasingly buy, invest and rent in condos, don’t you think we need a little clarity and consistency?

    Dippers won’t touch this because even small-time investors are considered a class enemy, landlords. Timmy won’t touch it because to him renters are vile while his favorite people are corporations, authoritarian corporations make him bouncy. Also, condos are a city problem and Randy Hillier hates cities.

    Big, fat, issue just sitting there on the table. Dalton McGuinty, love him or hate him, had a known brand, and that was education. The schools were fucked and his goal was to fix them. Hello, Sandra? The condo market is fucked in its own way, and needs fixing,

    • AJ says:

      Just wait until the leaky condo crisis moves from BC, and now Alberta to Ontario… That will be an epic battle. Just wait until the glass towers start dropping their windows in increasing numbers. Just wait until the 6 digit special assessments start rolling in… This a political issue now in the shadows, but many condos are literal ticking time bombs. Condo Boards who are not on top of maintenance and are “penny wise, pound foolish” will suffer greatly.

  22. Mom says:

    Back on track and full steam ahead!

  23. MKS from durham says:

    “Just saying this statement win her a supporters!”

    Make that “Just saying, this statement won’t win her any supporters!”, and she may take some heat over it.

  24. Debra Davis says:


    Good choice. If I were there I would want to be part of her team. She does an amazing job internationally. Met her several years ago when she was in the UK. Very very credible.


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