Friday, February 1, 2013

Feature: Canada gets first openly gay Premier; Kathleen Wynee to take charge of Ontario

Kathleen Wynne
In January 2013 Kathleen Wynne won the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race to replace Dalton McGuinty who had announced his retirement after nine years in the province's top political job. 

She becomes the province's first woman premier and also the first openly gay premier. 

Kathleen Wynne has a background in conflict mediation, implementing conflict mediation programs in many schools in Ontario, and was a community activist before getting into politics. First elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003, she has been the Minister of Education, Transportation, Municipal Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs.

Wynne is strong on policy and has a warm, engaging personality, and an optimistic outlook. She is a consensus builder with an inclusive style, and speaks directly, but very tactfully. She is going to need all her conflict mediation skills to handle the problems left by McGuinty. 

The Ontario legislature has been prorogued since McGuinty's resignation in October, and resentment and frustration has been festering on a lot of fronts. 

The Liberals have a minority government and need the co-operation of some of the opposition to get anything done. Ontario has an $11.9-billion deficit, its manufacturing sector is in trouble, teachers are furious about how their contracts have been handled, and there is pressure for an inquiry into the cancellation of two gas plants that cost the province $230-million.

Kathleen Wynne has said that she will bring the legislature back quickly. On the day after her leadership win, she said her top priorities would be youth unemployment, a review of social assistance, the pay freeze in the public sector, and repairing the relationship with Ontario's teachers. 

In response to criticism that because she is from Toronto, rural Ontario will be ignored, she has said that she will take on the role of Minister of Agriculture for the first year.

Reproduced from

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai