Making a ‘do-nothing’ look good.

This is embarrassing. The Ontario Liberal government has a cabinet minister responsible for next year’s Pan Am Games who makes the Conservative MPP from Barrie look good.

The Liberal cabinet minister is the MPP for Markham-Unionville Michael Chan. English is obviously not his first language. To add the usual rudeness and lack of decorum in the Ontario Legislature to the Minister’s difficulty with public speaking makes it very hard for him to deal with the questions in the House. And unlike many politicians, he has difficulty speaking easily on subjects with which he has no familiarity.

But this all plays into the soft hands of the MPP from Barrie. We rarely speak of this person because we do not hold him in particularly high esteem. This is a guy who came from the human relations side of business who yearned for a life of living off the avails of politics. His first attempt at being on Barrie’s city council came a cropper because the voters decided against returning him to office after his first term. It was not so much what he did wrong as he did not do much. At least the voters seemed to think so.

Still wanting a political career, he threw his hat into the ring to become a candidate for the Conservatives in Barrie for the 2011 provincial election. The front runner in that nomination race made a mistake that left the failed councillor as the accidental provincial Conservative candidate. This then lead to a lack-lustre campaign by a lack-lustre candidate. And if it had not been for the seemingly unlimited ego and over-confidence of the Liberal candidate, the Conservative would not have stood a chance.

To the surprise and consternation of many in Barrie, the Conservative won. As the election produced a minority government, we were confident that we would soon be able to fix the problem.

Being very short of talent in the Conservative caucus, Conservative Leader Timmy Hudak told the Barrie guy that he might as well be the Conservative’s critic of tourism, culture and sport as well as the upcoming Pan Am Games. Little did Barrie’s boy know that he had fallen into a bonanza of publicity. He had poor Michael Chan doing his work for him. All he had to do was look owlishly into the television cameras and spread alarm about anything connected to the Pan Am Games. This was shooting fish in a barrel.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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