What’s up with Wynne?

It is certainly easy to forget about Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberals during such a beautiful summer. They hardly do anything worthwhile the rest of the year but then they take the summer off and do less.

The only member of the Liberal cabinet who has been putting in some hours has been Health Minister Erik Hoskins. His desultory negotiations with Ontario’s doctors over the past two years finally produced some results. His offer was rejected by dissident doctors. As a doctor himself, he should have known that the deal he negotiated was with a moribund organization.

You would think Hoskins would have an inkling of what he was facing when the Ontario Conservative leader’s brain trust were working so openly with the dissident doctors. It left PC Leader Patrick Brown on the inside of what was going on and made him a hypocrite to call for the province to concede to using arbitration to settle the dispute.

You would also think that Hoskins, with his extensive experience, would do a better job of dealing with escalating health care costs in the province. And you would certainly expect him to realize that radiologists were going to take it personally if they were the ones being cut back to provide raises for other medical specialists.

Mind you the Wynne team are hardly going to let the current polls upset their idyllic summer. No matter how high a rating people give the Conservative and New Democratic leaders at this time, the main preference of Ontario voters is still “Don’t know” or “None of the above.” Nobody knows the Conservative leader and while he did nothing as a Conservative back bencher in nine years in Ottawa, he is achieving less in Ontario.

And that leaves Andrea Horwath of the New Democrats. Her own party made the mistake of not dumping her after she did such a bad job in the last provincial election. There is no confidence building there.

But polls such as the one published last week by Forum Research are meaningless until people start to pay attention to what is or is not going on at Queen’s Park. Two years from now when there is a provincial election in the offing, the chickens will come home to roost. What the voters will make of their choices is frightening to consider.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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