REALity – Volume XXXIV Issue No. 12 December 2015

Corruption infers a blatant disregard for honesty, ethics or principle.  This accurately describes Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s behaviour since she was elected to office in 2014. 

She has a tin ear for the public’s concern about her decisions, and as a result, has been involved in a long list of questionable decisions, unconcerned about the political fall-out from them. 

She has spent funds wildly, placing the province in suffocating debt, currently $287.3 billion, which requires an interest payment of $11.4 billion annually.  She has imposed a repugnant sex-education program in the schools, resolutely refusing to listen to the voices of anguished parents.  Her curriculum reflects her own personal, dubious values, not the values of the majority of parents.  Ms. Wynne has resolutely ignored the parents’ requests for consultation and amendments to the program.

In a Sudbury byelection last December, charges were laid against the Liberal organizer, Gerry Lougheed, by Elections Ontario for allegedly bribing a nominated Liberal candidate, Andrew Olivier, to step down in return for a job offer.  This is illegal.  The object of this exercise was to replace Mr. Olivier with NDP MP Glenn Thibeault, who resigned his federal seat to run provincially as a Liberal, in Mr. Olivier’s place.  Once elected, the first action by Mr. Thibeault in the provincial legislature was to table a motion to remove the words “mother” and “father” from all government documents to replace them with the word “parents”, supposedly to better recognize the rights of LGBT parents.  This will eventually affect 10,000 different provincial government forms.  Premier Wynne, a lesbian, apparently was of the view that it would be too obvious that she was using her position as Premier to push her personal values by making these changes by way of a government bill.  Instead, she used Mr. Thibeault to bring in a private member’s bill to achieve her objective.  In doing so, Mr. Thibeault was merely paying back Ms. Wynne for her arranging, so nicely, his election to the provincial legislature. 

There is a reason why Ms. Wynne remains serene about any political fall-out. She has an incestuous relationship with the 100,000 strong members of the teachers’ unions in the province which are providing her with political protection.

  • The teachers’ unions have poured $800,000 directly into the Liberal party’s coffers over the past decade.
  • Members of the teachers’ unions are pressured to vote for the Liberals during an election and also indoctrinate the students to do so.
  • The teachers’ unions have spent $6.5 million in the previous three provincial elections for vicious attack ads against the Progressive Conservative Party, the Liberals’ main political opponent.

In return the Liberal government:

  • Over the past ten years has paid close to $66 million to the Ontario teachers’ unions for undisclosed reasons, according to Ontario Public Accounts.
  • Provided teachers’ unions with rich pay raises, special treatment and secret benefits.  In the 2015 negotiations, the Liberals secretly gave $2.5 million to the unions for their collective bargaining costs without demanding receipts.

The lack of necessity for receipts was subsequently reversed under pressure when this secret payment was disclosed by the media.  Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) has a $65 million reserve to be used for collective bargaining purposes, which was not needed due to the Liberals’ generous payouts.  It is to be noted, however, that the English Public Elementary Teachers Union – the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) did not receive any government funding to cover its bargaining costs, but has received $12,514,094 from the liberal government since 2007 for unknown reasons.

The cozy relationship between Ms. Wynne and the Ontario teachers’ unions has been carefully kept from public view until now.

The first such payment was made in 2007 when Kathleen Wynne was Education Minister.  After Ms. Wynne left the education portfolio in 2010, the money for the unions dried up.  In 2013/2014 the donations occurred again just in time for the 2014 election. By what authority does Kathleen Wynne make these grants? 

The Liberals and the unions perform a pantomime during negotiations, pretending they really don’t like each other.  The unions carry out this charade by marching around with placards and chanting angry slogans while proclaiming they will “work to rule”.  Ms. Wynne, for her part, issues public warnings that there is no extra money for the teachers.  Meanwhile, she is secretly cutting a deal with the unions. 

On November 6, 2015 the Forum polling company announced that Ms. Wynne’s personal approval rating had fallen to a new low of just 21%.  This is the same as that of Dalton McGuinty, her odious predecessor, prior to his resignation as Premier. 

Clearly, the Liberals will do or say anything to protect their self-serving relationship with the teachers’ unions.  With the unions’ support, Ms. Wynne is free to do anything she wishes, secure in the knowledge that the teachers’ unions’ vicious ads will protect her fully in the next election and return her to power, regardless.