It’s only a small programme, only a few million dollars, but the Government of Ontario’s Connecting Links programme is the right thing to do, pandemic or not, and it’s being done in the right way: the (relatively rich) province is helping some (relatively poorer) municipalities (not including the big cities of Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto) to repair infrastructure. A big province like Ontario could, easily, spend 10 or even 100 times that much on transportation infrastructure, alone. One hopes that Connecting Links will not be a one-time thing.
That leads me to another thing that I believe is both the right thing to do and that is being done right, too … The Honourable Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs, is being
promoted positioned as a leader for ALL Canadians. Increasingly, I think, more and more Canadians, including more and more Conservatives, are agreeing that she is “the real deal:” a principled Conservative who is also a social moderate and can win, and win big in the suburbs and small cities and towns surrounding Toronto.
Back in the summer of 2018 (last paragraph) and again last December (fifth paragraph, about in the middle of the piece), I speculated that Ms Mulroney might be a choice to lead the Conservative Party of Canada. Caroline Mulroney, wisely, I think, chose to sit those two contests out. I think that voters will remember that she decided to be a team player rather than an opportunist.
The things that Caroline Mulroney can bring to the table include name recognition, which Justin Trudeau also had in 2013 (and which some Canadians held against him, as they will hold her father against Ms Mulroney) and fluent bilingualism, which Justin Trudeau also has, but please don’t forget that it matters more to a Conservative ~ see my comments from January on Ken Whyte’s thesis that Quebecers vote for a native son (or daughter). Ms Mulroney can, fairly, call herself a ‘native daughter of Québec.’ She also brings a record, something that Justin Trudeau never had and which is, arguably, both a good one and a very well-publicized one. Her online, social media team seems tireless at showing her in action, on her own, and as a loyal member of the Ford team, too.
I’m guessing that there is a Team Mulroney that estimated, pre-coronavirus, that the next election would be close and would result in another minority government, either a Trudeau minority or a weak Conservative minority led by Peter MacKay or Erin O’Toole. I’m also guessing that they are re-evaluating their situation. Some experts suggest that in this time of crisis:
- First, political partisanship is eclipsed by a national desire to unite behind the current leader ~ that being Justin Trudeau, warts and all; and
- Second, in a crisis like this pandemic Canadians will likely lean left ~ also favouring Justin Trudeau.
In other words, no matter which of Peter MacKay or Erin O’Toole wins the CPC leadership in August, Justin Trudeau is likely to win the next election, which may come as early as this fall or in 2021.
But, I’m guessing that they (Team Mulroney) are guessing that Prime Minister Trudeau will get another (maybe slightly stronger) minority, and the country will go to the polls again in 2023. By that time Ms Mulroney will have served a full term as a minister in the Ontario government and she will be ready and able to contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.
A lot of people, including me, are persuaded that the prime minister of Canada must be capable in French. Current indications are that Erin O’Toole, who I support, is ‘capable,’ but not yet comfortably fluent, and that Peter MacKay is, to be charitable, still learning. Ms Mulroney is fluent, fluent enough even for the ever sensitive Québec French-language media; she is une vraie Québécoise who, if she’s leading the Party, can win more than a half dozen seat there.
My personal, highly biased impression is that Ms Mulroney is a better leader, in every possible respect and a better prime ministerial candidate …
… than is Justin (Blackface) Trudeau. In fact, I think she’s a superior person, in every respect, too. I believe that she can win a majority against Justin Trudeau or any other ‘leader’ the current Liberal Party might dredge up, and I suspect than unless Erin O’Toole can eke out a majority in 2020 or 2021 she will be the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada … and the Party will be damned lucky to have her.