Kathleen Wynne’s days as premier, are numbered, but she won’t go until some of the Ontario Liberal party’s catalogue of blunders, are revisited. The backbone of McGuinty’s support is feeling strained these days, so it is not surprising that Wynne is making courting noises at the teaching cartel. Inevitably, we are going to be subjected to the spectacle of Wynne trying to patch the wounds of Bill 115 with our money.
Remember that McGuinty spent handsomely on the Drummond Report, presumably to help him extricate his government from the intractable positions he was duped into by public sector unions. Also, remember that he put that report on the shelf the minute it was received, after it served its primary purpose of stalling for time and appeasing Ontario’s creditors. The Drummond Report was one shell game, and the price exacted of the teachers is another. The pay freeze is not really frozen, and the banked sick days have not really disappeared. What remains is a tangle of bureaucracy to go along with the new regulations, and to burn through whatever was being saved.
Writer Ann Jarvis explains in the Windsor Star, how the McGuinty administration sent an auditor, Norbert Hartmann to review the habitually fudged books of the Windsor Catholic School Board, and determine why the board was unable/unwilling to meet budget restrictions. After months of invisible, well-paid progress, the auditor sent out requests to teachers, asking them for tips on what might be wrong. Once he received critical reviews from two principals, he forwarded them to Paul Picard, the head fief of the board who then suspended the informers. Those that will speak, including Hartmann, claim that the dismissal had nothing to do with the reports. Sure, and wait till you see the bridge I bought.
The best lesson the rest of us can learn here, is that the relationship between teachers’ federations and the government during and after McGuinty, is incestuous. Drummond was merely a diversion. Bill 115 is another, with much blunter teeth than claimed. The board auditor was another, whose true task was to mute the tongues that had begun to wag, which might have set the entire rotting structure on fire.
Wynne, is only doing what she learned, and Liberals do best – pay for votes.