Dalton McGuinty resigns, his critics swirl - Macleans.ca

Dalton McGuinty resigns, his critics swirl

Tease the day: The former Ontario premier won’t have a smooth exit from his Queen’s Park life


'I’m proud to say the future is in good hands,' McGuinty said. 'Our party has never been stronger.' (Nathan Denette, The Canadian Press)

Dalton McGuinty, the former premier of Ontario, will resign his seat in the legislature. McGuinty has been Ottawa South’s man at Queen’s Park since 1990, when he was elected as then-NDP premier Bob Rae swept into power. He lasted through the Mike Harris years marked by the so-called Common Sense Revolution. He was elected Liberal leader in 1996. He won his first of three elections in 2003. Last October, he announced he’d step down as premier.

And now, as McGuinty prepares to leave elected office, the vultures swirl. We’ll just look, briefly, at two of the countless political obituaries certain to be written. The Globe and Mail‘s Adam Radwanski says the former premier “has made one of the ugliest political exits his province has seen.” With respect to the province’s contentious cancellation of a pair of gas-fired power plants in Oakville and Mississauga, the National Post‘s Scott Stinson calls McGuinty’s resignation “a move that threatens to make permanent the cone of silence that has descended upon the principal people involved in the efforts to wipe clean the electronic trail of their communication” related to those cancelled plants.

How the former premier is remembered will morph and evolve over time. As McGuinty quits office, the first reviews are in, and they’re not the kinds of things you dream of reading at the end of a 23-year political career.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s orders to riot police to clear Taksim Square of protesters. The National Post fronts Istanbul’s defiant protesters. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Istanbul’s scattered protesters. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the Ontario ombudsman’s investigation of an Ottawa jail guard who abused a brain-damaged inmate. iPolitics fronts the federal government’s hypocrisy on forcing changes on public servants’ sick leave. CBC.ca leads with questions about the federal government’s offshore tax evasion conviction rate. CTV News leads with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement of new disclosure rules for Canadian extractive companies that make payments to governments. National Newswatch showcases a Canada.com story about a video featuring Harper doing impressions of former prime ministers.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Rail safety. Canada’s rail companies should install fail-safe systems that take corrective action if train crews misread signals, says a report from the Transportation Safety Board. 2. Labour unrest. Ongoing strike action by Canada’s foreign services officers—which number about 1,350—means visa processing times at several missions around the world have increased.
3. Arrests. Hundreds of Quebec police in the Montreal area raided homes and arrested 42 suspects and confiscated 600,000 synthetic pills, cocaine, weapons, and $300,000 in cash. 4. Birth control. Health Canada records show that 23 women died while taking birth control pills, including YAZ and Yasmin, which are produced by Bayer and subject to class-action lawsuits.
5. Austerity. In the midst of aggressive budget tightening, Greece decided to cut its public broadcaster and about 2,600 jobs. The country plans to introduce a smaller broadcaster. 6. Anti-gay law. The Russian legislature passed a series of anti-gay measures by a vote of 436-0, with one abstention. The bill bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.”