Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star
Kathleen Wynne needs to win back at least some of rural Ontario. The new premier has taken symbolic measures, such as appointing herself minister of agriculture. But that alone won’t cut it. If she really wants to give her Liberals a fighting chance in the next election — an election that could occur this spring — she will have to tackle two formidable forces: windmills and Paul Godfrey.
Windmills are killing the Liberals in rural Ontario. They may be ecologically sound. But they are politically toxic.
Paul Godfrey’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. places a close second in the toxicity sweepstakes. Under Godfrey’s chairmanship, the OLG is putting in place a new privatization strategy designed to favour big (and usually American-run) casinos. But along the way, huge chunks of the horse-racing industry in rural Ontario — from race tracks to horse farms — are being wiped out.
Wind first. On paper, former premier Dalton McGuinty’s green energy act was a masterpiece. The government’s decision to subsidize wind and solar power meshed neatly with its promise to eliminate coal-fired electricity generating plants. Read article