Patrick Brown may win the battle but he is going to lose the war.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2017



Ray Rivers has been writing a column for the Gazette for five years. Over that time he has developed a following that isn’t shy about taking him to task when they disagree with his opinion. That ability to “talk back” to a columnist is one of the features of this newspaper.

Rivers hand to face

Ray Rivers

It has taken some time for Gazette readers to appreciate that what Rivers writes are his personal opinions.

Each week Ray and I talk about what he has in mind. I don’t tell Ray what he has to write but I am aware of what he is planning on writing about.

There are times when, as publisher, I suggest a particular subject could use some attention. Rivers doesn’t always agree.

He recently did a column on Ontario Leader of the opposition Patrick Brown. I had hoped Rivers would write about affordable housing – Rivers has said he will get to that.

While Ray is a liberal and a Liberal he does have the capacity to see beyond the end of his nose.

We have approached a number of clearly identified Conservatives to write an opinion column for us – having some balance is important.  We do have our eye on a young New Democrat to become a columnist.

Brown Patrick with headset

Patrick Brown

In his piece on Brown he said he felt Brown was getting some traction and that the race for the Premiership of the province was going to be tighter than I said it would be.

My own view is that Brown does not yet have the profile he needs and his past positions are going to haunt him in an election where the Liberals will have the stronger campaign team.

Wynne Kathleen - looking guilty gas plant hearing

Kathleen Wynne

I have certainly been wrong before but I see Kathleen Wynne winning and then resigning within 18 months. If she loses she is gone.

Then the battle will be between several members of her front bench.

My own view is that it doesn’t matter what Patrick Brown does – he is gone either way.

If he loses there will be a leadership contest. If he wins there will be a member of his government breathing down his neck.

Mulroney Catherine

Catherine Mulroney

Caroline Mulroney is running in York (north of Toronto) where she will win.

Then the real campaign begins for the Mulroney’s. Her father, Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister, has been itching to get back into the political game (did he ever leave?)

To be able to be part of the team that makes Catherine the Premier of Ontario is one that Brian Mulroney won’t be able to stay away from.

So while the Gazette’s leading columnist thinks Brown could take it – there is a bottle of Scotch on the outcome – none of that matters.

Caroline Mulroney is going for the job and she will get it.

Pepper Parr is the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

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6 comments to Patrick Brown may win the battle but he is going to lose the war.

  • Ray Rivers

    To be clear Mr. Parr, I wasn’t endorsing Patrick Brown. I don’t agree with everything he is promising but he is a far cry from his predecessors. I have been listening to many of your loyal readers and they are saying they want a change. So I think it could go either way, but my bottle of scotch is still on Brown. I had called it for Trump too, by the way. As for Mulroney I don’t think we should be treating our political leaders as royalty and their children as heir-apparents.


  • Jim

    Caroline Mulroney, While I do agree that the PC’s have a great nack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Liberals best before date is way past due. All people need to do is look at their hydro bills. Here in Burlington, McMahon’s silence on the PARC process will be her doom. Even though there is not much she could have done other than convince her own cabinet in which she is a part of that they should make the moratorium on school closures apply to those schools destined to close under the current PAR system.

    I still think as political writers, you guys as a profession don’t take into account that voters in Canada don’t have the political attention span like Americans. Brown’s past voting record doesn’t matter to the average voter concerned about hydro rates, health care and education. What will matter is what happens in the new year and during the campaign. As long as Brown doesn’t say anything controversial or promise to cut 10,000 public sector jobs without divulging exactly which jobs he would cut, he’ll get a majority government. Is Brown the best leader for Ontario? No. Is he better than Wynne? Absolutely. Is that a high benchmark? Not at all. When Brown talks about political corruption in the Ontario Government under the Liberals he is spot on.

    • Hans

      The hydro rates are certainly an issue, but who sold off highway 407 and was considering selling the LCBO?
      Incompetence and just plain stupidity seem to thrive in every government.

  • Phillip

    Brown “could” take it…????? Hope whoever is taking Brown wants a bottle of 20 year old Bruichladdich, he is going to win in a walk. Polling numbers for Wynne have hardly moved despite all the pandering to the electorate that the Libs have done with our tax money. Brown–unlike the hapless John Tory and fumbling Tim Hudak, is a savvy politician who won’t make any blunders on his way to election day. My hope is that the Liberals are decimated–even third party status is more than they deserve given the way they have ruined this province.

    However, I agree with the overall theme of this article. I don’t like or trust Brown and I think he will be replaced by Catherine Mulroney. She is smart and well-spoken and backed by a formidable political operator. I think her career path is set–Premier–Prime Minister.

  • Allison

    Her name is Caroline Mulroney Latham, not Catherine Mulroney. While undoubtedly her father’s political career is instrumental in launching her own, as an educated woman (lawyer) in her mid-40s, she deserves at least the credit of being addressed by her own name and you might want to read some of what she’s said and done in her own right before placing your bets one way or the other.

    Editor’s note: You are absolutely right – I did use the wrong first name. The one that matters however is the family name – and not the name she married into. Once she is in office we will get a chance to see what she has in the way of chops. Stylish, female – 40 – kids – lawyer: none of them matter – it is the name – it has become a brand – even if a little tarnished.

  • Hans

    What a depressing topic….
    In every case given in the article (Brown versus Wynne, etc.) we are likely to be disappointed: politicians are too often unqualified people who get their jobs (which they like to refer to as “public service”) by winning a popularity contest.

    They do whatever it takes to get elected, instead of what is best for the municipality/province/country. Anyone who has watched “Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister” will know what I mean. Even after losing elections they often get a great CEO job of some kind.

    If politicians have anything useful (knowledge/skill/ability/judgment/vision) to offer, we are very fortunate, but it is more likely that they will be out of their depth and do something incredibly stupid, like selling a majority of Hydro One, legalizing marijuana, or selling Burlington lakefront land.

    Too many politicians are seriously flawed in some way, or lacking in ethics; e.g., Brian Mulroney, mentioned above, who is remembered for accepting large amounts of cash in plain brown envelopes and not declaring it as income. By comparison, Bill Morneau is a saint.

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