So with McGuinty’s new cabinet being sworn on Tuesday, it’s back to Provincial politics. Of course the big news this week was Sorbara saying he wouldn’t sit in cabinet. He cited deep personal reasons and wanting to spend more time with his family, which is a reason we accepted for several female Liberals who recently left politics, so I take him at his word that has nothing to do with political issues or differences. At the same time, he can still serve his constituents (after all you don’t have to be unemployed to spend sufficient time with your family).
Though I’ve been disappointed with some of the coverage of this and the response from the opposition. Adam Radwanski usually has some great things to say that from time to time I agree with, but I don't buy what Radwanski is suggesting about this resignation. Sorbara has been one of McGuinty’s biggest allies over the past 8 years and has worked his ass off to help him. McGuinty in return repaid him with the top cabinet post. There was certainly no Chretien-Martin like animosity between the two whatsoever so suggestions that Sorbara is doing this to plot leadership ambitions I think is false given that this would not be the way to go around doing that anyway (you would stay in cabinet and continue to show yourself to a team player and strong performer). So again I think Sorbara has personal reasons to resign and probably would have actually wanted to return to Finance but was persuaded otherwise by his family.
But then there was the shameful response from John Tory and the NDP. First Tory:
“I think the average IQ around that cabinet table just crashed with his departure, and I’m concerned about that for the sake of the province,” said Tory ...I just wish he’d announced he was leaving before the election. I think people would have taken a different look at the McGuinty government without the brains of the operation being there.”
This is BS. First of all, was Tory saying this the last time Sorbara left cabinet? No Tory was insinuating that the RCMP had good reason to investigate Sorbara (of course the RCMP were strongly rebuked on this and Sorbara was completely removed from the investigation) and that McGuinty should distance himself as far as possible from him. Meanwhile, McGuinty’s cabinet carried on just fine and Dwight Duncan brought down a great budget. Don’t get me wrong, Sorbara was an excellent finance minister and would have deserved the post again, but the Liberals managed fine without him before and will again. It’s still a loss though for sure but not anywhere near the level Tory insinuates.
Then there was the even more ridiculous comment from the NDP:
New Democrat Rosario Marchese believes the resignation will be ``a huge blow to the Liberal Party,” and said Sorbara should also resign his seat if he really wants to spend more time with his family.
“If he wants to be a full-time granddad, then I think the riding deserves a full-time member,” said Marchese.
Ridiculous! So is Rosario saying that you can’t be a good grandfather unless you are unemployed? The ones that actually left politics it was to spend more time with their children. Has anyone ever left for grandchildren? Anyways, Sorbara is saying that his cabinet duties took too much time away from his family, so he is scaling back his work to spend more time with them. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still hold a job representing the citizens of Vaughn. Marchese should apologize. Like c’mon have a little class, Sorbara just resigns and the very next minute he’s out attacking him and making outrageous statements. He should really know better.
Shame on the opposition for trying to score partisan points out of what is a very personal matter for Mr. Sorbara. They’re not off to a great start this session, that’s for sure.
I'll be back later with a full list of who I would pick for McGuinty's next cabinet.
UPDATE: Radwanski takes it back. Says that he’s been informed that there were real personal issues that happened recently (death of Sorbara’s sister-in-law) that have led Sorbara to ultimately take this decision. Good for Radwanksi for correcting himself. This further bolsters my view that Marchese should apologize though, does he still think Sorbara should resign his seat?
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