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In his bid for the federal Liberal leadership, Gerard Kennedy has picked up the support of another two of his former colleagues at the provincial cabinet table: Education Minsiter Kathleen Wynne and Government House Leader Jim Bradley.
That raises the number of provincial ministers in Kennedy's camp to seven, more than any other leadership candidate. But it also means 18 other ministers are either backing other candidates or staying neutral.
The resignation this week of backbench Liberal MPP Tony Wong, the only Chinese Canadian in the Ontario Legislature, received scant coverage in the English media. But the news filled the whole front page of Sing Tao, Toronto's Chinese-language daily. Accompanied by a photograph of Wong's empty chair in the Legislature, the lead story in Sing Tao reported that Wong is quitting because he is "dissatisfied with the Chinese community being overlooked."
A sidebar story reported on Wong's demotion last week in a shuffle of parliamentary assistants. Wong, MPP for Markham, had been parliamentary assistant to the minister of research and innovation, who just happens to be Premier Dalton McGuinty. But in the shuffle he was named as a second-tier assistant to Finance Minister Greg Sorbara. (Wayne Arthurs, MPP for Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge, remains as the first assistant to Sorbara.)
In an interview with the Star, Wong denied that he was miffed over the demotion.
He also denied that McGuinty promised him a cabinet post when he made the deciusion to run for the Legislature in 2003.
"But the premier did say something about naming a Chinese-Canadian member to cabinet," recalled Wong, the only Chinese-Canadian to run for the Liberals in 2003.
For the record, the premier's office flatly denies that any promise of a cabinet post was made to Wong or any other candidate.
Your humble Blog couldn’t resist that pun but you’ll see why in a moment.
Health Minister George Smitherman says he’s seen the results of the Tory diet and has this advice: don’t try it.
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory is noticeably thinner after losing 33 pounds in two months on a high-fibre, low fat and low starch diet of 800 calories a day.
What does he eat?
“A lot of lettuce,” Tory says. No booze, but unlimited mushrooms!
Smitherman musters concern for Tory, whose downtown condo makes him one of the health minister’s constituents.
“If that’s what he’s been consuming I think that really does speak to why he’s having such a hard time developing any policy,” says Smitherman, who likes to point out the Conservatives have yet to unveil their platform for the election Oct. 4 next year.
Tory says not to worry -- “I’ve been feeling as much energy as I ever have” -- and his party will finish chewing over its promises before too long.
Then he will take his lean new physique on the hectic campaign trail, where the perils of the deep fried food group have felled many a good intention.
Take it from the Blob, um, we mean The Blog. Been there, done that, got the extra large T-shirt.
What a difference a year makes. Last September, it was a prime minister named Paul Martin who was at the United Nations, while an opposition leader named Stephen Harper also happened to be in New York, taking in some Broadway plays, as it happens. (Harper also stayed at the Best Western last year. Presumably, he's found some better digs this year.)
Martin's advisers were somewhat miffed last September that Harper had chosen that same time to be in New York, believing him to be up to something.
Well, times do change. It's Prime Minister Harper in New York this week and yes, Martin, now the former Liberal leader and prime minister, is also in the city. And actually, he is up to something. Martin has been hanging out with former president Bill Clinton, working on his "global initiative" project, and getting ready to throw himself into some international work, specializing in Africa and aboriginal populations.
Meantime, folks back in Ottawa have been having some fun with counting words and doing comparisons of Harper's UN speech today and Martin's of Sept. 16, 2005. Here's what the numbers say: