By: Sophie Desrosiers
Can we stop focusing on the lesbian for two seconds, and instead focus on the person who has the task of trying to win back the province’s faith in the Ontario Liberal Party?
Kathleen Wynne is responsible for trying to rebuild the empire Dalton McGuinty seems to have burned to the ground. Not long ago, all the hype was about McGuinty screwing over Ontario, then stepping down. One would imagine a new premier would mean a potential sigh of relief among Ontarians, and a curiosity about what the new premier could do.
Instead we’re talking about Wynne’s sexual orientation and to an extent, her gender. Most don’t seem to know a whole lot about Wynne beyond those facts. So what qualifies her to be our premier beyond being a gay female?
In school, Wynne earned a bachelor of arts degree at Queen’s University, a masters of arts in linguistics at the University of Toronto, and a master of education in adult education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She also spent some time in mediation training at Harvard University. Clearly Wynne is very well educated. But what difference does that make? She’s a woman, can she really handle being premier?
In her career, Wynne has worked as a public school trustee, and also as the parliamentary assistant to the minister of training, colleges and universities. Later in her career, Wynne took on the roles of minister of education, minister of transportation, minister of municipal affairs and housing, and finally minister of aboriginal affairs. With such an impressive and diverse resume, it’s obvious Wynne is not only knowledgeable, but experienced in many areas that affect Ontarians’ day-to-day lives greatly.
Shortly after winning the Ontario Liberal Leadership and becoming premier, Wynne was critiqued about her lack of knowledge in the more rural areas of Ontario; her response was that she would become minister of agriculture for a year so she could learn about those specific issues and better deal with them.
She has also said coming to an agreement with the province’s disgruntled teachers regarding bill 115 is at the top of her to-do list, among other important issues left in shambles in the wake of McGuinty’s leadership.
While she certainly has the qualifications to make waves, there is no guarantee. Regaining voters’ confidence is going to be a long journey.
But one thing is certain. Whether Wynne can, or can’t get the job done has absolutely nothing to do with her gender or her sexual orientation. It’s nice to know there may be a more humanitarian side to her through living life as a minority and kudos to her for embracing who she really is. However, outside of her partner Jane Rounthwaite, Wynne’s sexual preferences have no impact on us Ontarians.
So let’s just shut up about the fact that she’s a gay female and focus on the fact that she’s our premier, and as a province, we are ready for a change for the good and willing to accept it from the best candidate there is, no matter who or what they may be.