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NEWS: Ontario Liberal leadership candidate urges united front against Harper agenda

The Globe and Mail reports, “Kathleen Wynne, a front-runner in the race to become the next premier of Ontario, says she wants to forge a united front with her provincial colleagues to extract a fairer deal from Ottawa. …If the provinces were to become one big squeaky wheel, it would be much more difficult for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ignore any pleas for reform, she said. …With her latest policy, Ms. Wynne said she is laying the groundwork for next summer’s annual meeting of provincial and territorial leaders (on July 24-26 in Niagara-on-the-Lake), which will be hosted by the new premier of Ontario. If people have an opportunity to talk about equalization and other federal transfer programs in the run-up to the meeting, she said, there is a better chance premiers can reach a consensus.”

The Council of Canadians has advocated for provincial premiers to take a stronger, unified stand against Harper, particularly as he plans to cut $36 billion from federal health care transfers to the provinces over the next ten years while possibly also adding $2.8 billion of annual costs to provincial health care budgets through a controversial pharmaceutical drug patent provision in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). For more on this, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18066 and http://canadians.org/media/trade/2012/16-Sep-12.html.

“Ms. Wynne, 59, is competing against six other candidates to replace Dalton McGuinty, who is stepping down after 16 years as leader of the Liberal Party. A new leader will be chosen in January.” (The convention will be held at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto the weekend of Friday, January 25, 2013.)

Recently, the Council of Canadians called on Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidates to back a ban on fracking in the province of Ontario. The media release and the open letter to the candidates can be read at http://canadians.org/media/water/2012/19-Nov-12.html.