Ontario Selects Lesbian as Premier

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2014

Ontario voters gave the nod to the Liberal Party in the province’s parliamentary elections, giving the party a sweeping majority over the Progressive Conservatives and New Democratic Party. This win confirms Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne as Ontario’s first woman premier and Canada’s first elected openly gay provincial leader.

Ms. Wynne’s Liberals utterly dominated Toronto and the surrounding suburbs, and appeared poised to make gains in both. The PCs looked set to lose seats on the back of Mr. Hudak’s hard-right platform, while Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats made modest gains.

The Grits jumped out to a lead almost as soon as the polls closed and never lost it through the night. Around 9.30 p.m. ET, as it became clear they would win, supporters began to filter into Ms. Wynne’s victory party in a downtown Toronto hotel ballroom, where the Premier was expected to speak later in the evening. They burst into a sustained, minute-long cheer at 10 p.m. ET when it was obvious Ms. Wynne had won a majority.

The Globe and Mail describes Wynne’s victory as a dramatic come-from-behind win, with her wife, Jane Rounthwaite, at her side every step of the way. She had become Premiere in February of 2013 after the resignation of her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty and she became the new party leader. The Liberal Party had been ruling as a minority party until the NDP rejected the 2014 Liberal Budget, a move which triggered new elections.


June 16th, 2014

In a parliamentary system, there is no direct vote for Premier or Prime Minister. The only “wedding cake bakers” who had to worry about voting for a lesbian were in Premier Wynne’s own riding (constituency) of Don Valley West (in Metro Toronto) where she won 57% of the vote.

She was evaluated on the job that she’s done and will do as Premier – there is no “Gay Agenda” for her to legislate. Most Canadians have come to accept the principle that Pierre Trudeau set out nearly 50 years ago on the “decriminalization of homosexuality”: “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” CBC video archives from 1967.

Brian Pengelly

June 16th, 2014

What I appreciate most is the fact that her being a lesbian never once came up in the election to my hearing. It was a complete non issue. Even the far right Conservatives would never think of bringing it up, and anyone who did would receive an overwhelming backlash from the public. It would be political suicide. Wynne’s own home riding has a large Muslim and Catholic immigrant population that has consistently backed her. Incidentally she attends a wonderful United Church that is incredibly inclusive (like most United Churches in Canada)

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