The Moment: Dalton McGuinty’s emergency exit

The Moment: Dalton McGuinty’s emergency exit

(Image: George Pimentel)
 

During his nine years as premier, Dalton McGuinty displayed a magical ability to maintain the squeaky clean persona of Premier Dad—that smiling paternalist whose ramrod-straight affect evoked a grown-up Michael Cera in a suit—while all hell broke loose around him. The eHealth boondoggle may have cost David Caplan his cabinet post and spiked George Smitherman’s run for mayor, but it never stuck to McGuinty. The same goes for the ORNGE scandal, from which McGuinty walked away with hardly a scratch. Over the past few months, Energy Minister Chris Bentley has become the public face of the cancelled power plants fiasco, and Education Minister Laurel Broten has morphed into the teachers’ favourite super­-villain. Of course, you don’t stay premier for three terms without knowing how to bob and weave, but McGuinty’s decision to lock up the legislature as he stepped down was the first time he’s taken a direct hit for his party rather than the other way around. The unions will eventually settle, the Liberals will elect a new leader, and life will go on. McGuinty’s lasting image as premier, however, will be marred by the ignominious way he went out.