Bonnie Crombie is the game changer that Doug Ford worries about.

“Game changer” is probably Doug Ford’s favorite phrase.

Bonnie Crombie is possibly one of the Prime Minister’s least favorite people.

But Crombie, it must be said, is a game changer in Ontario politics today as she prepares to change the playing fields.

Crombie made big news last week as a powerful mayor who worked to free Mississauga from Peel Region. Score one for worshiping him, who persuaded the powerful Prime Minister to let his people go.

She made headlines again Tuesday when she announced her move from Mississauga to Queen’s Park: Crombie is ready to run for leader of Ontario’s fledgling Liberals, while convincing the province to let Ford go. .

Dropping the Premier would make it game, set and match for Crombie. Can she keep her eye on the ball for as long as it takes?

Ford is crying foul. How dare Crombie go from mayor to premier so quickly on his own watch?

“You can’t be mayor and run for leader,” Ford complained to reporters, if not uncharacteristically: “You can’t have your butt on both sides of the fence.”

Such visual imagery is top notch for our Set of the Paint premiere. He can’t get Crombie out of his head or turn the other cheek.

“In my opinion, it’s a real slap in the face to the residents there,” he fumed.

Ford has a point when he accuses Crombie of undue haste and a terrible juggling act – she will retain her mayoral seat while trying to unseat the prime minister. Yet perhaps this is beside the point – one man’s work is another woman’s work.

Crombie first won election as an MP in 2008, but was defeated in the 2011 federal Liberal debacle. Within months, he moved to Mississauga as a city councilor, eventually winning the endorsement of Hazel McCallion to take her place as mayor in 2014. He won re-election last year with over 78 percent of the vote).

Crombie fulfilled McKellen’s lifelong dream of independence from Peel. Yet within days of that victory, she was plotting a new path.

Neither columnist is a contender, but it’s a safe bet that Crumby will be a “game changer,” in Ford’s parlance, for a Liberal leadership race that has so far fallen flat. More than any competitor, she can claim name recognition and fundraising know-how. She is good at governing but not bad at governing either, thanks to her years in opposition.

Crombie attracts attention. That’s why Ford is watching it closely, if not obsessively.

Not to put words in the Prime Minister’s mouth, but perhaps what he means is that Crombie is stepping into each camp – municipal and provincial – while keeping his timing. That said, she’s not a fence-sitter, temperamentally.

Officially, her campaign claims she is only testing the waters with a campaign that is merely exploratory. But he is not dilatory.

Politics, like life, is about timing – not perfect timing, just being in the right place at more or less the right time. Crombie tried but failed to win the delay game in the Liberal leadership race, which will now be decided in December.

If she wants to win, there is little time to lose. If he is predestined to win the Liberal leadership race, this is merely a prelude to a premiership contest.

By Ford’s reckoning, it’s been a long time coming: “She’s been campaigning for five years,” he muttered.

“Bring it on.”

But what will the 2026 election campaign bring to the province? For all his name recognition, Crombie’s political figure is unknown outside of Mississauga.

Mayors are more practical than theoretical — smoothing potholes or, in his case, blowing up the bark. But Crombie’s latest signals are particularly telling.

Under his leadership, the left-wing liberal party is no more. She insists, if not the centre-right, then the path to power.

“It’s very important to bring the Liberal Party back to the center, where we have our roots,” he told the Star. Boasting that he had none of the baggage of previous Liberal governments of Kathleen Wynne or Dalton McGuinty, Crombie argued that the party had “moved too far to the left” under his administration.

He believes that the Liberals’ move to the left helped drive voters into Ford’s arms. But history records that the McGuinty and Wynne Liberals won majority governments when they ate the NDP’s lunch by leaning left. Perhaps Crombie, like Ford, is less engaged in today’s New Democratic Party.

In fact, she seems more focused on geography than theory. Despite her mayoral pledge, Crombie is mindful of the Liberal Party’s rural deficit – the party has struggled outside the big cities since the McGuinty years.

She is not well known outside of the GTA, but she will show off her suburban reputation throughout the province. Born in Etobicoke with roots in Mississauga, Crombie aims to bring the 905 back into the game by leveling the playing field in rural areas.

If successful, his transformation — diversifying the demographics of the Liberal voter pool — could be a real game changer in Ontario politics. Win or lose, just hope Ford won’t be at a loss for words as he is the centerpiece of the upcoming Crombie campaign.

Martin Reg Cohen is a Toronto-based columnist who focuses on Ontario politics and international affairs for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @reggcohn

Join the conversation.

Discussions are and are subject to the opinions of our readers. code of conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.

Source link

Most Popular

Most Popular