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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mitch Wolfe: Behold, the anti-Hudak, Christine Elliott jumps in

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The minute Christine Elliott, the Ontario PC member from Whitby-Oshawa, formally launched her bid to succeed Tim Hudak as leader of the party on Wednesday, she became the clear front-runner.
If she wins, she’ll dramatically change politics at Queen’s Park. Specifically, she’ll change how the Progressive Conservatives are treated and viewed by the Ontario media and opposition parties.
Under Hudak, the Ontario PC party was viewed as a hard-right, fiscally-conservative bunch, rural-based and dominated by angry old white guys short on compassion — sexist and unfriendly to women, mothers, children and immigrants.
During the recent provincial election campaign, Hudak and his party were vilified for calling for the dismissal of 100,000 public servants. Liberal Premier Wynne whipped up enough fear to motivate her base to come out and vote; she also scared NDP supporters into voting Liberal in order to stop Hudak from being elected.
That was then. Things have changed. When word spread this week that Christine Elliott was about to announce her leadership bid, many media commentators rather dismissively referred to Ms. Elliott as the “widow of Jim Flaherty”.
Then an interesting thing happened. Many male and female commentators leapt to Elliott’s defence and attacked the media for being implicitly sexist by describing her as an extension of the late federal finance minister’s own political career — ignoring her many achievements as a lawyer, entrepreneur, politician and advocate for children and adults with disabilities.

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