How ironic that Gerard Kennedy wants a National Education Strategy. According to an article today in the Toronto Star, Kennedy spent one year at Trent, droped out and went to the University of Edmonton where he dropped out of his BA in Political Science and Economics.
So let's recap: Gerard Kennedy is not fluent in French, has no university degree and worked giving away food.
Ah, but he was Ontario Minister of Education. As his website brags, he had responsibility for two million students, 4,800 schools and a $17 billion annual budget.
Last time I checked, school boards ran the Ontario school system in Ontario.
Gerard Kennedy's main qualification is he has empathy for poor people. That's not nothing in today's political climate, but couldn't he have more impact as a cabinet minister in Ontario's largest province? I mean what can the federal government do about poverty, really? They can fix the Employment Insurance program, they can make unionising easier in some industries and they can raise the federal minimum wage.
But provinces control the minimum wage in most industries, are responsible for social assistance and, most importantly when it comes to poverty, are responsible for land-use.
What has the Ontario Liberal Government done to alleviate poverty in Ontario: NOTHING. At least they didn't make it worse. But I would have expected them to raise the minimum wage and welfare rates to pre-Harris level. But no, all they have done was raised them with inflation.
Did they fix the housing situation? Nope, new green belt around Toronto (granted, that could have a trickle down effect if land prices go up and developers build at a higher density).
In my book, giving away food and running a department that simply overviews school boards does not make one qualified to be Prime Minister. If he had other qualities sure. But it just gets worst. No education to speak of, inadequate French, and not a good public speaker.
But people seem to like him in person. 30 million people in Canada, you do the math.
The Toronto Star article says Gerard Kennedy has supporters that are "cult-like in their devotion". Looking at the comments to my Just Say No to Gerard Kennedy post yesterday, I believe it.