That’s unacceptable when the cost to replace a sitting MPP hovers around the $300,000 dollar mark, on top of the mega-million dollars the public forked out to run the general election in 2014. A scant 16 months later and we have the provincial representative for Scarborough-Rouge River deciding the deal’s off and bearing no penalty for it. Politicians have a contract with the voters for a set term. If they break the term they owe voters an explanation.
Why did Balkissoon seek a third term at all? There were other credible candidates on the roster who I’m sure would have worked very hard for the riding for the full term. If nothing else there should be an outcry over the excessive cost of replacing Balkissoon so soon into the mandate.
I’m sorry if some crisis has befallen the now-former MPP Balkissoon. But the government of Kathleen Wynne being so hush-hush makes his quitting seem all the more suspicious. Did he jump, or was he pushed? Was a scandal brewing? Was there an argument, a bitter parting? Is he or a family member in serious failing health?
Never intending to stay, did he run knowing he was merely keeping the seat warm until Liberals could line up his replacement and time the by-election opportunistically? That was the strategy they used after the former, former MPP, Alvin Curling, stepped down in ‘05 to become an ambassador and Bas was crowned.
Balkissoon’s logical successor and rival Neethan Shan (NDP), who nipped his heels in the 2010 and 2014 elections grew tired of waiting and got elected as a Toronto District School Board trustee in November. Was that part of a larger Liberal trap to sideline the guy from the other party who stood the best chance of winning Bas’s vacant seat? All Bas had to do was wait quietly until Shan sidelined himself. It would take real guts for Shan to attempt a provincial run now so soon after arriving at the board.
Who walks away from a handsome six-figure salary without a place to go, especially the egocentric politician whose job probably outpaced him long ago?
For a government trumpeting claims of being open, transparent and accountable it is fascinating to see the premier cloaking Balkissoon’s departure in secrecy.
Public life is exactly that, very public -- as should be the circumstances behind Balkissoon’s resignation. Speak up, Premier. We’re all ears.