Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jane McKenna enters Burlington PC nomination race

Jane McKenna has entered the nomination race to become the Progressive Conservative (PC) party’s candidate for Burlington in the Oct. 6 Ontario provincial election. Ms. McKenna, an advertising executive, self-describes as “a creative consensus-builder with a proven ability to negotiate solutions.” She’ll be opposed by local lawyer Brian Heagle at a nomination meeting still to be scheduled.

Jane McKenna, photo courtesy of insideHalton.com 

This is an important choice for PC party members in Burlington, for the odds favour our party beating the Dalton McGuinty Liberals in the upcoming general election. And wouldn’t it be nice to replace retiring incumbent MPP Joyce Savoline with another PC, continuing the riding’s PC tradition for another four years.

As far as I can tell, Ms. McKenna has no previous political experience other than losing in the 2010 municipal election—she ran as a candidate for Ward 1 City Councillor against winner, Rick Craven—not unlike her rival, Brian Heagle’s, unsuccessful run for the Ward 4 seat in the same election.

Two other candidates had previously declared their intention to seek the nomination before dropping out of the race with very little explanation. This contributed to speculation the Progressive Conservative Party was “anointing” so-called star candidates and squeezing out others interested in running. Here’s a clip from the Toronto Star back in May 2011:

René Papin, a Burlington businessman, withdrew his nomination for the Tories in the riding of Burlington after being told he didn’t “fit the strategic direction of the party, and that it would be in the best interests of the party if I [Papin] were to withdraw.”

A surprising development, to be sure, since Mr. Papin was a former president of the Burlington Riding Association. In an earlier article (here), I wrote:

“For goodness sake, if a recent president of the riding association—the local face of the PC party—does ‘not fit the strategic direction of the party,’ who the heck would? Mr. Papin was a serious candidate, at least, that was the definite impression I got after I accepted his invitation a few weeks ago to have a chat over a cup of coffee. Now he’s out of the race?”

So, one is left to wonder whether Ms. McKenna’s name will stand long enough to make the yet to be scheduled nomination meeting. Which begs another question. How much longer must we wait for that nomination meeting? I was told the federal election held it up, but that was more than a month ago.

Although I have not made a final decision, I like the other candidate, Brian Heagle, and want to see him treated fairly. Had the nomination meeting been held earlier, Mr. Heagle—as the only candidate—would have been nominated. Could it be that certain influential PC riding association members still have doubts whether Mr. Heagle is Tory-blue enough for them? And could it be they’ve used their influence to delay the nomination meeting until a pure laine candidate could be found?

Just asking.



© Russell G. Campbell, 2011.
All rights reserved.
The views I express on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of political parties, institutions or organizations with which I am associated.


  1. <>

    I would say that you hit the nail on the head. And they think they have found her in McKenna!

  2. Yes, she lost to Rick Craven. That's a bit of an understatement. She came in a distant dead last in a field of 5 or 6 even though, by the number of signs, she appears to have spent the most money. This does not augur well.


  3. If Ms.. McKenna is the best Halton can muster... Then the Liberals will deserve the win. I can't imagine a worse representative.

  4. If Ms.. McKenna is the best Halton can muster... Then the Liberals will deserve the win. I can't imagine a worse representative.

  5. Is the authority of Jane McKenna as the default PC candidate for the riding of Burlington politically legitimate?

    Political legitimacy is the popular acceptance of a governing law or regime as an authority. In our Canadian representative democracy, that authority is a specific position in the government such as an MPP who is a duly elected individual. If that authority is unscrupulously and undemocratically appointed and acclaimed by default without a vote because no other choice was presented by its central nomination committee; and if that lone candidate then goes onto be formally elected by its constituency; is that elected representative still considered to be politically legitimate? In a democracy, government legitimacy is derived from the popular perception that the government abides by democratic principles in governing, and is legally accountable to its people. If the government party candidates are not selected and acclaimed using democratic principles, then any authority elected under these circumstances must be politically illegitimate.

  6. A servant is accountable only to her master. Burlington deserves better representation.
    McKenna was hand picked by Hudak because she is willing to be his lackey and will faithfully parrot the party line just like her flunky MPP predecessor Joyce Salvoline. If elected, McKenna will be relegated to an insignificant post in the Ontario government, she will obediently vote in the Legislative Assembly as directed by the Hudak inner circle, and Burlington issues will take a back seat again. Hudak was emboldened to undemocratically appoint McKenna because he knows that Burlington is complacent and will mindlessly vote for the Conservatives. When asked about her undemocratic acclamation, she unapologetically replied by saying. “That’s just the way it is.” Other than Jane’s quotes from the ‘Changebook’ and regurgitated party approved political rhetoric, Jane has revealed little about her personal convictions, remains guarded, waffles and has failed to impress. A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.