By Graham White, David R. Cameron
This paintings examines the hot heritage of politics in Ontario to provide a few basic rules for different governments concerned about political transitions. In doing so, it discusses the possibly fractious dating among incoming governments and the bureaucrats from the previous regime.
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Additional resources for Cycling into Saigon: The Conservative Transition in Ontario
The focus of the sessions, many of which were led by Ottawa figures, was on the practicalities of being a minister: handling Question Period, dealing with staff, preserving a semblance of personal life, and the like. When the House resumed on 2 July the ministers had been settled into their offices efficiently and the formal transition was effectively over. The transition team, its task completed, disbanded. For about a year, members of the transition team met regularly for dinner with Peterson and his top ministers and advisors, but the talk was of politics, policy, and strategy.
Peterson rejected this view, emphasizing that it was crucial for the new government to establish a sense of dynamism by starting to do things right away. Thus, the lieutenant governor called upon Peterson to form a government on 19 June (the day after the Miller government fell on a confidence vote), and on 26 June the Liberals were sworn into office. Six days later the legislature resumed with a major policy statement by the new premier. The 1985 Ontario election took place less than a year after the triumph of the Mulroney Conservatives.
This record could not in the remotest way be construed as a purge. Yet it occasioned far more resentment within the public service than the Liberals’ similar record since those with experience serving NDP governments seemed unduly favoured. (Five deputies, plus the head of Ontario Hydro, had once been public servants in Manitoba. )13 The hostility and suspicion of the bureaucracy that characterized the transition team also became evident among the ministers and their staffs. As one Cabinet Office official observed, “There was immense distrust of the public service, especially from those [ministers] without experience ...