Wynne’s Double Standard

It seems quite the double standard for Ontario’s premier and leader of the Liberal Party, Kathleen Wynne. Scheduled to hold a town hall meeting the day after Valentine’s Day at the Caboto Club, Wynne canceled the location.

Media reports talked of her staff finding out the club has an all-male board of directors. For over 50 years, attempts by local women to join the board have been rebuffed.

While it is not a case of saying Wynne is wrong in her actions, but the reality is, while she is vocal on one front just before an election, she curiously takes no action on others. When a question was sent to the then Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, Michael Coteau, asking if the province should be supporting an organization with a dubious human rights record, he elected not to respond.

In 2014, FINA awarded its highest commendation to Kuwaiti politician Sheik Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. On its website, FINA said the prize is only awarded to those who have, “illustrated the ideals, aims and objectives of FINA in the spirit of sport and with morals, ethics and/or fair play through his/her action, who have achieved remarkable merit in the world of swimming or have rendered an outstanding service to FINA’s cause.”

Human Rights Watch has considerable concerns about Kuwait.

In a January 18 press release, HRW demanded the middle-eastern country, “stop prosecuting people for peaceful speech and reform laws that restrict free speech rights.” According to HRW in its World Report 2018, provisions, “in Kuwait’s constitution, the national security law, and other legislation restrict free speech, and were used in 2017 to prosecute dissidents and stifle political dissent.”

The Report also says Kuwait, “applies the death penalty and does not adequately protect the rights of stateless Bidun, migrant workers, women, and LGBT people.”

In the 643-page World Report, 28th edition, HRW reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth optimistically writes about political leaders willing to stand up for human rights principles show that it is possible to limit authoritarian populist agendas.

Did Wynne miss an opportunity to stand up for human rights by stopping her minister from feeding money to an organization which praises politicians from countries with alleged human rights violations?

About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi