August 29, 2016

Kevin O’Leary thanks Wynne for “bankrupting us, in her own special way”

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder

Kevin O’Leary is once again doing what he’s best at - using his high profile and ability to access media to bring attention to a politician’s bad policies, this time Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. 

We’ve expressed many of the same concerns here at The Rebel so kudos to him for doing this.

Watch as I review some of what O’Leary had to say in his letter that’s bringing this information to a wider audience in a way many others can’t.

Below is the letter that appeared in Post Media publications, Toronto/Ottawa Sun:

Hi Premier Wynne,

I’m worried.

I asked you to keep me informed about the $1.9 billion you are extracting out of the Ontario economy in new carbon taxes. I was excited when you promised lots of new jobs and reductions in carbon emissions. Then I saw the July jobs report. Wow, 36,100 Ontario jobs lost in a single month, the worst decline since the recession, and you still haven’t told me any good news about carbon emission reductions. I guess your new plan is not working.

Maybe it would have been better to leave that $1.9 billion in the hands of the Ontario businesses that were using it to hire employees before you taxed it away from them.

However, I hear it’s not all bad news on the Ontario job front. While the private sector is losing jobs by the tens of thousands under your new tax policies, you have been busy creating some really interesting opportunities for your staff. I don’t know how I missed this, but apparently you lost $70 million setting up and then cancelling the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) in June. While in operation only six months, you hired some really special people that walked away with millions of taxpayers’ dollars for apparently doing nothing. It sounds so ridiculous that I am assuming I must have it wrong, and that’s why I’m putting pen to paper.

So here goes, true or false?

•Did you spend $8 million marketing the ORPP even though it didn’t exist? That sounds so crazy it can’t be true.

•Did you give Neala Barton, the plan’s senior vice-president of communications, $316,819? She started in March. Just exactly what was she communicating for 90 days?

•Did you pay Anne Slivinskas — the pension plan’s general counsel — $341,418 for working there just three weeks? That’s $2,845.15/hr. You don’t fool around with taxpayers’ money; You hire the best lawyers!

•Did you pay a tech guy named Brian Gill — the pensions plan’s CTO — $414,050 to work for two months! (Note to self: Send Premier Wynne my comp committee’s North American average salary report. Her laptop must have been hacked.)

•Jennifer Brown — your choice for senior vice-president of the plan’s operations — was a lifer. She started March 21 and lasted until the end of June. So, with that kind of long-term commitment, no one should complain about the $445,019 you gave her.

•Did you really pay ORPP CEO Mary Anne Palangio $465,938 for 90 days’ work? Who says you can’t get a great job in Ontario.

•This one is my favourite, it’s so out there! Did you give $485,000 to Saad Rafi when his job running the Pan Am Games ended and then hire him again to run the ORPP even though he has never had an investment mandate before? And then did you pay him an additional $827,925 to walk away a few months later? If this is true, I bet some taxpayers are unhappy about it.

Maybe it would help if you spin this as an inspirational story. You search the province for a seasoned financial money manager to be the fiduciary of the new ORRP but in the last minute hire someone who has fallen on hard times and is out of work, even though they never managed money before. It’s so Rocky-esque!

Rafi could have been great as a pension plan manager but we will never know. Giving him the $827Gs for taking this bold new step in his career is the least we taxpayers can do. After all, it’s hard to live off a measly $485,000 severance when taxes are so high in Ontario, but I know you are not spending any time worrying about that.

These must be very special people! No one in the private sector could ever get a deal like this: Thank goodness they know you. Some Ontarians might see this and assume you don’t give a damn about their hard-earned money. Is that true? Frankly, if I gave away $2.8 million to employees that did nothing in my businesses, I would go bankrupt. Come to think of it, your government has a long history of starting projects, spending millions and then cancelling them — you know, like gas plants, “green” projects and now pension plans. That’s why Ontario is $308 billion in debt, so you are kind of bankrupting us, in your own special way.

Still I get it, perhaps from your point of view, why should anybody give a damn about the $70 million you just wasted, it’s just a rounding error.

Well, maybe the voters do. Have you seen the latest polls? Perhaps at this point in your mandate you may want to think about delivering a little more transparency and performance instead of dreaming up new ways to tax people and businesses and then spending it this way.

I’m just trying to help.

Anyway, I don’t want to be negative so I hope you are having a great summer. I know the 36,100 people in Ontario who just lost their jobs in July are feeling a little down but I’m sure they will go from sad to glad when you tell them about all the carbon emissions you have reduced. Best you get that good news out soon. In the meantime, next time you are paying people on your staff to do nothing for $827,000, maybe you could show a little compassion and hire one of your 36,100 constituents who just lost their job.

There will be an election soon and when that’s over and you start your new career, I’m going to bet it won’t be one where you manage money.

Yours respectfully,

Kevin O’Leary
Ontario taxpayer, voter and your employer, for now.

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commented 2016-08-31 20:20:38 -0400
Companies relish having their products made in other countries like China, Mexico and Pakistan, Labour is cheap, they don’t have to pay holiday pay, they don’t have to worry about pregnancy leave, they don’t have to worry about child labour, they don’t have to worry about pollution, they don’t have to worry about human rights, they don’t have to worry about safety protocols the list is endless as to the things they save money on. And when we had tariffs on incoming products we had a manufacturing industry here. When that was eliminated the company migration started to third world countries. And in the days before China became the manufacturing hub of the world, all those other countries relied on us for the things we now have to buy from them. Thanks to a succession of weak, clueless governments, mostly Liberal, this is where we are. We barely make anything anymore in this country, I am hard pressed to look around my home and find something made in Canada. We don’t even make most things that have the Canadian flag on either, disgusting. And making money as a hedge fund manager is a different world from running a country. I have not really heard O’Leary speak of much of anything else other than money being spend unnecessarily by government. So his expertise is limited to that area alone. I’m sure if O’Leary gets to be say PM, his booze parties will far exceed Trudeau, as O’Leary is a wine know it all, so I imagine the tab will be bigger. Keep in mind that if manufacturing starts to come back here, O’Leary will be making less money off our consumer backs.
commented 2016-08-31 18:50:12 -0400
Both levels of government are taxing on the basis of what can be proven to be a fraud. Human Caused Global Warming aka Climate Change is exposed every day as impossible. Could not that be the basis of a Class Action? We are all being harmed by it. One of the first things PM Trudeau did in November 2015 was pledge US$2.5 Billion over a five year period to the IMF Green Fund. Can he do that unilaterally? Where’s Parliament?
commented 2016-08-31 14:58:15 -0400
O’Leary is a hedge fund manager. He knows how to make money for his clients in investments globally, or at home when the numbers work.
You have to ask yourself why products are so much cheaper to produce in China, India and Mexico. Those countries need us as much as we need them. With a leader who understood the importance of a competitive climate to keep and attract business, make sure those products manufactured abroad didn’t get into the country basically tariff free( so as to undermine a comparable domestic product) we might actually have a decent manufacturing sector again. As people in these countries demand respect for their human rights, their working conditions and pay will rise, the field will be levelled somewhat, manufacturing could start to come home. It is in the interest of some to keep these countries in poverty, that is what we are a part of when we manufacture everything abroad.

If unions weren’t so demanding in this country and went to countries where they are actually needed, it would go a long way to a healthier manufacturing climate, here and abroad.
O’Leary loves money and he is good at making it, but I don’t know if that is the only prerequisite for an effective leader. Although at this point anybody looks better than what we’ve got. I really don’t expect him to run, but I hope he keeps bashing these destroyer politicians.
commented 2016-08-31 13:37:46 -0400
Most business owners are not coming forward and telling us they have the answer to our problems and are therefore seeking political office. And you can’t do that and betray our economy by having your products made by a foreign workforce and hold any credibility as a candidate for public office. Yes a lot is made in China and it is like that as I have stated before because of greedy opportunists like O’Leary and there is a lot of them. This is a guy that will not, as he has proven, invest in Canada. As far as him being a good Finance Minister, in order to be that, you don’t have far to go, as the bar is so low anyone who manages a household budget is more than qualified. Keep in mind whatever O’Leary does he has people so his life is about delegating to get what he wants done, we are all on the ground floor doing everything. I have talked of this to management stiffs before in detail it always shuts them up. Trump has had some failures but that is because he is more innovative than O’Leary and does not have his businesses relying on Chinese involvement, he primarily keeps it at home. With that comes hurdles in our society that they don’t have in China, so any comparison is unfair. To me, Trump tries to be more for America where as O’Leary is more for himself. And like I said before, try to remember when someone like O’Leary gets in, control of spending disappears, because they’re NOT spending their money, it happens to all of them. And because O’Leary has been fortunate at business doesn’t mean he would be good for us in politics. He has not had to maneuver the complicated conditions placed upon businesses here by running to China and from there they take care of everything. Throwing our jobs to other nations disgusts me when no steps are made to keep them here, like putting controls on the likes of an O’Leary. I must admit Canadians are extremely insecure in their own abilities and accomplishments when a carnival barker like O’Leary can come along and capture your attention without any objective scrutiny.
commented 2016-08-31 12:14:21 -0400
Keith and Helen Harvey,

Most if not all businesses in Canada have their products made in China. It’s just astronomically cheaper, which is while ALL the Dragon’s – not to mention Shark Tank, tell the business owners to make their product in China.

I understand the notion of wanting something Made In Canada, but in many cases – it’s just not worth it financially.

I would actually say that O’Leary is much smarter than Trump and a better businessman, when you consider all of Trump’s failures. Trump has simply been around longer and is obviously well known.

You would think that would want someone obsessed with money to ensure that money isn’t being wasted. If nothing else, I think Kevin O’Leary would be a fantastic finance minister.
commented 2016-08-31 11:19:54 -0400
Once Ontario’s debt paper falls below investment grade, the crash will come.

Interest rates will have to spike just to keep the borrowing going. That’s what’s coming.
commented 2016-08-31 09:23:53 -0400
I see the morning C.T.V. show group have their panties in a knot over Kevins letter it must be because it is so true.
commented 2016-08-31 08:45:23 -0400
Politicians do not necessarily make the best leadership for the country.. They would have you believe that if you’re not a “professional politician” that you are unqualified for the job and that’s bullshit… Running the country properly is very similar to running a successful business and the people have a lot of trust in who they put there to do it…
commented 2016-08-31 04:24:36 -0400
O’Leary maybe as you say playing a role, but in most cases you would find that the role he is playing is a lot closer to the truth than not. And if you examine O’Leary’s language, not just on Dragon’s Den but also when interviewed, it’s all about the money to him. Don’t think that, that qualifies him to be a good leader, in that he will be concerned about spending unlike a Wynne led government. Remember when these guys get into office, restraint goes out the window because they’re not spending their money. And O’Leary is the kind of individual that would have something built as if it were a monument to his existence to remain with us throughout time worse than what is on the agendas of the current fools we have in office. Because of O’Leary’s abusive, elitist, egotistical manner, I would not want to put him in office knowing what I know and feeling what I feel about him. I do not want to have to say to myself at some point in the future, “I was right about him and we elected him”. And any comparison to Trump is just too complimentary toward O’Leary as he’s nothing remotely close to Trump. A long time ago I heard O’Leary interviewed on a radio show, before Dragon’s Den, and what he talked about as far as the upper echelon business execs being graced with multi million dollar bonuses but nothing for the working stiff, is what really steers me away from this guy. He likes having things made in China instead of Canada, the only loyalty he has is to money and how much he can make, even if it’s at your expense. Without question he has taken work out of Canada to elsewhere, by his own admission. He lives by “He who has the most money when he dies wins”. And as far as him raising issues, everyone who comments on sights like this raise the same issues everyday. Most of us would be far more effective at the job of Premier or PM than O’Leary or what we have in office now, because we all live the issues the likes of O’Leary don’t. People like O’Leary, Trudeau or Wynne look down from their ivory towers and don’t see any of the pain suffered by the population or the damage they do, or the divisiveness they cause with their self serving policies and actions. They are supposed to be there to make things better than what they were before they arrived. Instead they burden us with tax grabs, spend our money much of the time on things we don’t need and take away our rights. All that and much more while they tell us it’s good for us, and things will be better in the long run. So no, I don’t like O’Leary, I don’t trust O’Leary and will not support him, and I don’t care that he is not a seasoned politician, in my view most of the time that’s not a plus but a problem when they are too used to living off the backs of the taxpayer. The only reason he has your ears is because he is a rich TV personality, most of you would be just as effective bringing all these issues forward, he is not special because he has a political position, most of which we all share. If you find him captivating, then vote for him when the time comes and hope I don’t get the opportunity to say “I told you so”, but what do you think would be most likely to happen, I turn out to be right or those that wish to support him.
commented 2016-08-31 01:24:21 -0400
Keith and Helen Harvey,

You do realize that Dragon’s Den is a reality show and is even partially scripted. O’Leary is playing a character so to speak. It’s good for TV and keeps people watching. All reality shows do this – they create drama, so people are entertained. If everyone was just a nice guy, it would be boring to the viewer.
commented 2016-08-31 00:05:47 -0400
I’ve often decried the business class for staying out of politics, like the oil co’s staying silent these years as the eco-freaks built their “case” against fossil fuel. Now they’re paying for it!! So I’m pleased to see O’Leary doing this. Surely though, if these amounts are true, this abuse of taxpayer’s money is a Breach of Trust by Wynn, and worthy of charges!

Jan G, you’re sounding like a Lefty infiltrator. Reality is harsh, and O’Leary delivers reality. You have to bare in mind too, that on Shark Tank, he’s playing the bad-guy. Every show needs one, and he’s it.
commented 2016-08-30 23:35:19 -0400
O’Leary isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but he has the straight talk we need to get political discussion rolling and blood pressure up about the abysmal shape Ontario has be driven to.

“If you want to get something through to them, give it to them loud and dirty " – George S Patton
commented 2016-08-30 23:17:13 -0400
Keith and Helen:
I agree with you also.
O’Leary is NOT the one we would want in a political role. He is beyond rude and insulting, condescending and exceeds Trump with his passive/aggressive insidious egotistical narcissism. He holds no moral convictions and his god is simply the almighty dollar.
When it comes to finances, though, Joe couch potato would probably listen to him rather than some Joe white collar with a tie that no one knows.
Sad, but true.
commented 2016-08-30 21:48:14 -0400
Most of you express hope when talking about O’Leary running in an election. I however find no promise in O’Leary being in Canadian politics. Have all of you forgotten how this Bloated, Money Baron relished demoralizing hardworking Canadians that had put everything they had into a business venture and were appearing on The Dragon’s Den. His favorite chant was to call them all “Cockroaches”, that’s what he thinks of Canadians in general, when in reality we are all higher on the evolutionary scale than he, as he is nothing more than a Shit Sucking Maggot. As far as job losses, it’s people like O’Leary who are responsible. I remember on Dragon’s Den if the applicant making their pitch didn’t want to get their product line manufactured in China O’Leary wouldn’t invest. I remember the fellow that was wanting to produce his brand of truck rack system for trades people, he wanted to have it made in North America to get some who had lost a job back working. O’Leary would not invest unless he had it made in China. How long has O’Leary been sending work out of the country ? How many have lost their jobs because of him and those with the same, money hungry attitude ? And now O’Leary sees a light named Trump and figures he can present himself as a softer Canadian version and get himself elected to office. What this really is for O’Leary is nothing more than another thing for him to cross off his “Bucket List”, that’s what this is all about, just another ego builder so he can say that he has done it all. And make no mistake about it, you vote this soap box reality star into office you will regret it, he will not come close to measuring up to what he is making himself out to be. And as far as his letter to Wynne, anyone of us could have written a similar letter and make no mistake about it they would all end up in exactly the same location, the waste paper basket in Winnie’s office. And Brian I know you mean well but don’t be too quick to boost O’Leary, it wasn’t long ago we were all doing the same regarding Brown. Brown is now showing his true colours and once in office you’re going to be just as shocked when O’Leary turns the other face to the crowd. And never vote for a “Bald Guy”, the glare coming off their noggin blinds you as to who and what they really are.
commented 2016-08-30 20:23:23 -0400
I said it many times before………..we do not need a carbon tax..(hey Charlie Brown……listen to taxpayers), we DO NEED REACALL LAWS. to save us from the insanity of egocentric, corrupt, self-centered, morons that get elected because of stupid, uninformed, apathetic voters and corrupt unions.
Thanks Mr. O’Leary. (I think of you as an intellectually superior Donald Trump.) I hope you become Finance Minister in Ontario or in Ottawa.
commented 2016-08-30 20:06:41 -0400
I agree 100% Brian.
If Wynne and Trubama hate the alternative media, O’Leary will be the voice the average CBC and CTV viewers will listen to.
And to think, he used to be on CBC. Must have been like Holy Water near vampires.
commented 2016-08-30 18:42:41 -0400
I wish O’Leary would replace Patrick Brown in the least!
commented 2016-08-30 18:31:59 -0400
Can you just imagine the hissy fit that Wynnie and her union minions would throw if O’Leary ran. They would likely have him assassinated!
commented 2016-08-30 15:12:20 -0400
Again more sanity from Bill Elder. O’Leary for Ontario Prem. I like it.
commented 2016-08-30 14:48:37 -0400
Jamie MacMaster said- ’ I hope he lights a fire under Waldo Brown’s arse…if for no other reason than to keep him from retreating further."

I think O’Leary is the logical replacement for Brown – he could win a provincial election. I hate to see him pissing his talent away on Ottawa politics.
commented 2016-08-30 14:06:26 -0400
O’Leary should be careful or he will be labeled a homophobe or a misogynist like every other critic of Wynne.
commented 2016-08-30 13:45:47 -0400
Don’t blame Wynn for bankrupting Ontario, blame the public sector Unions who finance hr and the cucks who voted for her.

Time for some political cuck shaming.
commented 2016-08-30 12:39:47 -0400
Keith Richards,

Do you think it’s reasonable to wish for the death of a politician that you don’t agree with?

That sort of comment makes you look crazy, which is pretty accurate considering most of your posts. We don’t kill politicians we don’t agree with – we vote them out. That’s the sane view.
commented 2016-08-30 12:14:25 -0400
“Kevin O’Leary is doing exactly what I like, being a royal pain in the ass to Wynne. Now he needs to step it up and do the same thing to Trudeau and company. "

Yup. And I hope he lights a fire under Waldo Brown’s arse…if for no other reason than to keep him from retreating further.
commented 2016-08-30 12:03:35 -0400
Kevin O’Leary is doing exactly what I like, being a royal pain in the ass to Wynne. Now he needs to step it up and do the same thing to Trudeau and company. There is plenty of material and he could take his show on the road. He is savvy enough to even make a few bucks in the process. If he needs a good advisor and point man I recommend Doug Ford for the job. That cesspool called Toronto is a great place to start the game.
commented 2016-08-30 11:53:39 -0400
The rest of the country is looking askance at Ontariostan. It is sad to see the former powerhouse now turned into a mouse-house. It will take decades to get that deficit tamed. And all the people who won’t find jobs while On whiles its way along the path to ruin with a premier who is not fit to run a Chinese laundry let alone Ontario. Second one in a row too! Sad, sad, sad.
commented 2016-08-30 11:50:56 -0400
I think Patrick is a plant! He’s already been bought and paid for.
commented 2016-08-30 11:40:31 -0400
Btw, Patrick Brown is no better than Trudeau and Wynne as he too is pandering to the Islamic vote! Every picture and news article I have seen him in he is surrounded by Muslims. Guess Canadians want to be under complete sharia and in fear for their lives!
commented 2016-08-30 11:38:36 -0400
why are Ontarians/Canadians ALLOWING THIS FROM OUR POLITICIANS??????WHY don’t we have the balls to SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY VIA A REVOLT/TAX REVOLT, WHERE NO ONE WORKS AND BEST OF ALL, NONE OF OUR MONEY FLOWS TO GOVERNMENT COFFERS?? One or two days would CRIPPLE THESE LYING, THIEVING, SELF SERVING, VOTE WHORE,DICTATING BASTARDS! It is OUR MONEY, OUR COUNTRY AND THEY WORK FOR US !! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!! When did the power shift ???? Who gave them complete control over us, how we think, what we say , our money and how much of it we can keep and so on?? ARE WE ALL INSANE??????????Remember, NO MONEY, NO POWER!! Time we take away all the power from them. They aren’t smart enough and they have absolutely NO MORALS!
commented 2016-08-30 11:30:54 -0400
Not having a good grasp of French disqualifies O’Leary, IMO, from a Conservative leadership bid. It’s too bad he couldn’t run for Ontario PC leader. Patrick Brown seems only slightly less a socialist/eco-freak than Wynne. I don’t know if Ontario can recover from Wynne’s destruction, but someone like KO is needed to at least try.
I don’t think anyone, even KO, will be able to save Alberta. Notley is expertly destroying everything that was Alberta, from farming to business to energy. I pity the next premier of Alberta. Pulling that province out of the economic malaise will not be easy.