Due to Premier Kathleen Wynne's uncomfortably close relationship with the Prime Minister, members of her government can and will be considered for Truderpy Awards alongside their federal cousins.
And so our next Truderpy Award recipient is the one member of the OLP caucus who stands head and shoulders above all others when it comes to single-minded devotion to the rightness of the Liberal cause.
In a government bench full of shrinking violets, union hacks, octogenarians who can barely muster a wave, and those who cannot communicate a full sentence in any language, English or otherwise, Mike Colle, the MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence is a living tribute for full-throated Liberal bluster.
It's too bad that the Truderpys are so new because so many award-worthy Mike Colle moments have been missed. To reward Mr. Colle at this stage in his career is like Leonardo Dicaprio getting the Oscar for "The Revenant." Sure, it's good, but it's not as good as his best.
Your average Liberal might pause for a moment of reflection if they were permanently booted from cabinet after playing a role in something as questionable as the Cricket Club Scandal, wherein various community groups got government handouts without the vaguest suggestion of oversight. Not so Mr. Colle, who decided he was going to take this setback and run hard with it.
That same year, Mike Colle positioned himself as one of the loudest and most unnecessarily over-the-top critics of John Tory's infamous faith-based funding faceplant, a plan which was basically dead on arrival.
Beating already dead horses is a useful way to distract Ontarians from the fact that their province has been mired in a ditch for as long as anyone can remember and isn't going to be climbing out anytime soon, but this was the first time an election had turned on a significantly overblown distraction (and it would most decidedly not be the last).
Now that Mike Colle's temper tantrums had reached major-league proportions, and also since he had nothing better to do because he was deemed too toxic even for the Ontario Liberals -- which is an achievement in and of itself -- he was no longer content merely to spearhead efforts to save historic movie theatres from demolition as if he were one of the Three Stooges trying to save the orphanage. (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!)
No, Mr. Colle went on to much larger distractions and theatrical shows of force. When a gas station attendant was tragically murdered in a gas-and-dash in his riding, and the Ontario PC's diffidently dragged their feet (as they do) did he imply that the Ontario PCs were putting the interests of the eeeeevil tar sands ahead of human lives? You bet he did.
When the Liberals flip-flopped for the umpteenth time on the subways vs. streetcars debate at the height of Fordmania, who did they dispatch to further muddy the debate and throw shade at Mike Harris' government, gone ten years hence? Who else?
Get a load of this line: “I don’t care if they flood Eglinton and run gondolas on it, I’ve been waiting 30 years.”
Yes Mike, and you have been an MPP for 20 of those years. Don't let that bother you, though!
Did I mention that this guy was pioneering the bizarrely unique practice of Ontarian public figures bragging about their marathon running prowess long before Kathleen Wynne (and, following behind as always, Patrick Brown)?
Now, aided by the eager "community journalists" at the Toronto Star, Mr. Colle has spent the last couple of weeks cooking up his latest distractory masterpiece: the French's Ketchup file.
Even as the Star raps the OLP's knuckles over the fact that access to Ontario cabmins is basically pay-to-play without- once again- the vaguest suggestion of oversight, Mike Colle managed to get them on board with his boycott of grocery giant Loblaws because they refused to sell delicious made-in-Ontario French's ketchup.
Colle as the ketchup champion shouldn't work for so many reasons that I can't even begin to list them all, but I'll try.
* The French's plant is in Leamington, which is in Essex, an NDP riding, while Colle represents a midtown Toronto riding.
* French's is an American multinational who is picking up the slack after a different multinational -- Heinz -- packed up and left Leamington.
* Heinz packed up and left Leamington because the Ontario Liberals' anti business attitude made it impossible for the company to turn a profit.
* French's isn't even known for making ketchup. They do MUSTARD.
* And finally: Mike Colle has drummed up more positive press and support for the OLP with ketchup than the entire grimy rollout of Ontario Liberal cabinet ministers have with their thousands-of-dollars-a-plate fundraising dinners!
Mr. Colle has earned his Truderpy Award many times over, but he should also have earned the admiration of Liberals from coast to coast. They should be sitting at his feet hoping to soak up nuggets of wisdom. There should be twice as many memes about Mike Colle as there are about Justin Trudeau.
A brass statue of Mike Colle should be erected on the corner of Marlee and Lawrence Avenues in Toronto with the testicles made to measure with the appropriate size, heft, and brass content, and I hope there's enough metal in the known world to take on the job!
Long may you Truderp, Mr. Colle!