It’s difficult to know what to expect before meeting a former Premier of Ontario. When asked, each person at Queen’s Park will weave a unique narrative of the Premier, often coloured by the commentator’s partisan affiliation, background, and political knowledge. History is written by the victors, after all, and each government plays an important role in shaping the legacy of their predecessor.
It is unquestionable that the 1990-1995 NDP Government remains contentious in the minds of many Ontarians. Although we had briefly met the Honourable Robert K. Rae before at the Churchill Society Dinner, we were accordingly keen to learn more about his time in Ontario and Canadian politics.
We were unanimously impressed by the intelligence, pragmatism, and kindness Mr. Rae exhibited throughout the meeting.
Our conversation began by discussing Mr. Rae’s commitment to helping raise awareness about indigenous issues in Canada. Mr. Rae clearly brings a wealth of knowledge and thoughtfulness to the table in this respect. We then turned to discussing Mr. Rae’s role in Ontario and federal politics, from his term of leader of Ontario’s NDP, to his tenure as Premier of Ontario, to his transition to federal politics. The interns were particularly curious to hear Mr. Rae’s thoughts on the future of the NDP and Liberal parties in Canada, and his role in helping reinvigorate the federal Liberal party after the 2011 election. Mr. Rae answered our questions candidly, articulately, and in a fashion that reflected his knowledge and passion for politics in Canada.
We’d like to thank Mr. Rae for taking the time to meet with us and for the excellent conversation he created! We look forward to hearing about his future adventures and contributions to governance in Ontario and Canada.