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Feb. 28, 2023

Kathleen Wynne: Love and Leadership

Kathleen Wynne got so worked up about the John Tory story (stepping down as Toronto mayor re: affair with staffer 38 years younger) she spilled her guts about an inappropriate affair when she was 21, and he, uh, wasn’t. She just told her kids before it was published. Kathleen tells us why the Tory story matters, and why life in modern politics is so tough on women politicians like Jacinda Ardern and Nicola Sturgeon.

She was the first woman to be premier of Ontario, and the first openly gay premier in Canada. Kathleen Wynne was an MPP, served in several cabinet posts, and then became premier for one term. Various controversies ended her second bid. She still believes in politics, and still wants to make a difference.

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Voiceover 00:00:02
The women of Ill repute with your hosts. Wendy Mensley and Maureen Holloway.

Wendy 00:00:07
So, Maureen, I got a question for you. Who said, every action has its equal opposite reaction?

Maureen 00:00:15
Oh, that's so funny. That's a lyric from Hamilton, which I'm actually going to see tonight.

Wendy 00:00:21
Hamilton. Like, not Hamilton, Ontario.

Maureen 00:00:24
No, no, Hamilton from the musical. It's a line Thomas Jefferson sings. It about Alexander Hamilton having George Washington on his side. There you go.

Wendy 00:00:32
Wasn't it Newton? Originally.

Maureen 00:00:34
Wayne Newton?

Wendy 00:00:37
No, Sir Isaac Newton. Third law of motion for every action in nature and opposite reaction. But it kind of works in politics, too.

Maureen 00:00:46
Do go on, tell me more.

Wendy 00:00:48
So, Maureen, to put it simply, I guess it's why we swing back and forth. Any major shift in government, particularly in a democratic government, there's a backlash that spawns counter backlashes. That's how America ended up with Donald Trump after Barack Obama.

Maureen 00:01:04
That's how it happened. And then Biden after Trump.

Wendy 00:01:08
Or closer to home, Doug Ford after Kathleen Wynn.

Maureen 00:01:13
Yeah. And then John Tory after Doug's brother, Rob Ford. There's a reaction. Action reaction.

Wendy 00:01:20
Yeah. Well, about that well, who would have.

Maureen 00:01:23
Ever thought that after Rob Ford's shenanigans, it would be John Tory's career that would end in scandal? I would not have backed that horse.

Wendy 00:01:31
Well, maybe men will be men, except when they're women.

Maureen 00:01:37
Well, this brings us to the topic of women leaders, right? A growing number of women in power, and not just in politics. Women in business are leaving their jobs. There's Jacinda Ardern, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, who said she had nothing left in the tank.

Kathleen 00:01:52

Wendy 00:01:53
Nicola Sturgeon, who talked about brutality in modern politics.

Maureen 00:01:56
Women leaders in every sector are leaving their big jobs. They're calling it the big breakup, whoever they are. Here we thought we were closing the gender gap. We thought we were getting somewhere.

Wendy 00:02:07
Well, I don't know. It's not the end of time, but we'll see. But it is kind of like how we started this whole thing. Like I was saying that every action has an equal reaction.

Maureen 00:02:17
You didn't say that. Fig Newton said that.

Wendy 00:02:21
I don't think it was Fig Newton. But we're going to have Kathleen Wynn on it.

Maureen 00:02:34
Yes. Who better to have on this podcast this week, especially to talk about all these things and more?

Wendy 00:02:40
Yeah. So Kathleen Wynn. She joins us. And if you've been watching, if you're a paid subscriber and you can see video, you can see she's got long hair. Oh, my God.

Maureen 00:02:50

Wendy 00:02:51
Hi, Kathleen.

Kathleen 00:02:52
Hi, Wendy. Hi, Maureen.

Maureen 00:02:54
Hi. Well, this is a tumultuous time. I was going to ask you how things are post retirement, but you wrote a very interesting article this week about John Tory. Very personal article. So why don't we just jump in and get your take, as you expressed it?

Wendy 00:03:13
I think, Maureen, we should tell people that basically, John Tory, he's kind of a big wig in politics, right? He was like I first knew him when he ran the Most campaign 100,000 years ago, and then he tried to be premier. He ended up as mayor. And then he was like this big family guy, married to this wonderful woman and talked to, was always posting pictures about his kids and stuff. And then he had to quit because it was revealed by the Toronto Star that he had been basically cavorting with a member of his staff. And he's 69 and she's 31. So then, Kathleen, you wrote something. So tell us, why did you write that piece?

Kathleen 00:03:50
My political story is kind of bound up with John Tory's at certain points. You guys know that in 2007, I had just been appointed Minister of Education, and we were heading into an election a year later, and John Tory decided he was going to come in and run against me in my riding, and I beat him. And that was when he left politics. After that, he ran in another in a byelection and didn't win. So we had a very competitive relationship, obviously, because we went head to head, but we became friends after that. We worked together really well. It wasn't a dirty campaign in my riding. He's a decent guy. I like to think I'm a decent person. And so we we got through that. And then when he was mayor of Toronto and I was premier, we had a pretty good working relationship. There were a couple of points where he wasn't very happy with me. You know, I didn't go along with road tolls on the Gardener and the Don Valley Parkway and there were some things like that. But generally we worked very well together and had a good political relationship. He and I are exactly the same age. He was born in 1954. I was born in 1953. And I've watched this, I will say, shocking story unfold over the last couple of weeks. And I and I felt that it was important for me to say something. I felt that because I had lived through the same the same time period and watched the same changes happen in terms of social norms and sexual morays, I just felt like I needed to say something. And the title of the article was, this Conversation is Bigger than John Tory. For me, it's not about the individual, you know, it's about how on earth a story that is unfolding in 2023 could be so similar to stories that some of us have lived 30, 40 years ago, you know? And so I told a personal story about myself when I was 21, got into a short lived relationship with a guy who was 30 years older than I was and had power over me because he was a senior reporter at a very small community newspaper. I was selling classified ads. And basically he should have known better. I was 21. I can take some responsibility, and I do. But he was 30 years older than I was, and I felt that he was being good to me. He was letting me do some writing on the paper, and I felt kind of beholden to him. So it just got to me as I watched this story unfold with John, that we just haven't moved as far as we should have. And that's why I felt like I needed to write that.

Maureen 00:06:32
Do you think he should have resigned?

Kathleen 00:06:34
Well, he stood up on that Friday night and he said he was going to resign. So whatever was going on in his moral code, he had decided that he should resign. We may never know the whole story, who knows? But he felt that he had done something that was serious enough and took responsibility for it and said he was going to resign. And then what happened was it started to roll out, and all these voices coming in saying mostly from men saying, oh, don't go. You're a good guy, John. Tory should stay. We're going to try to convince you to stay. And I feel and this is my bias, but I feel that a lot of those people are probably trying to not that they're covering their own backsides, but they are trying to hold on to a norm that is more comfortable for them than watching their friend having to step down. And that got to me too, because that's what perpetuates these kinds of behaviors.

Wendy 00:07:35
So many different people, and not just people who work for him, and obviously they would have an interest in the guy sticking around. But I went back and did some reading because, you know, I was on the hill a thousand years ago, and I saw lots of things and lots of things happen that shouldn't have happened. And I didn't speak up. I just kept, you know, I wasn't assaulted or anything, but but there was lots of shit around. And I went back and I read stuff about I guess there were people in the NDP caucus who were outed at the time and as having done inappropriate things, and there was a quote of someone saying, well, it used to be okay, but now it's not okay. And someone said, yeah, but it was never really okay. It was said to be okay. So was it half times really changed. I don't know. And you talk to different people and they're just like, well, the young woman probably got something out of it.

Maureen 00:08:27
We know more.

Wendy 00:08:28
Even I know people who are madly in love, and there's 30 years difference. Are there clear rules, the 30 year difference?

Kathleen 00:08:36
I know people who are married to people 30 years older than they are, and but they didn't necessarily work together. They weren't in a relationship, in a power relationship. That's the part that I think made it clearer that he needed to step down because he had direct control, as I understand it, over her career trajectory, and her job and that creates a dynamic that I don't think it's healthy, I don't think it should be allowed. And I think we've moved. Yes, but I did a session with some young people last night who were asking questions about the political process and so on and I talked about this issue a little bit because it came up and one of the young women said it just hasn't changed that much. She felt that she was in her early thirty s, I guess, and she said she just didn't think that young women were not experiencing this kind of situation. And it's not just young women. I know there are young men who have been in these situations as well, but it's often young women.

Maureen 00:09:41
There's so much about the Tory scandal that you can unpack I hate the word unpack, but here we are unpacking. It's not just the age difference and it's not just the fact that he was her boss, it is that he was an elected official. And I was thinking about the David Letterman story. Remember, Lois, many years ago he went on a show and explained that he'd been having an affair with a younger staff member and it was a big scandal but there was never an expectation that he would give up his job and he put himself ahead of the story and then it disappeared. And here am I bringing it up all these years later. But I think it's very important to remember that Tory stepped down because he was an elected official and might not have had he been in another business.

Kathleen 00:10:24
But Maureen, do you think today, if Letterman were in the same situation, do you think it would be the same? Do you think there would not be pressure on him to step down?

Maureen 00:10:34
I don't know, throwing it out there? I don't know. I mean it's show business, it's politics. The two are not dissimilar but I think there certainly would be less. Letterman made a lot of money for his network and there's that to keep in mind as well, right?

Wendy 00:10:49
Well, I think a lot of it is and here is my great opinion I was never premier, but I think a lot of it is what you stood for. And he presented himself as the big family man and then, I don't know, his wife was often there, his kids were often there. So I think Donald Trump was able to do all kinds of things with women and get away with it and still hold on to his popularity. But other people were like, this is like ridiculous and they would get canceled for having like a bad date. I'm exaggerating, perhaps. I don't know if there is a set line and I don't know if there should be a set line, but I certainly I found it really interesting, Kathleen, that you were writing about what happened to you in 1974 that's I guess why Maureen and I love doing this podcast is that we were hearing so much more. I mean, we're going to move into politics in general in a minute, but I don't think I've ever heard you tell that story about what happened when you were 21.

Kathleen 00:11:45
I've never told that story. In fact, my kids didn't know the story. I had to sort of send the piece to them ahead of time and say, I'm going to write about this because it feels like it's relevant. And I don't remember all the details of my life when I was 21, but I sure as hell remember that. So I felt like it was important. I think what you're saying to Wendy about the hypocrisy, I think that's an important piece for an elected official. Right. When you hold yourself up as one thing and you're actually something else or you're living a different life, I think that's an added layer when you are being held to a higher standard. And people have come back to me after reading the article and said, yeah, elected officials have to be held to a higher standard and that's the way it is. But what has encouraged me is that most of the people who've gotten back to me after I wrote the article are young people and they've said, thank you for writing it, it was important. And you know what? If it helps one young person put it in context, then I think that's a good thing because it's a confusing world.

Wendy 00:12:51
Yeah, there was a lot of pressure on the Hill for when I was there 1000 years ago. There weren't very many young women. I think it was 90% men and yeah, well, Maureen, you've done it. You push ahead, you just do your thing and you say to some guy who's acting like an asshole, you're an asshole, back off. And it's just life and life goes on. So I think it is good that there is a certain hypocrisy, I think, in some people being punished more than others as a different kind of hypocrisy. But I think it's good that we're saying, no, you can't do that. That is inappropriate, but it is good.

Maureen 00:13:25
But this sort of brings us to the other part of this conversation that I'd love to hear from Kathleen about. And that's when you enter public life and you weren't always in, but when you did, it was a different stage in your career. You would come out, you were with your partner, Jane. When you go into politicsPublic, life, you know that you have to be an open book. And even if you are, you have to be ready to withstand absolutely unfair criticism. And for you in particular, not just a woman, but as a gay woman, you had to know that it was going to be brutal. And it was.

Kathleen 00:14:02
Yeah. And, you know, I made very sure that I gathered my family around me. I first ran for office in 190, 94. That was kind of the my step into the political realm. It was for school board and it was local, it was a different stage, but it still meant that in the community, my kids were dealing with the fact that there was going to be a homophobic response, there were going to be flyers, put door to door calling me an extremist lesbian and all of that happened. I always said I objected more to being called extremists than being called a lesbian.

Wendy 00:14:35
One was true and one wasn't extremist lesbian. That's what I want to know.

Kathleen 00:14:43
So yeah, you know that and there's no point in whining about it. And that notion that you just push through and the way you guys are describing in your profession, having to just, you know, to a certain extent take a certain amount of shit and go through it, like you have to go through it. And that is a conversation I have with young people all the time. I I say to them, you know, when I was 16 I thought by the time I was 70, nearly 70 things would be really different. They're not that different. And so I'm not going to promise you that by the time you're out trying to make your way that it's all going to be fixed. It's not. And so what you need to know is that it's worth it. It's really worth it to push through and do the things that you can do and have the amazing experiences in whatever sector you're in, whatever field you're in, take risks, put yourself in uncomfortable positions in terms of honing your skills and make a difference. That's all worth it. But as you go, there still are things that you can say this isn't right. And I'm going to do something about this in this moment. Like when I was premier and the whole me too, giangomeshi all that that time period, I mean, I gathered my policy people around me and I said, this is ridiculous. It is 2000 and whatever, 1514. We need to do something in response to this. And so we put a new policy in place called It's never okay. We put money into the Violence Against Women's sector. We ran an ad that basically said if you're not with her, you're against her, you're not helping. And we made changes to supports in the court system because it just felt like I couldn't sit back with the lived experience that I had and not act when I had university students sitting around a table telling me that on their campuses there were no harassment policies, that the students had no input into those. And so we wrote into legislation that had to be done. So I think that those moments make it worth it, not whining about it. But there are ways to shine a light on what's not worth, still not worth.

Voiceover 00:16:56
The women of ill repute.

Wendy 00:17:00
Well, we mentioned Nicola Sturgeon and jacinda Ardern, who both quit, both women who have been very, very both one in New Zealand and one leading the legislature in Scotland, and they both quit saying that it's toxic, basically, that it's brutal, it's intense, and they just don't have it in the tank. So I was struck by two things like is this a comment on social media? Hello? And is it just women who are using those? Like, is it a woman thing? Is it a social media thing? I don't know. What do you think about those two women stepping down?

Kathleen 00:17:34
First of all, I think social media has made it a whole lot worse. If I look at, you know, 1994 to now, there's a whole different environment because of social media, for sure. I think those women were being honest. You know, I think they were telling the truth. That is the truth for a whole lot of people in the political realm. I think to some extent, nicola Sturgeon for sure, but probably ardent as well, felt that they had done all they could to push against the forces that were pushing back at them. What do I know? I mean, I admire both of them, actually, so I don't know. But I just felt that they were telling the truth and instead of saying, I'm quitting because I want to spend more time with my family, which is definitely what they will do. But that's kind of a tired phrase and doesn't show the pressure. Right? And I think they wanted to broaden that discussion and just make sure that people understood that there was something else going on. Then they were just tired and not having enough gas in the tank. There are reasons for that. And I think what they're both saying is one of the reasons is that this is just so hard on everybody in my life and on me.

Maureen 00:18:50
It's not just women in politics, though. There's, I want to say, a Kinsey report. It's McKinsey, isn't it? The pollsters of the number of women in senior management and the corporate world leaving their jobs over the last two years has increased compared to men. So it's not just a political problem. And in a way, I mean, going back to Newton and every action has a reaction. Women have come so far that I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, given the way things go, that there would be that, oh, okay, now that I've achieved what I want to achieve, maybe it's not as worth it as I thought it might be, or maybe I just don't have enough in the tank.

Kathleen 00:19:31
This is not anything that I have any hard evidence on, but I wonder how COVID has put things in context for women, but for everybody. I think it's put a lot of things in context for people. But I wonder if what we know to be the case that women carry the cumulative burden of a family, right? So you have the work outside the home. And even if you're a high powered executive, you're doing a lot of the emotional work of the family. And I wonder if COVID was, for some people, the straw that just broke the back and made it clear that to use your language, maybe it wasn't worth it or it was just time to do something else. I wonder about that because I think it was a very hard timing. I watched so many young families try to manage their kids at home and all the isolation of the online schooling and trying to make sure your kids were okay and trying to make sure everybody was okay. And to do that on top of a high powered position, that's a big load. Right. So I wonder if there's an element of that because of the time period that we're talking about.

Wendy 00:20:43
I just found it interesting, and maybe this is me with my woman hat on instead of my person hat. I was struck by how our friends Nicola and Jacinda spoke about instead of saying, I want to spend more time with my family, said, It's freaking brutal. It's brutal and I have nothing left in the tank. I don't think we normally hear that.

Maureen 00:21:07
Not from men, certainly.

Wendy 00:21:09
So there is something different there, or maybe everybody is just starting to approach things differently.

Kathleen 00:21:17
Well, what's different about it is that it's more unvarnished truth than we're used to from an elected official standing at a microphone. That's not what we expect to hear so good on them for saying that.

Wendy 00:21:34
Will it change now?

Kathleen 00:21:36
It'll all be fixed, done? It won't, but it will give people some pause. I mean, the danger is that it discourages people, right? It discourages women, discourages young people from getting into political life. And that scares me, actually, because we so need a diversity of voices at the table and one group that is still way underrepresented is women. And so it does worry me. So I hope there's another chapter for both those women where they can talk about how great it was to do the things that they did so that people can hear that as well. Because it's a sad message that they were kind of drummed out of political life. I don't think that's exactly what they said, but you could take that away from their announcements, right?

Maureen 00:22:33
What about you yourself, Kathleen? Would you still be in office had you been given the choice?

Kathleen 00:22:41
I would have loved another term. Maureen? I was elected leader in 2013. We had a minority government, worked with the NDP, got one budget passed and then was elected to a majority in 2014. I would love to have had 2018 to 2022 to finish the things that we were doing. Highly likely that at the end of that I would have stepped down. I would have had two terms. That's kind of what I had in my head as the ideal, but was not to be. So you deal with the hand that you're given. I'd be almost gone or gone by now.

Maureen 00:23:14
Almost gone. Well, yeah, you would have been a wartime premier too, to paraphrase, because you would have been dealing with COVID as well.

Kathleen 00:23:21
And people say to me, aren't you glad you weren't there for that? And no, the answer is no, I'm not glad I wasn't there because I would have done things differently. That's the reality. So I wish I had been there.

Maureen 00:23:33
I wish you had been too.

Wendy 00:23:35
I found a really interesting reading about Nicola Sturgeon, that she was a big defender of trans people's rights and that the way that she defended that and was not perfect. It went viral and you a huge part of your plank was changing sex head and people were like, no. So I guess it raises the whole question of what's right and wrong in politics. Like, do you push people ahead because that's how you affect change and sometimes change is needed, or do you listen to what people want and do what the people want? I don't know. I'm sure it's way more complicated than that.

Kathleen 00:24:10
Well, the reality is that you have to balance those things, right? You have to weigh the evidence of a policy with the promises that you've made and your own ideology, and then you do have to listen to people outside of government. And that can mean knowledgeable people who have information because they're on the front line in a particular area. It can also mean the people who are mad about something or who are rising up. But on the issue of the sex ed curriculum changes, what we know is that a curriculum from 1998 was not good enough.

Wendy 00:24:46
It was fine for a lot of people.

Kathleen 00:24:48
Well, it was fine for a lot of people, but a lot of those people had never read it and didn't, you know, hadn't thought through that. Kids didn't have phones, they weren't on the internet, it wasn't cyberbullying. Like all that stuff didn't even exist in 1998. So they may have been fine with the sex ed curriculum, but they really weren't dealing with the realities of what was going on in their kids lives. But the other part of that is that there was a very vocal minority, and homophobia and sexism and transphobia, those are real things that exist in our world. And so the very loud voices that were led by people like Charles McVeigh, who's a deeply homophobic guy, those were the voices that we heard. And we knew from polling that had been done and information we had about public opinion that the vast majority of people in the province were fully supportive of a new sex ed curriculum. The parents in the province were supportive. And in fact, when Doug Ford came into office, he had campaigned as to be leader on repealing the sex ed curriculum that we had brought in. He got into office, he looked around, repealed it for ten minutes, and found out that actually it was very popular and people were saying it was needed and put basically the same curriculum right back in. So if I had listened to those voices and had not done what I knew was the right thing, that would have been very wrong in that situation because all of the pieces were in place and kids were at risk. And I think that's the same thing with our den trans people were and are at risk. And so if your mission for being in political life is to make life better for people and make our society safer for everybody, then there are certain things that you have to do, even if there's a small and vocal opposition to it. Right.

Maureen 00:26:43
There's also the issue of the so called LGBTQ plus community. And when we say that, we're implying that anybody, whether you're gay or trans or asexual, that you're part of some group that has a common agenda. And from what I understand as a cisgendered straight woman, there are commonalities, but there are just as many differences. There are gay people who are transphobic, there are queer people who are well, they all seem to be if they've got a problem within the community, transphobia seems to be more rampant than anything else. But have you run into this yourself, the fact that it isn't a unified voice, it isn't one group that can lobby for change. Quite often there are, you know, fractions or factions within it, for sure.

Kathleen 00:27:30
I remember when I came out, I was 37 when I came out, and I remember going to events in the in the community. So I really wasn't of the community. I was living in North Toronto with my three kids, with my husband at the time. Jane and her partner were our very close friends, and so I had a little window into the community. But the community is very diverse. There are lots of people who have very weird opinions about how you become a member of the community. I remember one time being at an event with Jane and some young lesbian saying to Jane that you couldn't be a real lesbian if you didn't play hockey. What the hell? She doesn't even escape this most ridiculous moment like the steering back your card.

Maureen 00:28:21
You don't get to be one.

Kathleen 00:28:23
Exactly. It's as diverse as the rest of the population. And I would say to her, how can these women, how can they vote for my cares? What the hell are they thinking? Just as diverse. And there are very few, as you guys know from your work, there are very few monolithic communities of any kind. Right. So the individual differences and the pockets of dissent, I mean, we have to navigate that all the time, no matter who we are.

Wendy 00:28:59
I think we got to wrap up in a couple of minutes, but I'm just wondering. Like you had a kind of a big job. You ran massive economy in North America. And what do you do now? Do you boss Jane around?

Kathleen 00:29:15
What do you do? No, she's the boss. We moved out of the city. I stayed after I lost in 2018. I stayed in the legislature, and then we moved out of the city. We're northwest of Toronto now and alliston built a house with my youngest daughter. So we've got an intergenerational living situation. And honestly, Wendy, I'm trying to figure that out, how I can be of the most use, because I want to use that experience that I had to answer questions. That's basically how I think of it. And so I'm teaching a course at U of T, one in the fall and one in the winter. I answer requests to go and speak with young people. It's mostly young people who I want to interact with because they have questions about what it's like. And there are lots of myths about political life, and one of them is that it's toxic every day, all day, and it's not. It's a lot of fun. Like, there are great, great moments in political life. And so I want to encourage people in the democratic process because I think we're at a dangerous moment in our democracy. You're in journalism, and you're watching the changes that we're dealing with in terms of information and misinformation and how do we work through that? Well, that has an impact on our democratic process, and so I want people to care about that. So I basically go where people are wanting to ask questions about that and try to peel back the curtain a little bit on what it's like to make a decision. Just things like there are no policies that everybody agrees with. You always have to find a way to educate people, bring people along, work with the people who have the knowledge, and that's how policy gets made. And it's an imperfect process, but I think more people need to understand that.

Maureen 00:31:14
Wow. Thank you. Thank you for spending some time with us, Kathleen. It's been an absolute pleasure and just listening to you. I miss you in politics, even if you don't miss being in it that much. And I'm pretty sure you've got, if not, another big act and several little ones ahead of you.

Kathleen 00:31:31
Well, thank you for having me on. I feel honored to be considered, even a little bit, a woman of ill repute. I think that's the best kind of woman.

Maureen 00:31:40
No problem.

Kathleen 00:31:42
Got it sewn up, and I love what you guys are doing. This is a great endeavor. So thank you.

Wendy 00:31:49
Well, we're thrilled. We wanted you to come on from the very beginning, but it's important to get a really nice mix of people. And I just thought your thoughts on what it's like as a woman in politics these days would be really interesting. And John Tory, I'm sure, is going through his own rough spot right now. You went through one a while ago, which was I think you would say was not inflicted in the same way, but oh well, he had fun.

Kathleen 00:32:21
I think just about everybody who reaches a leadership position, I'm going to say in politics, but I think in other spheres as well, there's a there's a healing, there's a transition process that happens afterwards when you leave and we have to be honest about that and there's an adjustment period. So I feel for John as a human being because he's going through a very rough time right now and who knows? We inflict pain on ourselves, we have pain inflicted on us and that's kind of the human condition. And I don't mean to be all philosophical, but that is kind of the reality. So thank you for doing your bit to help us talk about these things.

Maureen 00:32:58
Wow. It's our pleasure.

Wendy 00:33:00
Yeah. Please speak to you. And you have a long hair, it's very cool.

Kathleen 00:33:07
Stay tuned. Who knows how long it will last?

Wendy 00:33:09
We'll see.

Maureen 00:33:12
Did you vote for Kathleen Wynn?

Wendy 00:33:17
Hannah Worms? I don't vote, which I was a journalist for 1000 years and when I was like a child, I moved to Quebec and I thought, well, there's a referendum happening, I just moved here. I don't think that my opinion is really important and I'm not going to vote as an Anglophone and I'm certainly not a frank vote. So I didn't vote. Then I moved to Ottawa and I've been covering. Yeah, I know. And my husband is like, this is your democratic right, you need to make a difference.

Maureen 00:33:47
So I'm shocked.

Wendy 00:33:53
We'Ll have to do this enough.

Kathleen 00:33:55

Maureen 00:33:56
All that time on the Hill, I had no idea that you were I mean, you're political, but you're a political I take pride in the fact that I've never missed an election of any kind from federal to cottage municipal.

Wendy 00:34:11
I think I'm free. I think I could probably vote. I just wish I could get excited.

Maureen 00:34:16
I know that's usually the case. I don't respect people who say, oh, I can't be bothered but if you make a conscious decision not to vote, I guess I respect that too.

Wendy 00:34:25
Well, that's what I say anyway.

Kathleen 00:34:31
She was amazing.

Wendy 00:34:32
I'm so glad. I was worried that people go through politics and we were sort of worn well, careful, she can be a little political and she was at the end or her sort of government can fix everything kind of thing shone through at the end. But it was I mean, I'm still thinking of she wrote that piece about when she was 21 years old and feeling like and feeling like this guy could really help my career. And he's 30 years older than me and he's not going to do anything. And so maybe I'll go to his apartment or whatever because he's old. And of course, it wasn't that way at all. But I just think of her telling her kids telling her kids about letting.

Maureen 00:35:16
Your kids see under the curtain. That's a tough one in itself, writing about your past or most kids. I don't think my kids have any interest in me outside of the vision of their mom that they have. If I try to tell them something quite often, they're like, whoa, no, that's okay. Too much information. So, yeah, that must have been something.

Wendy 00:35:39
Not to talk about her too much, but she recently told me that my mother I was raised, you know, by my mother alone, we were very close, blah, blah, blah, and that my mother, when she was entering dementia, told our daughter, her granddaughter, top secret. But my husband, your grandfather, he was gay. And, like, Kate thought that that was, like, a huge secret, and she came to tell me, and I'm like, well.

Maureen 00:36:01
Yeah, Kate didn't know until your mother would die.

Wendy 00:36:06
I think she was, like, nine. But I didn't tell people because it was my mom's secret. And maybe when she was older, I would have told her. She was like, I think Nana has really lost it because she said that her husband was gay. And I'm like, oh, yeah. So, I don't know. I think there are certain things that you keep from your kids for various reasons until a certain age, and then.

Maureen 00:36:26
You tell, well, my mother wasn't in a same sex relationship at the end of her life, but my mother was also kind of homophobic. It was really weird. That generation was, no, of course not. So it's all these secrets, and she's probably feel that that's her spinning in her grave right now, because I am actually saying this in public. Good thing she's cremated.

Wendy 00:36:51
I don't know. In the ground, they have the same memories as of another big discussion that's even bigger than not voting.

Maureen 00:36:59
No kidding.

Wendy 00:37:00
I'm really glad that we talked to Kathleen Wynn, and I'm really glad that she was Frank. The John Tory thing is whether I first met him when he was running Brian Mulrody's campaign and I was working on the Hill and he was running the 88 election. And then I learned that he was only a few years older than me, and I was like, what? How did you do that?

Maureen 00:37:19
You know, we didn't we don't have time today. But that the older thing. And the lack of sex appeal, this I mean, I felt bad for him. It's one thing to lose your job and your wife because you had an affair, but then to have the world.

Wendy 00:37:31
Go, well, you know what?

Maureen 00:37:31
You're not really that sexy. It's just adding insult to injuries. This is not a happy time for John Tory, I'm sure, on any level. But, yeah, it was great to talk to Kathleen. What a lovely, charming, and warm and intelligent woman person she is, and a nice addition to the lineup.

Wendy 00:37:50
Yeah. So are we going to go back to Newton? Fake Newton?

Maureen 00:37:55
No, but I am going to Hamilton tonight. I'll see you later. 

Voiceover 00:37:55
The women of Il repute with Wendy Mesley and Maureen Holloway. Available on Apple podcasts spotify google podcasts or@womenofilrepute.com produced and distributed by the sound off media company.