Wednesday, May 15, 2013



Don't believe that stuff about the future of Paul Godfrey as head of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is under review. Godfrey is so mad at the Liberal government that he is forcing it to fire him.
You have to be pretty inept to make Godfrey so angry that he won't depart diplomatically. And with the loss of Godfrey, who knows more about Toronto politics than most of the present council shoved together, the decision on a Toronto casino  really does enter a twilight zone.
With Godfrey as head of the OLG, at least you knew you were dealing with a smart politician/businessman who would never,  for example, waste hundreds of millions gassing a Mississauga neighbourhood with a generating plant in the wrong place.
Godfrey, a careful conservative Tory, seemed an odd fit when Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed him to the gaming job in 2009 before his government really started to go nuts.
But everyone knew that Godfrey had been the best head, arguably, of the Toronto regional government before he was my clever boss at the Sun chain, first as head of the flagship Toronto Sun, then as head of the whole empire. Then he headed the Blue Jays and did well, except in the choice of a general manager, and lately he has been the boss of Postmedia and RioCan, a real estate REIT, and director of charities, and is so busy that I was reminding him the other day that it was time to slow down and write his memoirs, in which I'm sure the Liberals will not be praised.
I've watched Godfrey since  I published his very first picture in a newspaper in 1965. The first of zillions! As a columnist who often spent more time around him than with my wife, I respected his astute stewardship. When I was Sun Editor, he was a great boss because even though he often regarded the columnists and editorialists as being as difficult to handle as if he was trying to herd snarling tomcats, he was fair and reasonable and agreeable.
Yegawds, in the news business, that almost makes him a saint.
I'm writing this Wednesday, and I would imagine that by the time some of you read this, Godfrey will have already been shoved out the door. In his world, when you make firings obvious, you have a very good reason. His reason is to show his dislike of how the Kathleen Wynne government is operating. Unfortunately, he's enjoying life and grandkids and baseball too much to run provincially in the election that we should have right now if the NDP really did act as honourably as they pretend they are with their holier-than-thou we're-really-principled attitude.
My wife Mary was telling me the other day that I talk about the past too much. I guess I do. But when I look at the current crop of MPPs at Queen's Park, and this government, I don't just talk about all the good operators we have had in all parties in the past, I yearn for them.

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