Premier Dad

Nickname for Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario from 2003 to 2013. Originally bestowed by a journalist, the title was rooted in the view that McGuinty had an intrusive approach to ensuring the well-being of Ontarians with initiatives like healthier school lunches, restrictive regulations on smoking and a ban on pit bulls. Yet McGuinty later claimed he had actually coined the moniker while golfing with his son, and liked the nickname because being a good father was his highest aspiration.

Although critics branded him Premier Dad, McGuinty owned the label. A wholesome, earnest, father-knows-best character, Premier Dad became part of his personal and political brand en route to three strait election victories. Family was at the centre of this – McGuinty often spoke of his nine siblings, four children, high-school sweetheart wife Terri and father Dalton Sr, who had preceded him as MPP for Ottawa South. In office, Premier Dad stressed his work on behalf of “Ontario Families” while championing initiatives like full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes and the new “Family Day” holiday.

Image Source: Toronto Star, McGuinty on election night, October 2011

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