House in the Hamptons: the knives come out for Crombie
Within minutes of her leadership victory Saturday, the PCs and the NDP began rolling out attacks on new Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie.
The PCs were first out of the gate with a press release painting Crombie as a rich phoney.
“She doesn’t get the concerns of everyday people. She drives fancy cars and vacations at her home in the Hamptons,” claimed an unattributed PC Party statement.
Crombie responded that she doesn’t own a car but uses a “fleet vehicle” provided for her use as mayor, and, after being pressed by reporters, did confirm that she owns a house on Long Island.
“We have inherited a home from an aunt and uncle who passed away,” she said.
According to a property title record obtained by Queen’s Park Today, Crombie and her husband own a home in the Town of East Patchogue. The house is about 57 kilometres away from the “estate areas” of Long Island that comprise the famous vacation venue for rich New Yorkers known as the Hamptons.
Located on a 0.75-acre waterfront property, the home Crombie owns is a relatively modest 2,164 square feet with a fenced-off private beach behind the house. The surrounding neighbourhood is suburban.
The property record does not include a valuation but does confirm Crombie inherited it via an executor’s deed. Annual property taxes are priced at just over $29,000. Nearby waterfront properties recently listed for sale featured asking prices of $1.1 million and $2 million.
The PCs carried on the Hamptons attack in question period on Monday.
“The Liberals have elected a new leader who spends more time in the Hamptons or on private jets than the Prime Minister of Canada,” charged government house leader Paul Calandra.
Speaking of pricey political residences, Premier Doug Ford asked $3.1 million for his Etobicoke home last year, which eventually sold for $2.7 million. He also owns a family property in Ontario’s cottage country.
Considering the premier’s considerable inherited wealth, Queen’s Park Today asked PC MPP Matt Rae if the PCs are pots calling the kettle black.
“Our government caucus comes from a variety of backgrounds — diverse backgrounds — a variety of income levels, and so I know we will continue to fight for the average Ontarian,” he said.
The NDP is keen on comparing Crombie and Ford and launched a new website for that purpose.
“Is Bonnie Crombie really any different from Doug Ford?” the party wondered in a statement, echoing a point made multiple times by Crombie’s rivals during the campaign.
“Just like Ford, Bonnie wants to cut your health care and childcare. Just like Ford, Bonnie’s cozy with developers, peddling the same kind of insider elite politics.”
Crombie told reporters she plans to wait until the Mississauga and Region of Peel 2024 budgets are finished before stepping down as mayor, likely early next year.
As for whether she will seek a seat in the legislature before the next election, Crombie was noncommittal.
While she seemed keen to run if a seat in Mississauga opens up, Crombie was less enthusiastic about jumping in on the expected byelection in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex to replace former labour minister Monte McNaughton.
“I think what’s very important is that I continue to work on the road and continue to meet people in the small towns and communities that feel isolated and abandoned and neglected by this government,” she said. “And if a seat presents itself that makes sense, I’ll consider it.”
At a provincial council meeting Sunday, Crombie told party brass her first goal as leader is to fundraise $1 million by the end of December.
The new leader will be at Queen’s Park to attend her first caucus meeting on Tuesday.