"After careful deliberation, we have determined that we will not grant this type of exemption as it would pose a road safety risk," she wrote in the Aug. 14 letter.
"Ultimately, the safety of Ontarians is my utmost priority, and I cannot justify setting that concern aside on this issue."
There have been many discussions around the issue of Sikhs, turbans and motorcycles. Attempts at work-arounds have been tried, including turban-accommodating helmets (I remain convinced this is doable; it's an entrepreneurial opportunity in the waiting).
Ultimately, though, there are only two options available at the present, and a decision needed to be made.
There are a lot of Sikhs in Ontario, especially in the vote-rich 905. If voters vote for those politicians who give them what they want, and there's sufficient support within the Sikh community for risking helmet-free motorcycling, they could very well punish the Wynne Liberals for this move.
Knowing this, Wynne did it anyway.
This isn't political fight-picking as a way to polarize voters and win other groups; the Sikh community is too big and organized to be made a political bad guy. Quite simply, Wynne did her homework, realized her choices and made the one that fits within her priority, ie the well-being of Ontarians, even at her own political expense.
Happening so early in her mandate, the risk isn't as big for Wynne as it would be to do this right before an election, but it's still there.
Why would she do it? Why take such a political risk over such an avoidable issue?
The answer's pretty easy - that's what leaders do.