Ford government economic updates and budgets

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jerrym

The City of Toronto is taking its complaint about the Ford government cutting the size of city council to the Supreme Court.

The city announced Friday that it has filed an application with the country's highest court to seek leave to appeal the province's decision to slash the size of council.

The city said in a news release that it is now awaiting the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on whether or not it will hear the appeal.

This move marks the final legal option for the city, after the provincial Court of Appeal decided in September that Premier Doug Ford's government had the "legitimate authority" to make mid-election council cuts.

Back in June, the province and the city of Toronto, as well as several candidates who hoped to run in last fall's election, faced off for a third time in court over Ford's surprise move to slash the number of council seats — causing what city officials called "unprecedented disruption."

Ford has defended his move to shift from a 47-ward system to 25 seats aligned with provincial ridings as necessary to fix a "bloated and inefficient" council.

In the 3-2 decision, the court of appeal judges said none of the city's arguments could "succeed," noting it was framed as an issue about protecting freedom of expression in an election when, in reality, the complaint was about the timing of the province's decision.

Changing the composition of a city council is "undeniably within the legitimate authority of the legislature," the decision read, since it's a "creature of provincial legislation."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-council-cut-court-battle-...

jerrym

In cancelling solar and wind projects, the Ford government isn't saving money, its paying hundreds of millions because of lost transfer payments for such greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.  

The Doug Ford government spent more than $230 million to axe more than 750 renewable-energy projects, despite promising taxpayers the move wouldn't cost them a cent.

The spending was revealed in question period Monday by NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns, who said the cost was hidden in the province’s 2018-19 public accounts as a “strange little entry” labelled “other transactions.” 

“How can the premier claim he’s saving taxpayers and ratepayers money when he’s throwing away $231 million to not build renewable energy?” Tabuns said.

Ontario’s associate energy minister, Bill Walker, didn’t deny the number: “We thought maybe (this question) would be coming at some point,” he said.  ...

The government cancelled the 758 wind and solar projects — including the contentious White Pines Wind Project in Milford, Ont. — soon after Ford took office in June 2018. At the time, the government said scrapping the projects would result in energy-bill savings for Ontarians. 

Walker said the green-energy projects weren’t necessary and were, in some cases, unwanted. He pointed in particular to White Pines, which had been partially constructed when Ford cancelled it — one of the premier’s first acts after taking office in June 2018. 

“This municipality was an unwilling host from Day 1,” Walker said on Tuesday. “They did not want the turbines, and we did the right thing.”

White Pines in particular had been a decade in the making, receiving final approval during the election that swept Ford to power. Axing the project was a Progressive Conservative campaign promise (the demolition process started in October). ...

The company behind White Pines, wpd Canada, previously warned that the cancellation could leave taxpayers out $100 million, but Ford’s government said it was crafting legislation to avoid that cost.

Tabuns compared the Ford governments’ actions to those of the previous Liberal government, whose cancellation of gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville cost the province more than $1 billion.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/07/13/news/ontario-cancelling-758-...

 

 

jerrym

Ontario Conservative Energy and former federal Conservative Minister of Natural Resources Greg Rickford cited a climate change denial blog in justifying the Ford government's ending green energy projects in Ontario. 

 

During question period at Queen's Park Monday, Rickford called Climate Change Dispatch one of his "favourite periodicals."

The website says its mission is to "deconstruct" climate change theories "propagated" by former U.S. vice president Al Gore and "the highly politicized" International Panel on Climate Change. It asks for donations to help "fight garbage science."

Rickford quoted from a post on the site, titled "Germany Pulls Plug on Wind Energy As Industry Suffers 'Severe Crisis'," in response to questioning from the Opposition about $230-million in cancelled renewable enery contracts in Ontario. ...

Rickford's comments come on the same day that the United Nations Environment Programme released its annual Emissions Gap Report. ...

The 168-page document, compiled by 57 leading scientists from 33 institutions across 25 countries, calls on governments to act immediately, within the next decade, to limit global warming to 1.5 C or 2 C by 2100.  ...

The NDP decried Rickford's reference on Tuesday, calling the site a "conspiracy website" and "digital rag."

It pointed out other articles on Climate Change Dispatch, including one post entitled "Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is Not a Pollutant" and a positive review of a book that compares climate activism to attitudes in Nazi Germany.

"Hate-filled conspiracy theories are not a foundation for good policy," said NDP Climate Crisis critic Peter Tabuns in a statement.

"We are past the point of debating whether climate change exists. Ontarians know climate change is real, and caused by human action. Does this government know that?"  

Meanwhile, a group of young Ontarians is suing the province over what they say is climate change inaction, arguing that the government has violated their charter rights by softening emissions reduction targets.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/greg-rickford-climate-change-blog...

 

jerrym

On the same as Ontario Engergy Minister Greg Rickford quoted a climate change denial blog (described in post #150) to justify ending funding for  green engergy projects in Ontario, a group of young people sued the Ford government over its inaction on global warming, demanding greater action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province. 

 Climate director of Ecojustice, Alan Andrews, warns that any province that fails to deal with climate change in a meaningful way will face litigation. The Trudeau federal government has already been sued by young people over its failure to deal with climate change. 

One of the plaintiffs is Shaelyn Wabegijig,  a 22 year old from the Rama First Nation near Orillia, who said  she's concerned about having children if the effects of climate change continue to worsen.

 one or more people and outdoor

A group of young Ontarians is suing the province over what they say is climate change inaction, arguing that the Ford government has violated their charter rights by softening emissions reduction targets.

The group claims that recent policy changes "will lead to widespread illness and death," an alleged violation of Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which promises protection for life, liberty and security of the person.

They are calling on the Ontario government to commit to more ambitious emission reductions with the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5 C, a key target set out in the United Nations' Paris Agreement on climate change.

"Doug Ford is not doing enough to protect our future and it's just unacceptable," said Sophia Mathur, a 12-year-old from Sudbury and one of seven applicants taking part. "I just want to live a normal life in the future; I shouldn't have to be doing this, but adults aren't doing a good job," she told CBC News. ...

"I'm afraid that so many species that I love will go extinct," added Zoe Keary-Matzner, 13, from Toronto. "And that children in the future won't be able to enjoy nature the same way I do."

The applicants, ranging from age 12 to 24, are represented by Stockwoods LLP and Ecojustice, a group that specializes in public interest lawsuits in the name of environmental protection. Their challenge is part of a growing trend in which young people across the globe are suing governments over perceived inaction on climate change. ...

Earlier this year, more than a dozen young Canadians launched a similar lawsuit against the federal government. Similar legal challenges have gone to courts in the U.S. and the Netherlands, with varying degrees of success. This is the first lawsuit filed against a Canadian province over climate inaction.

"Any government that is failing to address the climate emergency in a meaningful way can expect to face litigation of this nature," said Alan Andrews, climate director at Ecojustice. ...

The group is focusing its lawsuit on the Ford government's decision to scale back emission targets set by the Liberals in 2015.

The previous plan called for a 37-per-cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The reduction target climbed to 80 per cent by 2050.

Under the Progressive Conservatives, Ontario now plans to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. There is no longer a 2050 target.

The PCs have also repealed a cap-and-trade agreement that gave companies incentives to reduce carbon emissions. They are also in the process of challenging a carbon tax imposed by Ottawa to take its place. ...

"People are very focused on other things; on making money, focusing on the economy, that they don't think about their connection to mother earth," said applicant Shaelyn Wabegijig, 22.

Wabegijig, who grew up at Rama First Nation near Orillia, said she's concerned about having children if the effects of climate change continue to worsen.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-youth-climate-change-laws...

jerrym

Non-profit organizations and charities are not only suffering from Ford government cuts but even more so from the ongoing fast changes done without consultation to these organizations. 

Charities and other non-profit agencies in Ontario say the Ford government has created "a climate of uncertainty and volatility" that is making it harder for them to do their work. 

The umbrella group representing the 58,000 non-profit organizations in the province says that while budget cuts are having an impact in the sector, most agencies are more concerned that the government has made changes rapidly and without consultation.  ...

Non-profit groups "are now operating in a climate of growing uncertainty and volatility," says the report, which includes the results of a survey of nearly 450 agencies. "Organizations aren't just worried about having their funding streams cut, but also the speed and uncertainty of the decision-making process, as well as the lack of information, details, and engagement with the sector by the provincial government," the report reads.  

One anonymous survey respondent expects major changes will result from the government's review of granting agencies, but added: "We just don't know what [the changes] are, when they'll be announced, or even what process is being used and who's involved." ...

The report raises concerns about the "rapid transformation" resulting from the government's overhauls of health care and employment training systems and it urges the government to consult with the non-profit sector before making significant reforms. "We consult on virtually every single thing we do," said Vic Fedeli, minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, in a news conference on Friday. ...

Non-profits "are struggling with how to have enough resources to do the work that they need to do in their communities and to keep on top of all the changes that are happening in the public policy area of the provincial government," said Cathy Taylor, executive director of the Ontario Nonprofit Network.  ...

The speed at which changes were made, the government's reversals on some changes, and the financial cuts have together "made it difficult for non-profits to operate," Taylor said in an interview. 

Nearly 30 per cent of non-profits surveyed said their budgets decreased as a result of provincial changes, and another 11 per cent were still uncertain whether their budgets would be cut several months after the budget was tabled. 

Some agencies surveyed raised concerns about the upheaval caused by the province abruptly changing funding commitments part-way through a non-profit's financial year. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-government-ontario-non-...

jerrym

The just released Ontario auditor general's report blasted the Ford government's climate action plan for not having any chance of coming anywhere near achieving its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, despite Ford's claims otherwise. Ford is probably would love to fire the auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, if he could, like he did the environmental commissioner, Diane Saxe. 

Image result for photo Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk,

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk

The threadbare climate and environment policies of Doug Ford’s Ontario government are insufficient to meet Ontario’s 2030 emission reduction targets and are riddled with errors and omissions, according to the province’s fiscal watchdog.

The Progressive Conservative government calculated some reductions based on green policies it scrapped when it came to power last year, double-counted other savings, and failed to properly estimate costs for more than half of the initiatives in its Made-in-Ontario environment plan, Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk said.

“Our audit concluded that the emission-reduction estimates in the plan are not based on sound evidence or sufficient detail,” Lysyk said in her 2019 annual report, which was released on Wednesday. ...

The scathing critique of the replacement environment plan the Ford government first put forward in November last year is part of a wide-ranging four-volume report considering the value-for-money of a range of government policies, including those related to hospitals and health care; the judiciary and prisons; and food, vehicle and workplace safety.

Its sections on climate change and environmental policy are the first reckoning Ford has faced on that file from an independent watchdog since he fired Dianne Saxe, the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, and transferred a portion of her mandate to the auditor general’s office on April 1. ...

The report says the environment ministry’s own calculations from last November would only get the province’s globe-warming emissions to 160.9 megatonnes (Mt) by 2030. 

That is well short of the 143.3 Mt target it would need hit to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, its stated policy goal.

But Lysyk’s office in August also asked Ontario’s environment ministry to recalculate its forecast to account for new data, and in response the ministry lowered its projections to say it expected to emit 163.6 Mt in 2030, even further from a target many critics say is not ambitious enough.

The report did not estimate the cost to Ontario of dealing with the effects of climate change, which include more severe and more frequent flooding and other extreme weather that is putting a heavy strain on the insurance industry. 

Global economic losses from climate-related extreme events were estimated at around $10 billion a year in the 1970s and since 2010 have exceeded $100 billion (at constant 2012 currency values), according to a 2015 report commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. ...

The report was immediately jumped on by climate activists and opposition politicians, with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath saying it showed Ford’s government “is acting like the climate crisis isn’t a problem.” ...

Keith Stewart, Greenpeace Canada’s senior energy strategist, went further, saying that the auditor general had ”unmasked Doug Ford’s so-called climate plan as a fraud.”

The report shows that Ontario’s climate change plan falls apart under serious scrutiny, Environmental Defence’s Sarah Buchanan said, and actually works against serious climate action. ...

The auditor general said the most egregious error in the government’s climate change calculations was an assumption that Ontario vehicle owners would switch in large numbers to electric models despite its slashing of rebates on such purchases and their supporting infrastructure and the ripping up of charging stations at Toronto-area train stations. ...

Ford’s environment ministry had assumed the number of electric vehicles in Ontario would jump from 41,000 in 2019 to 1.3 million by 2030, reducing emissions by 2.6 Mt, “but had no policy mechanisms to drive this uptake,” the report said. ...

The report also pointed out major policy changes that did not comply with the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights, including the repeal of cap and trade without public consultation. Ford’s government had argued that the Ontario election last year amounted to a “substantial equivalent” to that consultation, an argument the Ontario Divisional Court rejected in October. ...

Her report also said the provincial environment ministry was being undermined by actions taken in other parts of the government that were not adequately taking into account the environmental impacts of their decisions.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/12/04/news/ontario-auditor-general...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Hundreds of women fleeing abuse turned away by shelters

Tracy and her husband had been having trouble for months. There had been lots of yelling, as well as some pushing and shoving.

On Nov. 6, Tracy's husband attacked her, smashing her phone. She fought back. She had to get out.

"It was 11:30 at night and I called 311 and said, 'Do you know if there's any shelters?'" she recalled. "She just basically gave me phone numbers of different places that I could try."

None of the women's shelters on the list had any beds available. With $98 to her name, Tracy began driving around town, looking for an inexpensive hotel.

CBC has agreed to let Tracy use a pseudonym to protect her identity, and her safety.

When Tracy finally found a place on Prince of Wales Drive, there was no vacancy. The man behind the desk offered to keep an eye on her while she slept in her car in the parking lot. 

The temperature was hovering around zero that night, but it was the best offer she'd had.

Nearly 700 women turned away

Tracy's experience is far from unique.

There are just 120 beds at Ottawa's five Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters, and demand from women needing a safe place to sleep far outweighs the supply.

"From April 1 of this year, 698 women have sought shelter in a VAW emergency shelter and have been turned away," said Keri Lewis, executive director of Nelson House, which runs one of those shelters in addition to offering other services.

But women aren't always turned away because all the beds are full. 

According to Lewis, there are 30 to 40 shelter beds in Ottawa, including five at Nelson House, lying empty on any given night because the agencies don't have enough staff and resources to make them available.

"I used to be able to say that any woman fleeing violence in our community could find a safe place to sleep at night. But that is no longer the case," Lewis said.....

NDPP

Ontarians With Full and Part-Time Jobs Increasingly Using Food Banks, Report Says

https://globalnews.ca/news/6247567/ontarians-full-part-time-jobs-increas...

"The organization overseeing Ontario's food banks says residents with full and part-time jobs are increasingly reaching out for help to put food on their tables. Feed Ontario says the number of foodbank users with jobs has gone up 27 percent over the last three years. It also found that nearly half of those currently earning minimum wage are over the age of 25, with a third of them having a post-secondary degree..."

In Canada those who have enough care not a whit about those without, and never will. Certainly not enough to actually do anything. Nor do their politicians as  evidenced by all governments in Canada. They will do nothing but help themselves. Conditions continue to be barbaric and are getting worse. Time for those without to take the class war to the streets. Think Hong Kong, smash their subways, block their roads, burn their businesses etc.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

In Canada those who have enough care not a whit about those without, and never will. Certainly not enough to actually do anything. Nor do their politicians as  evidenced by all governments in Canada. They will do nothing but help themselves. Conditions continue to be barbaric and are getting worse. Time for those without to take the class war to the streets. Think Hong Kong, smash their subways, block their roads, burn their businesses etc.

So, you're saying that not a single Canadian who isn't in poverty cares about these issues, and therefore they all deserve to be liquidated, is that right? Pretty harsh judgment. I think it's rather likely that there are a few exceptions, people who aren't in poverty, but also don't deserve the guillotine. But to you, they're invisible or just insignificant, part of the universe of enemies you have created in your simplistic, one dimensional ideology of resentment. Sucks to be you.

jerrym

Mr. Ford's 'No More Mr. Mean Guy' persona is, as you likely guessed, part of his plan to get re-elected while carrying out the same policies that helped drive his unpopularity. 

Toronto’s happiest day in many years was not a good day for Doug Ford. On June 17, when two million basketball fans came out for the Raptors’ victory parade, the throngs of ecstatic people in Nathan Phillips Square cheered for Mayor John Tory and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but heartily booed the premier when he was announced.

For a politician who sees himself as a man of the people, the boos are said to have come as a personal blow, an obvious, public manifestation of what the polls had been showing for months: his government was at least as unpopular as the one he had replaced a year earlier. Ford staffers push back at suggestions the booing was a key moment for the premier, saying he took it in stride, but within days the once combative Ford had shifted gears. In rapid succession, Ford shuffled his cabinet and accepted the resignation of chief of staff Dean French, who had alienated caucus members and staffers and repeatedly embarrassed the boss with a number of hard-to-explain scandals. ...

Ford, who had driven out the Liberals after 15 years by promising to cut spending without cutting jobs, seems not to have been prepared for the public reaction to the budget cuts in the first budget, and his government was leaky, disorganized, constantly backtracking and looking foolish in one way or another.

He pushed hard to cut spending, but then repeatedly backed off under complaints that he ought to have expected. The result: he has alienated important constituencies without reducing spending, which has disappointed fiscal conservatives hoping the province would tackle its debt. ...

People close to Ford say nothing in his previous experience—running a medium-sized label company and serving one term on city council—prepared him for the subtle, difficult job of governing Ontario. The qualities that had served him well previously—his bluff authenticity, his accessibility, his salesman-like way with people—had not scaled up to the job at hand. ...

Insiders say that although published polling may not show it, things have turned around, and they have a plan to recover further.

French’s replacement, former Postmedia executive Jamie Wallace, is doing things by the book, which is making life easier on staff and caucus. “Things got real sensible real quick,” says one insider. And Ford has put his more popular cabinet ministers in the window, letting Finance Minister Rod Phillips, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Transport Minister Carolyn Mulroney manage their files and communicate directly.

A big part of the recovery plan is: No more Mr. Mean Guy. In his first year in office, Ford was constantly feuding. With members of his caucus, with Toronto City Council, with francophones, parents of autistic children, with former leader Patrick Brown, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “There are real substantive issues that need to be dealt with, so why are you waking up in the morning, like they were in the first year, and saying, who are we going to fight with today?” says one Tory insider.

That has stopped. “We’ve kept him out of fights,” says Kory Teneycke, his campaign manager in 2018 and in the next provincial election. “When you’re out there fighting with everybody, it’s hard to be popular.” ...

The next step is for the premier to show off his affable side. His team thinks the long-time salesman ought to be able to use his easy way with people to demonstrate to Ontarians that he can work well with other leaders.

Ford is hoping to play Captain Canada, facilitating conversations between other premiers. ...

The relationship with Trudeau is also key to Ford’s political revival. Their first two meetings were hostile, and Ford frequently attacked Trudeau in his first year in office, acting more like a federal opposition politician than the leader of another level of government.

But in the recent federal election, Ford stayed quiet while Trudeau repeatedly attacked him. ... 

But Ford took the shots, held his tongue and after the election he signalled a desire to put the attacks aside and work with Ottawa.

Ford wants federal money for some big infrastructure projects, and to get it he will need to co-operate with Trudeau and Tory. “John Tory and Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau all have a reason to agree on infrastructure spending in the GTA. ...

The conventional wisdom in political circles in Toronto and Ottawa is that Ford will be defeated by the Liberals in the election in June 2022, but there are good reasons to think he can come back, says pollster Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, which tracks the approval ratings of Canadian premiers.

“He has kept his base,” she said in an interview. “He still has 37 per cent approval. On the one hand that sounds dismal, but on the other hand, I’ve seen quarters where a premier with 37 per cent would be at the top of the heap, not the bottom.”

Pollster David Herle, who co-managed three campaigns for former premier Kathleen Wynne, thinks Ford’s personality will scuttle the idea of an image change. “Who are they replacing him with?” he said. “We’ve been watching him his whole life, right? We know what he’s like. I’m very skeptical of that.”

Herle thinks the caucus, looking at likely defeat, may try to force him out. ...

Even his allies think that it is a possibility that his party could try to dump him through a caucus revolt. “Ontario Tories are only good at two things, losing elections and knifing leaders,” says one Tory insider. ...

The insiders say the good news for Ford is that there may be a more tempting target in Ottawa. “I actually think Scheer’s leadership problems make it much less likely, because all the people who like insurrections actually have a fun one they can participate in.”

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/premier-doug-fords-recovery-plan-no-mor...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Ford :You pay for who you elect.

Wynne was smeared as a perverted lesbian over a plan to provide sex education to grade school kids. The real policies she was promising would have helped everyone in Ontario. But no. ' Don't DARE educate my kids about masturbation '

Pathetic. Enjoy your over fed, over indulged former drug dealer that campaigned without a platform apart from platitudes like Stopping the Gravy Train..This man was born and raised on a gravy train. I'm sure his sycophantic MPP's are waiting for all that gravy to spray into their mouths.  Good cholice.

jerrym

The Ford government lost its court battle over its Student Choice Initiative, which was a directive allowing post-secondary students to opt out of paying some student fees. The non essential services targeted by Ford were student unions, campus newspapers and radio stations, food banks and service centres, in other words anything aimed at helping or informing students. Of course athletics was labelled essential. However, Ford will appeal the decision. 

The Student Choice Initiative was first announced in January. Then-Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton claimed at the time that students in Ontario were being forced to pay for “services they do not use and organizations they do not support.”

The initiative was quashed by an Ontario divisional court last month, after the Canadian Federation of Students and the York Federation of Students challenged the government’s ability to allow students to opt out of paying for services and groups deemed “non-essential.” (The court found in their analysis that CFS and YFS fees represented just $60.60 out of the $8,687.30 students were paying in tuition, university and student ancillary fees each year.)

The list of non-essential services included student unions, campus newspapers and radio stations, food banks and service centres. Several had been mounting campaigns to maintain student support. The court ruling pointed out that the government hadn’t offered an explanation for why it labelled student association fees as “non-essential,” while athletics — a more expensive endeavour — were labelled as essential.

“Indeed, aside from the statement made by the Premier in the fundraising letter, no explanation is provided by Ontario as to why Cabinet concluded that, of all the components of ancillary fees charged to college and university students, only one — student association fees — was deemed by Cabinet to be non-essential,” the decision from the court, posted online by the CFS, reads. The Doug Ford fundraising letter in question, which the court deemed irrelevant and did not consider in its decision, accused student unions of “crazy Marxist nonsense.”

Pressed on Tuesday for an explanation of why athletic fees were deemed essential, Romano demurred. “I’m not able to elaborate, again, given that the matter is presently under an appeal, but what I can say is that we have protected certain programs or certain services as essential,” he said.

Among its conclusions, last month’s court decision additionally noted that student associations were private, not-for-profit corporations, which Ontario does not fund or control, directly or indirectly. “The autonomy of universities, as private institutions, is fundamental to the academic freedom that is their hallmark,” the decision reads. ...

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath accused the government on Tuesday of trying to “put the screws to the students unions.” “Instead of dragging this through the courts, what they need to do is provide funding for the organizations that were run by student unions that help support students,” Horwath said. “Because those folks — those organizations, those services — had to lay people off, they had to withdraw services from students in university and college, and that’s ridiculous.”

https://ipolitics.ca/2019/12/10/ford-government-to-appeal-student-choice...

jerrym

Below is a list of the programs Ford has cut and then backtracked mostly because of public pressure or court rulings. 

Legal aid: The 2019 budget cut that year’s funding for Legal Aid Ontario by $133 million — or 30 per cent — and planned $31 million in further cuts over the next two years. Eight months later, the government announced it was cancelling those future cuts.

E-learning and class sizes: The government angered teachers in March when it announced it was increasing average high school class sizes from 22 to 28, and mandating that students take four online courses to graduate. In the context of difficult negotiations with the education unions, the education minister has offered to walk that class size target back to 25, and announced that students will now instead be required to take two online courses to graduate.

Subway upload: Ford promised during the 2018 election to upload Toronto’s subway system to help leverage the province’s financial and planning powers to build transit infrastructure faster. The province has now announced it will not take control of the subway system, in exchange for the city’s support of the province’s transit plan.

Transition Child Benefit: The government had planned to stop the benefit as of Nov. 1, but has now decided to continue it as the province reviews its social assistance programs. The benefit provides up to $230 a month for low-income families not receiving other child benefits.

Children’s aid society funding: The government’s spending estimates for this fiscal year had showed a $28 million cut to funding for children’s aid societies, but has now decided to maintain the same funding model as last year.

Autism: In February, the government announced a revamp of the Ontario Autism Program. It was framed as a way to clear a massive waiting list for services, but would have given families a relatively small amount of money based on their income, not the needs of their child. It also would have effectively cut off thousands of kids currently in government-funded therapy. After a loud and sustained outcry, the government announced a reversal, saying it was going back to the drawing board on a needs-based program and would double the current budget.

Public health: Mayors across the province banded together to fight retroactive cuts to public health funding, and the government ultimately relented. The cuts, in the form of a new cost-sharing arrangement, will mostly go ahead in 2020, but the mid-year cuts that would have taken effect after municipalities had already passed their budgets were cancelled.

Child care: Municipalities will still have to pay 20 per cent of the cost of creating new child care spaces — which the province previously fully funded — as announced at the same time as the public health cuts. But the government backed off somewhat on other elements of child-care funding cuts, delaying some to 2021 and others to 2022.

French university: As part of the government’s efforts to balance the books, it announced last fall that it was cancelling plans for a French-language university. The move sparked an outcry among Franco-Ontarians and prompted a Progressive Conservative caucus member to quit. In September, Ontario and the federal government announced they had reached an agreement on jointly funding a French-language university.

Appointments: Ford revoked two appointments for agents-general positions in London and New York City. One person was reported to be related to Ford’s then-chief of staff, Dean French, and it emerged that the other played lacrosse with French’s son.

Greenbelt: Ontario announced in January that it would not move forward with a controversial element of proposed legislation that could have opened up the province’s protected Greenbelt to development.

Size of cabinet: When Doug Ford came to power he cut the size of the cabinet to 21 people, down from 29 under former premier Kathleen Wynne. In a cabinet shuffle this summer, he added several new portfolios, bringing the size to 28.

https://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/2019/12/09/a-list-of-cuts-and-progr...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..petition

Mayor Tory: Declare Homelessness An Emergency To Prevent More Deaths And Suffering

This past month there have been eight reported homeless deaths in the City of Toronto.

The City has failed to shelter the most vulnerable. All seven Respite Centres are full, the two 24-hour women’s drop-ins and the Out of the Cold program are over capacity on many nights. The Assessment and Referral Centre on Peter Street is unable to operate as a referral centre as there are insufficient beds in the system.

Instead, fifty people sleep in chairs there each night. They are the lucky ones. Hundreds upon hundreds of people are forced to sleep outside due to failed shelter and housing policies. They are in grave danger. Their precarious situation has been exacerbated by the onslaught of an early winter leaving them completely exposed and vulnerable......

jerrym

After the Ford government removed a sales rebate for electric vehicles, sales plummetted dramatically in Ontario. Not coincidentally, at the same time electric cars sales have fallen dramatically in the province, Ontario is the only province in which sales of electric cars are not rising. BC's and Quebec's rebate system have helped these provinces lead the way in electric car sales. I guess the fossil fuel companies should increase their donations to the Ontario Conservatives.

Sales of electric vehicles in Ontario have plummeted since the Progressive Conservative government cancelled a rebate last year, hampering progress toward a national target.

In the first six months of this year, sales in Ontario were down more than 55 per cent from the same period in 2018, according to data from Electric Mobility Canada. In the second quarter of this year 2,933 electric vehicles were sold in the province, down from 7,110 in the same period last year.

Ontario is the only province not seeing increases in sales, year over year.

Quebec and British Columbia, which have their own provincial rebates, have long been leading in total sales. Ontario's figures had been increasing on par with theirs until the province's financial incentive disappeared.

They rebounded after the introduction this spring of a $5,000 federal rebate, but national sales of electric vehicles are still only at 3.5 per cent, which is a far cry from the federal government's target of 10 per cent in 2025.

"It's going to be challenging for the federal government to meet that target...then even more by 2030 (when Ottawa hopes the number rises to 30 per cent)," said Al Cormier of Electric Mobility Canada.

"If Ontario was in the game again it would make the whole thing a lot easier."

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/12/15/news/sales-electric-vehicles...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..created a resistance thread

Aristotleded24

Hamilton LRT cancelled:

Quote:

The Ontario government cancelled $1 billion in funding for Hamilton's light-rail transit system on Monday, killing it amid a chaotic afternoon that included a hastily cancelled news conference, city councillors facing down police and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney leaving the city with a police escort. 

Mulroney left without actually making her announcement. Her press conference was called off at the last minute when protesters, anticipating that the LRT would be cancelled, filed into the room at the downtown Sheraton hotel.

It was Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who had only just been briefed by the province, who told the room. 

"In my view that's a betrayal of the city of Hamilton," he said to reporters. "That is not working in good faith with a partner."

"Their timing on this is just outrageous," said Eisenberger. "If they were going to do this, they could have picked a better way."

A Minister needing an actual police escort? This government seems to be deeply angering people.

 

jerrym

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger criticized the Ford government for eliminating Hamilton's LRT without consultation while not cutting other projects. Is this payback for not electing Conservatives?

The Doug Ford government told us today the provincial government will be terminating Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) project effective immediately.

Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney and Metrolinx informed myself and City staff that the estimated cost of the LRT project have nearly doubled since they shared their recommitment and bench marking numbers. The true cost of the project would have been finalized when the request for proposals (RFPs) were delivered in March 2020. Estimates are estimates. Talking about numbers ahead of the RFP is malpractice.

LRT was a massive investment project for the City of Hamilton. It would have created hundreds of jobs, economic uplift, increased affordable housing, cut CO2 emissions drastically and built a City of Hamilton ready for the future. My thoughts are with the 40 individuals in the Hamilton LRT office impacted by this announcement.

I am extremely disappointed by the Minister’s approach to informing the City of this announcement and for cancelling their scheduled media availability and briefing.

No other projects have been quashed. Although Mississauga and Toronto projects are more expensive than advertised, they are going ahead. This is a betrayal by the province to the City of Hamilton. This will not only hurt Hamilton’s economy, but Ontario’s economy.

The message to the world is that Ontario is an unreliable partner. Ontario is not a place where you can do business because of the Ford government. Ford’s message to the world is take your business elsewhere.

While I am pleased the Ford government remains committed to giving Hamilton $1 billion in transit infrastructure, today’s announcement rollout is a poor way to do business and an irrational way to create a positive partnership moving forward. 

jerrym

It's hard to get the Chamber of Commerce, environmentalists and the NDP on the same side but Doug Ford had done that with the cancelation of the Hamilton LRT. Not coincidentally, four out of the five Hamilton regions MPPs are NDP, suggesting political payback to voters is part of the Ford government decision process. 

Hamilton’s business lobby and other critics lambasted the Doug Ford government Monday after Ontario’s transportation minister pulled $1 billion in promised funding for a light rail project.

After hastily cancelling a news conference in Hamilton where protestors were assembled, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said in a statement that the project’s costs had ballooned to five times its original estimate, blaming the former Liberal government for hiding the true costs. 

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce fired back, calling the decision “irresponsible and reckless.” And Mayor Fred Eisenberger said cost estimates for the LRT ⁠— which would have reduced the city’s carbon emissions, limited urban sprawl and created hundreds of jobs ⁠— hadn’t even been finalized.

“It’s hard to hear the province’s ‘Open for Business’ mantra without laughing,” Keanin Loomis, the president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. ...

The 14-kilometre, 17-stop LRT was expected to connect with the regional GO Transit rail and bus networks as well as local buses. It was due to be completed by 2024, said Metrolinx, the Crown agency that manages public transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. ...

Metrolinx had already acquired 60 of the roughly 90 commercial and residential properties it needed to demolish or alter to make room for the LRT. It had spent $162 million on the project up to the end of September this year, including around $80 million to acquire property, the chamber of commerce said.  The government had ordered a pause on the purchases soon after its winning power in the June 2018 provincial election, but then-transport minister Jeff Yurek said in March that they could resume, the director of the LRT project office, Kris Jacobson, said in a status report to council in April. ...

Hamilton Mayor Eisenberger, for his part, said talking about cost estimates ahead of a process to consider bid proposals amounted to malpractice on the part of Mulroney and Metrolinx, the regional transit agency charged with building the project.

A map of the proposed Hamilton LRT project. Source: Hamilton city website

NDP members of provincial parliament representing Hamilton ridings, including leader Andrea Horwath,were quick to attack the Ford government for the pulled funding and said they would “fight like hell” to save the long-awaited transit project.

Scott Duvall, MPP for Hamilton Mountain, said it was a “shameful” decision. “Careless and short-sighted cuts are quickly becoming the calling card of this government,” he tweeted.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/12/16/news/hamilton-slams-doug-for...

 

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

"I'm dreaming of #whitesupremacist Christmas."

jerrym

The Ford government is trying to win back voters with a change of tone but that is hard to due when you cancel projects and funding for Hamilton's LRT that keep reminding them of all of the earlier cancelations and cuts such as autism and education funding. 

Ford has an extensive record of opposing light-rail transit, and he found in Hamilton a project that he could kill without incurring prohibitive penalties (financial or political), so its fate was always uncertain under this government. ...

It’s an odd ending to a very long year for the Tories. They’ve been on the backfoot for most of the last 12 months, starting in January when the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark announced the province was abandoning a controversial section of Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. The section in question would have allowed municipalities to bypass numerous environmental protection laws including the Greenbelt Act. Things got worse with the presentation of the spring budget, which included retroactive cuts to municipal transfers that were only announced after the fiscal year had already begun, and specifically targeted Toronto for pain. Once again, the government was eventually forced to back down. Amidst all that was the constellation of patronage scandals the government endured before Ford fired his chief of staff and shuffled his cabinet. ...

For a brief time, Queen’s Park observers (including this one) were talking about “a change of tone” from the premier’s office: no longer was the government going out to find new fights to start wherever it could. Our own Steve Paikin noted the premier’s good grace when he unveiled the official portrait of his predecessor Kathleen Wynne earlier this month. While the change in tone was real enough, the news of the last few weeks illustrates the limits to what tone can do.

The government has to do real things and make real choices, and despite what political spin doctors tell themselves to justify their invoices, tone can’t hide the real impacts of government decisions. The Hamilton LRT is one example of this: Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney can try to convince Steeltowners that she’s sad about the unfortunate need to find budget savings in Hamilton’s transit plan, but numerous groups and businesses had started to plan their futures around an LRT that isn’t going to be built now. No number of cleverly worded press releases is going to change that.

The government has the same problem on two other big files they’ve been trying to handle at the end of the year: education and autism. There are two very different contexts, and two different antagonists for the government — teachers’ unions and the parents of children with autism. And the nature of each argument is different: the unions are using the legal tools they have to pressure the government, while parents are using more informal but no-less-effective methods.

But in both cases, the government faces the same basic problem. The ministers responsible for these files — Stephen Lecce and Todd Smith, respectively — are decent enough communicators and haven’t been outrageously inflammatory in negotiations, but this is a real disagreement over the facts of public policy: advocates want the government to spend more money, and the Tories really, really don’t want to. Spin and tone aren’t going to change the facts, which suggests we haven’t seen the last case of parents bursting into tears at government announcements, like we did this week.

So 2019 ends with the Tories looking at a bunch of regrets from the past year and few good options in the year ahead. Meanwhile, polls rate Ford as the least popular premier in the countryunloved even by other conservatives, and the party overall is struggling against even the leaderless Liberals. If Progressive Conservative MPPs didn’t love this year, they may not love what 2020 has in store for them.

https://www.tvo.org/article/the-ford-government-ends-2019-with-a-lesson-...

jerrym

The Ontario NDP is criticizing the Ford government for its cancelation of a Eastern Ontario wind farm based on faulty science, a cancelation that could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. The NDP already revealed last months that the Cons cancelation of other renewable energy project contracts has cost the province $231 million.

NDP call out Ford government for wasting taxpayer dollars on cancelled wind farm

A wind turbine is silhouetted against the setting sun (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

A government decision to cancel an eastern Ontario wind farm to save local bat species was based on faulty science and could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, the province’s official opposition said Friday.

A pair of New Democrat legislators said the Progressive Conservatives have made a mistake by scrapping the Nation Rise Wind Farm near Cornwall, Ont. and are using concerns about the bat population as an excuse to halt the green energy development.

NDP environment critic Ian Arthur and climate change critic Peter Tabuns said the party consulted with a British Columbia-based scientist specializing in migratory bats, adding her findings raise concerns about the rationale for cancelling the project and the implications for future government decisions. “The unfortunate thing is when you try to use flimsy scientific evidence in this manner you undermine the credibility of scientific work that is being done all across Canada and the world,” Arthur said at a news conference.

Earlier this month, Environment Minister Jeff Yurek revoked the project’s approval, citing the risk to three bat species. His decision came despite a ruling from the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal that determined the risk the project posed to the bat population was negligible.

Nation Rise has launched a legal challenge of the government decision, and is asking the Ontario divisional court to set it aside. ...

The NDP’s critiques of the project were based on the findings of Erin Baerwald, a conservation biologist specializing in migratory bats at the University of Northern British Columbia, who examined at the work done by Nation Rise and disagrees with the government’s decision.

She said the company offered to shut down its turbines during low wind speeds and autumn migrations, a move she said would reduce bat fatalities by more than 50 per cent. “They did all the right things,” she said of the company’s work. “They went above and beyond what the Ontario (government) requires for bat surveys. They proactively and voluntarily agreed to implement some pretty strict mitigation strategies.”

Tabuns said the Nation Rise project cancellation marks the government’s latest instance of scrapping green energy deals at a steep financial cost to taxpayers. Last month, the NDP revealed that the province had spent $231 million to cancel more than 750 renewable energy contracts shortly after winning the 2018 election.

“(Premier) Doug Ford needs to come clean about how much his destruction of wind farms is costing the people of Ontario,” he said. “They’re completely wasting money.”

https://www.680news.com/2019/12/20/ndp-call-out-ford-government-for-wast...

jerrym

The environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion dropped a load of manure at Doug Ford's constituency office Sunday morning. 

Another sign at the Extinction Rebellion protest at Premier Doug Ford\’s office in Etobicoke.

 Another sign at the Extinction Rebellion protest at Premier Doug Ford\’s office in Etobicoke. Global News

 

A climate activist group dumped a pile of manure at Premier Doug Ford‘s constituency office Sunday morning.

The group, Extinction Rebellion, dropped off the surprise at Ford’s office in Etobicoke just after 9 a.m.

Extinction Rebellion said in a press release the manure was a response to Ontario’s Auditor General “effectively declaring the Conservative provincial government climate action promise is a load of crap.” ...

The incident comes a couple of months after Extinction Rebellion shut down the Bloor Viaduct in protest of climate change on Oct. 7. ...

At the time, the group wrote on its website that the demonstration was part of a global rebellion, with similar protests happening around the world and across Canada.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6328786/doug-ford-constituency-office-climate...

jerrym

Despite Ford's 'change of tone' their is no evidence in polling that this is bearing any fruit in either his or the Cons' popularity. I suggest his policies just might have something to do with that. 

The media has picked up on efforts to present a kinder, refreshed, genteel Doug Ford, but the public has yet to notice.

Impressions of the Ontario Premier have been relatively stable since April 2019 when his negatives first reached the ~60% disapproval threshold and ~20% positive, a dynamic that has not shifted for some time.

Today, 44% of Ontarians report having a very negative impression of the premier, while another 18% describe their view as mostly negative. Nearly everyone has an opinion on Ford– only 4% suggest they don’t know enough to have a view.

Though a fresh face and renewed approach by the Premier would take some time to take root, there has been relatively little traction so far from a public opinion standpoint.

Men particularly drive support for the premier while women tend to have a much dimmer view of the premier. His support is more robust in suburban areas of the province, though there is no edge for the premier in the 905 or significant differences between Toronto voters and the wider GTA.

Income is by far the biggest correlate of views of the premier, with those in households under $50K or less having a significantly more negative view of the premier than those in higher income brackets.

https://abacusdata.ca/doug-ford-reset-public-polling-abacus-2019/

jerrym

The following url keeps track of the Ford government actions since taking office:

http://ofl.ca/power-of-many-ford-tracker-pc-cuts-and-privatization-to-date/

jerrym

And if that is not enough for the people to say enough is enough, the article below discusses what Ford has planned for 2020, in terms of education strikes, the budget, carbon tax appeal, hydro bills, health care changes, transit, selling alcohol in private stores and Ontario Place. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-ontario-politics-lookah...

 

jerrym

After Ford said the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation questioned whether the union has the full backing of its membership in its strike action, union President Harvey Bischof challenged Ford to allow his membership to vote on what the employer has offered. Ford won't do this of course because he knows he will get miniscule support for his position. 

Amidst tense contract negotiations, one provincial teachers’ union is issuing a challenge to Ontario Premier Doug Ford – asking the government to present its contract offer directly to educators and allow teachers to decide for themselves.

Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) tells CTV News Toronto the government has the ability, under the school boards collective bargaining act, to bypass union leadership and appeal directly to teachers.

“The employer side of the bargaining table can require my members to vote on what they’ve placed on the table,” Bischof said.

Under the province’s labour relations act, the government can force a one-time vote on its final contract offer once it’s been rejected by the union’s bargaining team.

“I challenge (Ford) to bring forward his class size increases, bring forward his mandatory e-learning,” Bischof said. “Send it to a vote and have my members vote on it and we’ll see whether or not I’m accurately representing the wishes of my members.”

Bischof’s challenge came in response to an interview with CP24 on Thursday in which Ford questioned whether OSSTF leadership has the full backing of its members.

“What I’m hearing from (teachers) is that they want to stay in the classroom and keep working,” Ford said. “And I differentiate between them and the heads of the unions.”

Bischof said while the union leadership doesn’t have “100 per cent support” teachers, the government is welcome to present its offer to educators.

“If they think that they’ve come to the point that my members would support it and somehow I’m the impediment to getting a deal – I challenge them to bring it forward.”

The ministry of education has yet to comment on the challenge.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/send-it-to-a-vote-provincial-teachers-union-i...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

This makes me laugh. You voted for him and within a few days you want him gone. You never learn your lesson do you? You'd figure the Conservative Party would be dead after the Mike Harris experiment but no. Instead you voted for someone without a platform who was not competent enough for City Hall.

But it's not just Ontario. All the provinces are guilty of this. Never learning their lesson. Same goes for federal politics.

In short, people are stupid and hopelessly ignorant.

Douglas Fir Premier

alan smithee wrote:

The real policies she was promising would have helped everyone in Ontario.

At the time of the 2018 election, Wynne had already been premier for nearly 5.5 years. Speaking as someone who's actually from Ontario, I can assure you, I was not feeling "helped" by her government. She improved thngs for some, but certainly not for all.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

The real policies she was promising would have helped everyone in Ontario.

At the time of the 2018 election, Wynne had already been premier for nearly 5.5 years. Speaking as someone who's actually from Ontario, I can assure you, I was not feeling "helped" by her government. She improved thngs for some, but certainly not for all.

Fair enough. But do you feel any better off? Reading this thread suggests you aren't.

NDPP

"The 1000th name will be added to the Toronto Homeless Memorial today as the greed and neglect that killed them intensifies."

https://twitter.com/JohnOCAP/status/1217083453998542848

Class war now.

Douglas Fir Premier

alan smithee wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

The real policies she was promising would have helped everyone in Ontario.

At the time of the 2018 election, Wynne had already been premier for nearly 5.5 years. Speaking as someone who's actually from Ontario, I can assure you, I was not feeling "helped" by her government. She improved thngs for some, but certainly not for all.

Fair enough. But do you feel any better off? Reading this thread suggests you aren't.

No, I'm certainly worse off today under Ford than I was under Wynne.

But that's merely a continuation of a pattern that's existed my entire adult life. I was worse off under Wynne than under McGuinty. I was worse off under McGuinty than I was under Eves. I was worse off under Eves than I was under Harris. And if I were a few years older and hadn't been living under my parents roof during the Rae years, I'm sure I could say the same thing about going from Rae to Harris, just as I'm certain that things will be worse under Ford's successor, regardless of whether they be Liberal, Tory, or New Democrat. 

jerrym

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

No, I'm certainly worse off today under Ford than I was under Wynne.

But that's merely a continuation of a pattern that's existed my entire adult life. I was worse off under Wynne than under McGuinty. I was worse off under McGuinty than I was under Eves. I was worse off under Eves than I was under Harris. And if I were a few years older and hadn't been living under my parents roof during the Rae years, I'm sure I could say the same thing about going from Rae to Harris, just as I'm certain that things will be worse under Ford's successor, regardless of whether they be Liberal, Tory, or New Democrat. 

The decades-long downward path continues with one of the largest targets being education because it fits both Ford's anti-intellectual and anti-union tendencies as the following article emphasizes.

Ford government is a threat to education in Ontario Premier Ford says one per cent raise is all province will offer, accuses union brass of ‘bad leadership’ as teacher strikes escalate across Ontario, Jan. 16

Doug Ford consistently attacks the heads of teachers’ unions and implies that teachers are unsuspecting dupes of their directives. More than 90 per cent of teachers voted to take action against the destructive education policies of the Ford government.

Unions everywhere provide members with health benefits, labour negotiations, workload assessments and help with stress or harassment. Ford’s preference for small business reflects an American view that every worker should be self-reliant and not look to government regarding fair wages, working conditions or benefits.

In other words, you are on your own. Unions arose in the 19th century to protect workers from punitive working conditions and poor compensation.

After attacking union leaders in his press conference, he says that he respects teachers, but not enough to offer a fair wage equal to inflation or to improve working conditions in schools. In fact, his intent is to eliminate jobs in education.

His attitude is not one of respect, but another way of undermining the quality of public education in Ontario.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2020/01/17/ford-g...

jerrym

Ford  is adding another major problem to the numerous ones he has already created with the proposal to keep Pickering nuclear plant operating beyond its natural life in order to save money.

The Pickering nuclear power plant is already operating beyond the terms of its natural life. Critics warn that the Ford government’s move to eke out a little bit more power from the site is playing with fire. Energy Minister Greg Rickford said on Tuesday that Ontario Power Generation, the provincial agency that operates the site, had proposed keeping four of its six operational reactors going for one year past the already-extended deadline of 2024. 

But critics warn that even one extra year of operations at the site is a risky undertaking. “They are already skating on thin ice, and this is only going to make it even thinner ice,” said Gordon Edwards, a scientist and the founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

That’s because the zirconium alloy used in the hundreds of tubes holding nuclear fuel in Pickering’s reactors are exposed to intense radiation, very hot water, and high pressure, he said. 

“As it gets older, the metal is getting progressively more brittle, meaning it is more inclined to break, more inclined to crack, more inclined to split, and that is very dangerous,” Edwards said.

It costs billions of dollars to replace the tubing, which is what is being done at the refurbishments at the two other nuclear plants in Ontario, in Darlington and on the Bruce Peninsula. 

Ontario is spending some $25 billion between 2016 and 2031 to extend the life of 10 reactors at those sites and maintain the province’s nuclear power capacity at 9,900 megawatts . Ontario’s peak demand has meanwhile fallen from just below 20,000 megawatts in 2005 to under 18,000 megawatts in 2016. 

Nuclear power from Pickering, Darlington and Bruce supplies about 60 percent of Ontario’s total electricity needs.

Anti-nuclear advocates at Ontario Clean Air Alliance said in response to the extension news that Pickering “relies on seriously outdated technology” and is designed in such a way that a problem with any one of its six operational reactors could create a cascading effect on the others.

Angela Bischoff, a director at the group, also said that the plant has been plagued with safety problems over the years, including an accident in 1983 in which a pressure tube suffered a metre-long rupture and a loss of coolant. Coolant loss can cause a surge of power to occur in the reactor core. The site was shut down and two of the four reactors were eventually replaced (and two mothballed) at a cost of $1 billion. 

Then in 1994, another pipe break resulted in a major loss of coolant and a spill of 185 tonnes of heavy water. Emergency measures to cool the core averted a meltdown. 

The proposal would need to receive approval from the industry’s federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). ...

Pickering was initially expected to safely produce power for some 230,000 full power equivalent hours, which is equal to about 30 years of typical operation.  The CNSC upped that to 247,000 hours in 2014, and in 2018, when the CNSC approved the extension of Pickering’s life to 2024, it said its reactors could stretch that to a maximum of 295,000 hours.

A spokesperson for the regulator said it has not yet received notice that OPG intends to amend the terms of its licence. If and when such a notice is received, it would be reviewed by staff who would then make recommendations to the commission.

The application would also be subject to a public hearing “focused on safe operations and the protection of health, safety and environment,” senior communications advisor Isabelle Roy wrote in an email.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/01/15/news/critics-say-doug-fords-...

jerrym

Much like the Ford Bros. turned Toronto city council into a my way or the highway mess, they are doing the same with education. 

From the outset, the relationship between Ontario Premier Doug Ford and school teachers seemed likely to go sideways. During his election campaign, Mr. Ford packaged education in Ontario as an unholy mess of overspending, debauched sexual instruction and weak mathematics. He vowed to fix it all.

“I want an education system that respects parents,” he proclaimed from the campaign trail. “I want schools that are focused on teaching kids the skills that matter.”

More than a year and a half later, with Mr. Ford firmly installed as Premier, his revamped education system is not earning much in the way of respect. More rage. With all four of Ontario’s teacher’ unions engaged in some form of labour action, parents are torn between the immediate needs of their children and the dystopian educational future that Mr. Ford’s ministerial minions. ...

And the ultimate losers in all this – the ones who have no say but pay the price – are the students.

Last March, the Premier framed his sweeping changes to the province’s education system as a program of “modernization.” Some of his proposals hardly made a ripple (the promotion of skilled trades in elementary grades, mandatory financial literacy classes in Grade 10), while others made waves. In particular, the requirements that high school students complete four online learning classes prior to graduation and that class sizes be increased in Grades 4-12, raised concerns. Were these attempts to modernize or just to cut?

A genuinely “for the people” Premier would have taken these concerns seriously. Instead, the Ford government went Trumpian, spewing assertions that were either patently false – that Ontario has the lowest class sizes in the country, for example – or totally vacuous. Asked to defend the proposed increase in high-school class size from an average of 22 to 28, then-education minister Lisa Thompson stated that larger classes would help students build the resilience and coping skills so lacking in today’s graduates. ...

The government’s mangling of the education system is not earning respect, not even after its supposedly conciliatory steps of reducing the mandatory e-learning requirement to two courses and tinkering with the class size increase so that the averages sounded more palatable but the caps came off. The public’s eyes should now be wide open; a Premier who promised not to eliminate a single public-sector job but was happy to strike 10,000 teaching positions through expanded classes is capable of just about anything. ...

Had Mr. Ford aspired to an education system which respects students, rather than their voting parents, none of this would be happening. Changes to the system would be geared to student needs, not fiscal ones, conceived in consultation with named entities rather than “sector partners” and “a parent I was talking to” and developed with teachers, not in spite of them. It would never have come to this mudslinging, money-wasting fracas, with kids stuck in the middle, wondering what happened to their report cards, their debating club or their basketball team.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-if-the-doug-ford-governm...

NDPP

Mysterious Group Used 'Made-Up Name' and Fake Mom to Attack Teachers in Canada's Biggest Newspapers

https://twitter.com/justinpodur/status/1224101772026957824

"Fake group, fake logo, fake mom, fake slogan...all in the service of defunding and destroying public education in Ontario..."

jerrym

As the legislature reopens after an eight week break the Ford government's problems continue to grow. 

As Ontario MPPs return to the legislature on Tuesday after an eight-week break, the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford faces a growing list of potential headaches.

Tensions are rising amid an impasse with striking teachers’ unions, with a provincewide one-day strike scheduled for Friday. ...

And before the end of March, the government will unveil its second budget, potentially reigniting the battles over spending cuts that have dogged it since last year’s budget. ...

Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the government must back off its education cuts if it wants a deal with teachers. And she is wary of a potential rerun of last year’s budget, which the government presented as protecting public services but included cuts to public health, legal aid and other programs.

“I know that last year, they tried to sell their budget as something that it wasn’t,” Ms. Horwath said. “And it took a lot of people a couple of days and, in some cases, weeks to weed out all of the cuts that were hidden in that budget.” ...

The legislature’s return will also mark the first Question Periods at Queen’s Park operating under new rules that allow Mr. Ford to refer questions directed to him to his cabinet without having to announce it in the legislature. The NDP, which notes that Mr. Ford often deflects questions unless they are friendly queries from his own government’s MPPs, has said the change will let the Premier off the hook.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-challenges-facing-ford-go...

Sean in Ottawa

jerrym wrote:

Ford  is adding another major problem to the numerous ones he has already created with the proposal to keep Pickering nuclear plant operating beyond its natural life in order to save money.

The Pickering nuclear power plant is already operating beyond the terms of its natural life. Critics warn that the Ford government’s move to eke out a little bit more power from the site is playing with fire. Energy Minister Greg Rickford said on Tuesday that Ontario Power Generation, the provincial agency that operates the site, had proposed keeping four of its six operational reactors going for one year past the already-extended deadline of 2024. 

But critics warn that even one extra year of operations at the site is a risky undertaking. “They are already skating on thin ice, and this is only going to make it even thinner ice,” said Gordon Edwards, a scientist and the founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

That’s because the zirconium alloy used in the hundreds of tubes holding nuclear fuel in Pickering’s reactors are exposed to intense radiation, very hot water, and high pressure, he said. 

“As it gets older, the metal is getting progressively more brittle, meaning it is more inclined to break, more inclined to crack, more inclined to split, and that is very dangerous,” Edwards said.

It costs billions of dollars to replace the tubing, which is what is being done at the refurbishments at the two other nuclear plants in Ontario, in Darlington and on the Bruce Peninsula. 

Ontario is spending some $25 billion between 2016 and 2031 to extend the life of 10 reactors at those sites and maintain the province’s nuclear power capacity at 9,900 megawatts . Ontario’s peak demand has meanwhile fallen from just below 20,000 megawatts in 2005 to under 18,000 megawatts in 2016. 

Nuclear power from Pickering, Darlington and Bruce supplies about 60 percent of Ontario’s total electricity needs.

Anti-nuclear advocates at Ontario Clean Air Alliance said in response to the extension news that Pickering “relies on seriously outdated technology” and is designed in such a way that a problem with any one of its six operational reactors could create a cascading effect on the others.

Angela Bischoff, a director at the group, also said that the plant has been plagued with safety problems over the years, including an accident in 1983 in which a pressure tube suffered a metre-long rupture and a loss of coolant. Coolant loss can cause a surge of power to occur in the reactor core. The site was shut down and two of the four reactors were eventually replaced (and two mothballed) at a cost of $1 billion. 

Then in 1994, another pipe break resulted in a major loss of coolant and a spill of 185 tonnes of heavy water. Emergency measures to cool the core averted a meltdown. 

The proposal would need to receive approval from the industry’s federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). ...

Pickering was initially expected to safely produce power for some 230,000 full power equivalent hours, which is equal to about 30 years of typical operation.  The CNSC upped that to 247,000 hours in 2014, and in 2018, when the CNSC approved the extension of Pickering’s life to 2024, it said its reactors could stretch that to a maximum of 295,000 hours.

A spokesperson for the regulator said it has not yet received notice that OPG intends to amend the terms of its licence. If and when such a notice is received, it would be reviewed by staff who would then make recommendations to the commission.

The application would also be subject to a public hearing “focused on safe operations and the protection of health, safety and environment,” senior communications advisor Isabelle Roy wrote in an email.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/01/15/news/critics-say-doug-fords-...

Actually it is a very solid strategy:

The Conservatives completely blew up energy in the late 1990s. The created a landmine that continued to blow up the Liberals (who added layers of deception and incompetency on top) and energy is widely seen as the lead reason that the Liberals were driven not only from power but also party status.

Ford's decisions will explode (hopefully not literally) after the duration of even a moderately successful government of  2-3 terms.

Unless the next goverment screws up very badly and the Conservatives get back in, this is unlikely to reflect on the Conservatives and more likely to be blamed on the next government.

No, you cannot be too cynical to see that the Conservatives get the short term gain and someone else gets the long term pain.

jerrym

Sean in Ottawa

  jerrym wrote:

 

Ford  is adding another major problem to the numerous ones he has already created with the proposal to keep Pickering nuclear plant operating beyond its natural life in order to save money.

The Pickering nuclear power plant is already operating beyond the terms of its natural life. Critics warn that the Ford government’s move to eke out a little bit more power from the site is playing with fire. Energy Minister Greg Rickford said on Tuesday that Ontario Power Generation, the provincial agency that operates the site, had proposed keeping four of its six operational reactors going for one year past the already-extended deadline of 2024. 

But critics warn that even one extra year of operations at the site is a risky undertaking. “They are already skating on thin ice, and this is only going to make it even thinner ice,” said Gordon Edwards, a scientist and the founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

That’s because the zirconium alloy used in the hundreds of tubes holding nuclear fuel in Pickering’s reactors are exposed to intense radiation, very hot water, and high pressure, he said. 

“As it gets older, the metal is getting progressively more brittle, meaning it is more inclined to break, more inclined to crack, more inclined to split, and that is very dangerous,” Edwards said. ...

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/01/15/news/critics-say-doug-fords-...

Actually it is a very solid strategy:

The Conservatives completely blew up energy in the late 1990s. The created a landmine that continued to blow up the Liberals (who added layers of deception and incompetency on top) and energy is widely seen as the lead reason that the Liberals were driven not only from power but also party status.

Ford's decisions will explode (hopefully not literally) after the duration of even a moderately successful government of  2-3 terms.

Unless the next goverment screws up very badly and the Conservatives get back in, this is unlikely to reflect on the Conservatives and more likely to be blamed on the next government.

No, you cannot be too cynical to see that the Conservatives get the short term gain and someone else gets the long term pain.

I don't see as solid at all. Any strategy based on hoping a major nuclear "accident" caused by failure to reduce risks only works if there is no accident while you are in office. That's always a big gamble.

 

 

jerrym

Like much of the Ford government's actions, it's claim to have increased education spending by $1.2 billion doesn't add up, with the total increase being actually far less, as childcare spending has been added to education spending. Furthermore, spending per student is actually down.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's oft-repeated statement that his government is spending $1.2 billion more on education this year than last year doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

The spending claim is in the spotlight as a province-wide strike by four teachers' unions puts some two million Ontario students out of class on Friday. 

"We've increased education by $1.2 billion," Ford said in question period on Wednesday. "I know math is not the NDP's strength, or the Liberals', but it's $1.2 billion, more than any government in the history of Ontario." ...

Here are the basics of the government's math:

  • $29.97 billion: the Ministry of Education's base budget for 2019-20, stated in the government's latest fiscal document, the fall economic statement. 
  • $28.75 billion: the Ministry of Education's actual base spending for 2018-19, found in the government's expense sheet for the year, the public accounts.

That's a $1.2 billion difference on the face of it. But when you dig a little deeper into the spending, and compare apples to apples, it becomes apparent that the Ford government is not telling the whole truth. The bulk of that $1.2 billion extra is not destined for schools and classrooms. 

A key reason for the discrepancy is that the Education Ministry's overall budget also includes child-care programs. Nearly half of the $1.2 billion difference is accounted for by increased spending on child care, particularly $390 million budgeted for a new child-care tax credit. ...

Two thirds of the additional $186 million announced for the ministry's budget in November is allocated "to help municipal partners provide child-care programs."  

To find out just what the government is actually spending on the school system, you have to look beyond the Education Ministry's bottom line into the detailed budget documents. This means setting aside the $2.2 billion in child-care spending, as well as far smaller amounts on ministry administration and TVO.  ...

The real amount spent on schools is found in those documents, called the expenditure estimates, under one line labelled, "Elementary and secondary education program: Policy and program delivery."

  • The amount budgeted in 2018-19 for this program was $25.029 billion.
  • The amount budgeted for 2019-20 (including $64 million added last fall): $25.163 billion.
  • The difference: about $133 million, far less than the $1.2 billion claimed by the Progressive  Conservatives. 

Another way of comparing school spending is to look at the province's annual "grants for student needs," which is the funding the ministry provides to school boards. The amount in 2019-20 is $24.66 billion, while the amount the previous year was $24.53 billion, an increase of about $130 million, or 0.5 per cent. 

When you factor in enrolment growth, the amount spent per student this year is actually down from the previous year. The per-pupil grant is $12,246, down from $12,300 in the 2018-19 school year. ...

"It's a shell game," said NDP education critic Marit Stiles.

"For the minister to try to present this as if he's somehow increasing funding by $1.2 billion, I think he is intentionally misleading Ontarians." 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-teachers-strike-education...

Sean in Ottawa

jerrym wrote:

Sean in Ottawa

  jerrym wrote:

 

Ford  is adding another major problem to the numerous ones he has already created with the proposal to keep Pickering nuclear plant operating beyond its natural life in order to save money.

The Pickering nuclear power plant is already operating beyond the terms of its natural life. Critics warn that the Ford government’s move to eke out a little bit more power from the site is playing with fire. Energy Minister Greg Rickford said on Tuesday that Ontario Power Generation, the provincial agency that operates the site, had proposed keeping four of its six operational reactors going for one year past the already-extended deadline of 2024. 

But critics warn that even one extra year of operations at the site is a risky undertaking. “They are already skating on thin ice, and this is only going to make it even thinner ice,” said Gordon Edwards, a scientist and the founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

That’s because the zirconium alloy used in the hundreds of tubes holding nuclear fuel in Pickering’s reactors are exposed to intense radiation, very hot water, and high pressure, he said. 

“As it gets older, the metal is getting progressively more brittle, meaning it is more inclined to break, more inclined to crack, more inclined to split, and that is very dangerous,” Edwards said. ...

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/01/15/news/critics-say-doug-fords-...

Actually it is a very solid strategy:

The Conservatives completely blew up energy in the late 1990s. The created a landmine that continued to blow up the Liberals (who added layers of deception and incompetency on top) and energy is widely seen as the lead reason that the Liberals were driven not only from power but also party status.

Ford's decisions will explode (hopefully not literally) after the duration of even a moderately successful government of  2-3 terms.

Unless the next goverment screws up very badly and the Conservatives get back in, this is unlikely to reflect on the Conservatives and more likely to be blamed on the next government.

No, you cannot be too cynical to see that the Conservatives get the short term gain and someone else gets the long term pain.

I don't see as solid at all. Any strategy based on hoping a major nuclear "accident" caused by failure to reduce risks only works if there is no accident while you are in office. That's always a big gamble.

 

 

Not obvious that I was being sarcastic when I said hopefully not blow up literally. I was being cynical about political operatives.

In other news the Ontario government is investing in hiring a private US company to screw over Ontarians who need help and reduce the welfare rolls. This makes people more desperate and they will work for anything or claim self employment thereby increasing the employment rate.

jerrym

The Ford government is backtracking on another cut, this one to rape centers, which reflects its attitude towards women. I would say this was embarassing but Ford et al. don't give a damn about anyone outside their coterie, instead calling it a modernization of services. This was reflected in the fact that Minister Jill Dunlop did not directly answer questions about the cuts. 

 

Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues Jill Dunlop did not respond directly to questions from reporters about how rape crisis centres can use the funding or why the centres were told the funding boost was being cancelled just days earlier. (CBC)

The Ford government appears to be backtracking on a decision to cancel a funding boost for Ontario's rape crisis centres — just one day after advocates raised alarm bells that the move would result in a dramatic spike in wait times for sexual assault survivors seeking counselling and support.

On Wednesday, the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres announced they were told directly by Attorney General Doug Downey last week that the $1 million in additional funding they received last year would not be renewed for 2020.

That funding was about a quarter of what the previous Liberal government had promised rape crisis centres — money that wasn't disbursed before the party lost power in the June 2018 provincial election. 

But on Thursday, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues Jill Dunlop announced in the legislature that the province would now commit to $2 million in annual funding in addition to the ongoing baseline $14.8 million that the centres receive each year.

The cash is "part of a broader modernization to provide better services to victims across Ontario," Dunlop told reporters at Queen's Park. ...

The minister did not respond directly to questions from reporters about how rape crisis centres can use the funding, nor did she address why the centres were told the funding boost was being cancelled just days earlier.

Dunlop did say that at the moment funding for the centres comes from a collection of government bodies the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Office of Women's Issues, and the Ministry of the Attorney General. ...

"We're looking at how we can better work with the sector and the organizations that serve women, and cut the red tape in those areas but provide better services and supports to women," she said, adding there would be further announcements Friday. 

Deb Singh, and advocate and counsellor at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, told CBC News on Wednesday that additional funding by the PCs last year reduced allowed the centre to hire three additional staff, bringing down wait times for victims seeking help from 18 months in the Fall of 2018 to six months by March 2020. ...

With that funding cancelled, she said those workers would have to be let go and that wait times would "absolutely" go up. So far, Singh says she has heard little about how the new funding will work but she worries there could be restrictions on how the money is used.  "It doesn't have to be as complicated as it is," Singh said Thursday. "Playing around with communications as to whether we're able to provide that reliable high-level services to survivors is not okay," she said.  "We really urge the government to be very clear about what this promise means in the house and to communicate with us so that we can provide the services to survivors across Ontario."

CBC News has asked the province for clarification whether the money will be restricted to any particular services and on when the decision on the additional funding was made. So far, there has been no response. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-sexual-assault-rape-centr...

 

jerrym

double post

jerrym

The Ford government now faces strong headwinds in attempting to balance its budget as  the Covid-19 hits the province and its economy. 

As COVID-19 sends global stock markets and oil prices plunging, the Doug Ford government is bracing for the effects on Ontario's economy and the impact on the provincial budget, to be delivered in just two weeks.

The spread of the new coronavirus around the world has brought just 36 cases to Ontario so far, according to public health authorities, a far lower number than other more hard-hit jurisdictions.

Still, the premier is expressing worry about the potential economic fallout from COVID-19 as some countries restrict movement of large parts of the population, travellers decide against international trips, large gatherings such as conferences and sporting events are cancelled, and employees take precautionary sick days to avoid infection. 

"The area that I'm concerned is our economy with COVID-19," Ford said Monday in an unscripted comment at an event in Kitchener. The worst thing to do is put a scare out there," Ford added. "But we have to be cautious and we're all over this." He did not offer details of his economic concerns and was not available to take questions from reporters after the event. ...

RBC's 2020 economic outlook for Ontario — issued in December before the new coronavirus had spread beyond China, — suggested "the souring of the global trade environment" would be the chief drag on the province's economy. 

A year ago, Ford said in a speech: "The risk of a carbon tax recession is very, very real." 

That didn't happen in 2019. But in 2020, the global economy may face the risk of a coronavirus recession, and Ontario could get swept along with it. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-doug-ford-coronavirus-bud...

jerrym

In the wake of the coronavirus the Ford government and its declaration of a state of emergency that includes the closure of all recreation programs, libraries, private schools, daycares, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that offer takeout or delivery, is postponing its overhaul of the Ontario health care system. Ford also announced the funding of a $300 million Covid-19 emergency relief package, which seems like a pittance in view of the size of the panademic. 

The Ford government is suspending a major portion of its healthcare overhaul due to COVID-19, just weeks before the changes were set to take place.

The province began integrating Ontario's healthcare system in 2019, dissolving agencies such as Cancer Care Ontario and eHealth Ontario into a singular mega-bureaucracy called Ontario Health.

As part of the overhaul, 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN), which administer provincial funding to hospitals across Ontario, were to be collapsed into Ontario Health. 

While the government planned to merge the LHINs into Ontario Health on April 1, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday the transfer will be postponed "as the province continues to actively respond to COVID-19."

"We heard loud and clear from Ontario Health that the LHINs are extremely busy and singularly focused on COVID-19, and not to disrupt that right now," Travis Kann, a spokesman for Health Minister Christine Elliott, said.

The government said the transfer will still happen in the future, but with no set date in mind. 

Kann confirmed that for the time being hospital funding will still flow through the 14 LHINs, which are now controlled by five "transitional regional leads" who are overseeing the consolidation.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ford-government-postpones-part-of-its-health-...

jerrym

The Ford government budget already has a giant hole in it. Its new spending plan is out-of-date a week after it was released as it was based on the fact that the Ontario economy would not shrink this year. 

As global stock markets crashed and much of the Canadian economy ground to a standstill amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford and his Finance Minister Rod Phillips had to start from scratch to sketch out a new spending plan, released Wednesday.  

The plan is full of caveats and careful wording, completely understandable given the circumstances. But underpinning all of the budget numbers is one key assumption: that the province's economy will not contract overall in the coming year —an assumption that could prove quite wrong. 

"The COVID-19 outbreak has had a negative impact on the global, Canadian and Ontario economies," says the document, stating the obvious. "The severity of the economic impact will depend on how widespread the outbreak becomes and how long it lasts." 

In other words, it's impossible to forecast what will happen to Ontario's economy over the next year, and the ripple effect on government revenues. But the government's spending plan must be based on forecasts, so the Ministry of Finance makes this one: that the province's GDP will neither grow nor shrink in 2020-21, but stay stagnant.  ...

A senior finance ministry official says that forecast was made last week, and was pegged slightly below the average growth rate predicted by private sector economists at that time. But a week is an eternity in the rapid-fire spread of COVID-19, and that forecast is already looking rosy. 

The major banks have issued new updates in the past few days, all predicting economic contraction in 2020. 

On Wednesday, Scotiabank revised downward its forecast for Ontario, predicting the province's economy will shrink by 5.6 per cent in 2020. Also Wednesday, TD issued a new forecast for the Canadian economy, a 4.2 per cent retraction. RBC's latest forecast came on Tuesday, calling for a 2.5 per cent drop in Canada's GDP.  ...

Here's the problem for Ontario's budget: its revenue predictions are already based on outdated forecasts. 

Some of the most optimistic assumptions in the fiscal plan are that COVID-19 will do relatively little to reduce government revenues in the coming year, compared with 2019-20. The fiscal update forecasts a 0.8 per cent drop in personal income tax revenues, meaning just $300 million less in provincial coffers, despite the widespread layoffs announced in the past few weeks. The government is predicting a 1.3 per cent drop in corporate tax revenue, just a $200 million hit to the treasury. ...

If the economy does contract in 2020, those tax revenues could be billions less, making the deficit far higher than the $20 billion already forecast. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid19-budget-spending-p...

 

jerrym

It is a relatively small problem in the grand schematic of errors committed by the Ford government, especially in view of the deaths occurring throughout the marginalized long-term care homes, but the Ford's government's having to end its license plate change program because the plates could often not be read illustrates the lack of planning and wasted money that is typical of this government's actions. 

Premier Doug Ford's redesigned blue licence plates are officially dead, and white embossed plates with the "Yours to Discover" slogan are back.

Ford's office confirmed the news in an email statement, blaming visibility issues under "very specific lighting conditions."

Police officers and the public alike sounded the alarm after the blue plates were rolled out, warning in some conditions they were near impossible to read. Toronto city officials, meanwhile, confirmed the plates couldn't be read by photo radar systems the province just allowed.

"After thorough testing by law enforcement and other key stakeholders, we are following their advice and will not be moving forward with the new plate for passenger vehicle use," said Ivana Yelich, a spokesperson for Ford. ...

Earlier this year the province had been looking at ways to salvage its blue design, but that's now stopped, Yelich said.

However, the new white plates have been improved to fix issues with the plastic coating peeling off over time.

The province says about 145,000 of the blue plates were distributed. Currently, the government is urging Ontarians not to go to Service Ontario to replace their plates unless it's absolutely necessary.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/blue-licence-plates-scrapped-1.55...

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