Ontario Election June 7, 2018

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Doug Ford knows there is more to politics than facts and details

Like his brother Rob, the Ontario PC leader understands mood and feeling have the greatest impact on voters, even if policies lack logic

These days, Ford is often compared to Donald Trump. I think the comparison is overdone. I also think that Wynne’s decision to call Ford a liar and equate him with Trump smacks of desperation



The latest poll shows the Liberals losing official party status.

Maybe decimating those liars, those that campaign on the left, but govern on the right, could be one of the best things that could happen to Canadian politics.

Andrea Horwath makes her play to displace the Liberals among Ontario’s left

Opinion: With a platform that's progressive and relatively fiscally restrained, the Ontario NDP is hoping to seize its window for success. Can it rise above the noise?



Provincial Liberal candidates hard to come by in southwestern Ontario

Only 3 of 10 ridings have Liberal candidates in place less than 2 months before the election



NorthReport wrote:

Provincial Liberal candidates hard to come by in southwestern Ontario

Only 3 of 10 ridings have Liberal candidates in place less than 2 months before the election


Ridings in Ontario where there are no nominated candidates, or candidates for a scheduled nomination meeting:

PC 0, Lib 21, NDP 41



Liberals would rather the PCs get elected than support the NDP. Do you think is the reason why Liberal party status may be in jeopardy?


NorthReport wrote:

Liberals would rather the PCs get elected than support the NDP. Do you think is the reason why Liberal party status may be in jeopardy?

I think Liberals would rather the Liberals get elected than either the PCs or NDP.


Protesters disrupt speech by Kathleen Wynne to voice outrage at seven-week York University strike

While Wynne briefly appeared rattled by the two-minute protest that ended when the four were peacefully escorted away by staff, she said she shared the demonstrators’ frustration at the impasse.


progressive17 progressive17's picture

Liberals elect Conservative governments, and Liberals elect Liberal governments. That is the way the system works.



In 2013, Fiera received a $3.2 million federal business loan. The following year, Fiera was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to expand capacity. At the time, the company was lauded by Premier Kathleen Wynne for providing “good jobs” to Torontonians.

In 2013, Fiera was lauded by Premier Kathleen Wynne for providing “good jobs” to Torontonians. Government of Ontario

Fiera donated $2,500 to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in 2007 and has donated $25,000 to the Liberal Party of Ontario since 2010, electoral finance disclosures show. In 2016, the company was included in a provincial trade mission to India.


progressive17 progressive17's picture

Good old Liberal corruption!


NDP to reduce Hydro bills by 30%. Sweet!



Doug Ford's hydro plan won't cut electricity rates, Andrea Horwath says

NDP leader says bills will skyrocket after election if PCs are elected, Ford implements his plan



The Liberals have made a hash of Ontario’s finances, but show trials won’t fix that

OPINION: The auditor general’s latest indictment of the government’s accounting is damning, but the province doesn’t need a commission of inquiry to solve anything — an election will do, writes John Michael McGrath



Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath officially launches election campaign

At an event featuring community leaders, other legislators and musicians, the leader was nominated as a candidate in her riding of Hamilton Centre.

The NDP’s platform promised free child care for families earning less than $40,000 and a boost to hospital budgets if elected.

Horwath reiterated those promises at Sunday’s launch, along with a pledge to bring Hydro One back into public hands, and once again presented the NDP as an alternative to the governing Liberals and the Opposition Progressive Conservatives.


progressive17 progressive17's picture

Good policy, but with the following "but".

That seems to be kind of tough luck if you are on $40,001. The problem seems to be that an algorithm that would go to each according to need might be too complicated to explain during a short election period. Why not have a universal program, and tax it back progressively from people over $40,000? It might result in less paperwork...


Let's hope not!

Canada's Trump moment? Doug Ford rises in conservative party

Brother of late Toronto mayor is favourite to become next provincial leader in Ontario, sparking debate as to whether divisive politics that rattled US have headed north



A Doug Ford victory raises the temperate on labour peace

Ontario voters should reflect on the successes Alberta premier Rachel Notley has had in Alberta.



Oops! What else is Ford going to backtrack on?

Ford reverses Greenbelt development pledge



Horwath woos urban voters with promises of funding for daycare, transit

NDP platform also includes more affordable housing, a 15 per cent cut to auto insurance rates, better protection for tenants and money to fix crumbling schools.



Not again!

Ontario PCs call for investigation into allegations Liberal staff destroyed documents



Noting like scandals to damage and/or destroy a government's re-election chances, eh!

Trillium Power releases new evidence alleging Ontario Liberals destroyed documents during $500M lawsuit



Report: Ont. drivers might have overpaid $5B on insurance over five years



Here's a report on one of the two new First Nations ridings in Northern Ontario. 

Kiiwetinoong has been carved out from a larger riding dominated by the NDP for decades. Sioux Lookout, most agree, is in urgent need of 200 long-term care beds but has just 20. Additionally, Lawrance says, services such as a detox centre and treatment facilities for substance abuse are essentially non-existent. There’s also a perennial shortage of mental health supports. ...

Sioux Lookout resident Sol Mamakwa, a member of the Kingfisher Lake First Nation who works with the politically influential Nishnawbe Aski Nation, planned to announce his intention on Monday of vying to become the first New Democrat to represent the brand new riding.




This lone-wolf operative is shaping Ontario’s political discourse



This ON NDP ad is pretty good, and encapsulates the federal NDP argument from 2011: You don't have to settle for the two doors



Allegations of bias, staff departures hit mercury compensation board

Provincial govenment has recently proposed upping the disability payments to victims of the industrial pollution





Liberals now need to decide whether or not they want Ford to be Premier. If they don't, there is only one clear path to stopping him. Where are all those strategic voters like Buzz Hargrove, etc. when you need them, eh!

Observers agree that the NDP's Horwath won the first leaders' debate


 Joey Coleman/Flickr

The leaders of Ontario’s political parties, excluding the Greens, had their first televised debate on Monday evening, even though the election campaign does not start officially until later this week. Conservative leader Doug Ford looked nervous and tongue tied through a good part of the broadcast, while both Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath were comfortably articulate and in full command of the facts.

Being knowledgeable and confident did not, however, seem to do Wynne much good. That’s because she was, as might be expected, on the defensive for most of the evening. 

Even when Wynne might have had defensible positions, as she did on her government’s decisions to ban carding and support safe injection sites, it looked like she was playing catch-up. Horwath constantly reminded the premier that her party has been in power for a decade and a half, and they are only now focusing on many of the important issues raised in the debate.

If Horwath still has her doubters, even among those who consider themselves progressive, this debate should put an end to their doubts. While consistently and doggedly pushing key messages, such as “change for the better,” the NDP leader managed to sound candid, natural and conversational throughout the 90-minute event. 

Horwath was the only one of the leaders who managed to frame the issues in terms of voters’ daily lives. She repeatedly referred to childcare, dental care, long-term care for the elderly, “hallway medicine” (one of her favourite catch phrases) and the need for affordable housing. And she gave the clear impression that her party has policies to deal with them all, even if she did not go into details during the debate. 

When she went into attack mode, Horwath was especially effective on the privatization of Hydro One, the province’s supplier of electricity. Selling a big piece of Hydro One was a Liberal government decision that does not seem to have had any sound basis in public policy, other than to provide the Wynne government with a short-term injection of cash. 

Even mainstream media commentators have pointed out that it makes no sense to put a monopoly provider of an essential public service, such as electricity, into private hands. During the debate, Wynne did make the valid point that her government had to invest heavily in electrical infrastructure, because, for decades, successive governments of all parties had allowed it to languish. But Wynne did not even try to explain why it was necessary to sell a public utility in order to do so. 

Ford has made what he calls the “Hydro mess” into one of his favourite hobbyhorses. But the Conservative leader does not have much to say about electricity, except to engage in easy populist rants about the “six-million-dollar man”.  That man is Hydro One’s president, Mayo Schmidt, who does, indeed take home $6 million a year. 

Ford’s claims about budget cuts were, in his words, ‘disingenuous’

In the debate, Ford was best when he attacked Wynne for Liberal corruption and mismanagement. His strongest line of attack was to point out that Ontario is the most indebted subnational entity in the world. 

For a man who prides himself on being ultra plain-spoken, “subnational” seemed a bit of a wonky word choice. 

And that’s not the only time Ford exceeded the admittedly low linguistic expectations of him. More than once, the Conservative leader used the word “disingenuous” to push back against Wynne’s accusation that he plans to cut services to ordinary Ontarians in order to cut taxes for the wealthy.

Disingenuous might have been perfect choice of words, but not the way Ford meant it. It would be hard to conclude, in fact, that Ford himself was being anything but disingenuous when he claimed he would be able to cut government spending by 4 per cent without cutting a single job. And during the debate, Ford went further on that point than he has thus far. He positively enthused about how he “loves” teachers and nurses, and solemnly promised that no teachers or nurses would lose their jobs.

Wynne was relentless in pointing out that Ford could not be believed on the cuts issue. He will have to cut deeply, she insisted, and not just find efficiencies, in order to pay for the big tax cuts he promises. 

Horwath got the cleanest and hardest hit on Ford when she said that while other Ontario Conservative leaders such as Mike Harris and Tim Hudak were honest with Ontarians, and told them what cuts they planned, Ford did not have the guts to level with the Ontario people. 

Ford seemed a bit knocked off stride by Horwath’s tough words, but quickly turned back to his mantra about finding a mere 4 cents on every dollar the government spends.  

The Conservative leader’s worst moments were his opening statement, when he almost seemed to have forgotten what he planned to say, and the embarrassingly frequent points in the debate where he chose to remain utterly silent.

To journalists, Ford’s silence appeared awkward and embarrassing. It may, however, have been part of a plan. Conservatives and their cheerleaders seem to think Ford’s best route to victory is to say as little as possible. His goal should be to reassure voters that he is not dangerous or unbalanced. To that end, he must avoid saying anything that is too strident, angry, divisive or extreme. 

Given their big lead in all of the current public opinion polls, the Conservatives seem to have concluded that their best route to victory is to do as little as possible, sit back, and ride a wave of change to power. 

One winner, by almost universal assent

Andrea Horwath did her best in the first debate to upset the Conservatives’ frontrunner strategy. And if the instant analysis from the folks the sponsors of the debate, broadcaster City Toronto, spoke to is any indication, Horwath seems to have succeeded -- perhaps beyond her supporters’ most optimistic expectations.

The three-person team City Toronto assembled to do instant analysis tilted progressive. It included cannabis activist Jody Emery and Desmond Cole, a journalist, filmmaker and activist -- with Murtaza Haider, a professor of management and a transit expert, providing balance on the starboard side. All three agreed, without hesitation, that Horwath had by far the best performance of the evening. Haider was particularly impressed -- in his words, “pleasantly surprised” -- by the NDP leader’s nuanced, knowledgeable and realistic answers on the matter of Toronto’s public transit woes.

City also had on hand its own political analyst, veteran radio newsman John Stall, who did his best to declare Ford the winner -- based mostly on the fact that the Conservative leader did not do or say anything outrageous. The most complimentary thing Stall could find to say about the Conservative leader’s showing was that voters love banal Fordisms such as: “I’m for the little guy.”

But even Stall could not stop himself from being spontaneously and genuinely impressed by Horwath’s masterful presentation.

And so, in the end, while the City analyst had to admit that if Ford’s no-mistakes-no-surprises, but still uninspired, performance gave him the win, almost by default, maybe events will prove that Horwath was the real winner. 

Photo: Joey Coleman/Flickr

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Debate Recap: Wynne Plummets Like Ontario’s Credit Rating

Wynne’s election chances seem to be following the same path as the province's finances.



Andrea Horwath won the debate by letting Ford and Wynne bicker

With polls putting the party solidly in second place and Liberal voters considering anything-but-Ford, the NDP leader sees opportunity



Go go go Andrea!


Ontario NDP must distinguish itself against born-again progressive Liberals



Which 2 parties are more alike again?

Ontario PC leader Doug Ford’s ‘news’ videos echo ones used by Liberals in 2007



ANALYSIS: Ford leads as Ontario race starts but NDP’s Horwath may be the one to watch


progressive17 progressive17's picture

The rich people are sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash. So they want high yield. Nothing better than Ontario bonds. Whoever wins the election, they will be told the Facts of Life by Bay St. You will keep borrowing whether you like it or not, because we need a higher interest rate than having it in the bank. And the more you borrow, the higher the rate. An easy $200-$400 billion more. Especially now Quebec stopped borrowing, you need to carry the load, Ontario! Debt peonage.


Ontario vote is a two-party race between PCs and NDP



Health care key election issue, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says

Andrea Horwath kicks off her campaign at a health clinic, saying voters face stark choice between her and PC Leader Doug Ford. The Liberals are out of the running because Ontarians want change, she says.



Doug Ford ducks questions about London West candidate

Doug Ford’s campaign staff ducked questions Tuesday about what he did to vet a London candidate who admits to a history of reckless behaviour that critics allege included slurs against homosexuals, Muslims, feminists and the disabled.