Image by John Evans, 2013 Ottawa South candidate signs,

The provincial elections in Ontario are imminent.  Advance polls are open and election day is on June 7.  Right now, we are drowning in memes and vague promises as the candidates push towards Election Day.  Each day more people across Ontario volunteer, meet their candidates on doorsteps and at events, put out their lawn signs, and talk to neighbours and friends about elections.  We are doing what we can to make sure that Ontarians get a responsible government. 

The big problem with the growth of clickbait-y  social media and online voter outreach is that it is even easier for candidates and political parties to keep it vague and use misleading memes to capture votes.  We previously put together a list of voter issue guides which organizations put together about the issues that matter to them.  Now that the election day is near, here are some more targeted tools to help inform people you talk to and bust some of the lies.

1) Platforms:  Here is a good analysis of the Ontario NDP and Liberal platforms by Karl Nerenberg and here is CCPA’s take on the 2018 Ontario budget, which what the Liberals are running on. On May 30th, 2018 at the nth hour, the Ontario Progressive Conservative party released a final campaign platform, which is a list of promises with incomplete costing and fiscal analysis.  Basically, big promises are part of all election however the PC party is being dishonest by not costing their promises and insisting on things that are not true.

One of the important claims the Progressive Conservatives made was that they would have a balanced budget in their first mandate. Economist Mike Moffat has been tallying the promises and it looks like the PC party is the furthest from a balanced budget.  His calculations and tally are in a publically available Google sheet. Now that he has been forced to release a platform, Doug Ford is flipflopping by saying  “We aren’t going to balance the first year, maybe not the second year but we will balance maybe the third or fourth year.” 

2) Factchecking the main claims:  What is the truth about some of the main issues that are driving this campaign?  Here are some articles which try to analyze the claims and present some facts we can use.  We have not found a comprehensive fact-checking website.

3) Vote:  Do you want to know what the polls are saying in your riding?  Bryan Breguet has put together this riding by riding breakdown of polling data.The best place to find who can vote, where people should vote, and times to vote is on the Elections Ontario website.  Use the site to double check your information.  You can also volunteer to work at the polls on the website.


Maya Bhullar

Maya Bhullar has over 15 years of professional experience in such diverse areas as migration, labour, urban planning and community mobilization. She has a particular interest in grassroots engagement,...