There’s “good, bad and ugly” in last week’s provincial budget, Minden Hills mayor and former county warden, Brent Devolin, says.
The ‘good’ he told his council March 29, is that the government is investing $500 million over three years in a bid to enhance broadband in northern and rural communities. Included in the pledge is specific spending directed at bettering Eastern Ontario’s cellular coverage, and money to aid the creation of a satellite network that will provide intenet access to remote communities.
The Eastern Ontario Regional Network has been lobbying for just such a provincial government spend for more than a year. Devolin called the announcement “a watershed moment” for Haliburton County.
He added that he had talked to Conservative MPP Laurie Scott and she indicated her party would also support such an initiative if it forms government after the June election.
However, the bad and ugly included a projected $6.8B deficit, Devolin said, as well as a failure to do anything to address Ontario’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure deficit gap. The Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce said the Ontario Government is harmonizing with the federal government’s eligibility criteria, leaving more than 20,000 employers paying $100 million more in employment health tax over the next three years.
In addition, businesses will be phased out of the small business deduction if they earn between $50,000 and $150,000 of passive investment income in the taxation year, resulting in an additional $350 million in new taxes for Ontario businesses.
“Although the government is making smart investments in skills development, the ever-rising cost of doing business in Ontario is hindering economic growth,” said chamber vice president Linda Baumgartner. “The Ontario Budget not only fails to provide the offsets our members need, it will leave some businesses, including small businesses, paying more in taxes.”
She said they’re also concerned with the “precarious fiscal situation” the newly announced investments will create. However, she added they do support regional economic development funding, new dollars for public transit, the broadband spend, and additional resources for apprenticeship and skills development. Scott said in a press release, “the 2018 provincial budget is a thinly-veiled attempt to pull the wool over Ontarians’ eyes. That’s what I’m hearing from people in our community, and they’re right to be cynical. Predictably, the Wynne government has reached into their bag of vote-buying tricks to try and save themselves.”
The subtle malevolent nature of the media is as usual pandering to the power brokers that are gaming the system. The Green Party is a serious option and omitted from most news stories. The best solution that can be realistically hoped for is a minority PC with the Greens in the opposition. That means if you have your wits about you; vote Green. Both the NDP and the Liberals need to be eradicated, so sentient beings can reassemble them into a useful part of our society again.
How Facebook will be a battleground in the upcoming Ontario election
Source: City News Author: Cynthia Mulligan Date: April 19th, 2018
If you’re a Facebook user living in Ontario, there’s a strong chance you’ll see an ad from one of the provincial party leaders as we head into election season.
But you won’t see a random advertisement. It will likely be specifically catered to you based on your gender, age, where you live and what you do.
It’s called ‘microtargeting’ and political war rooms are getting more and more sophisticated at the practice. They can find you with laser precision and send you a tailor-made ad.
Here’s how it works: political parties can use the information from your profile and determine your age, where you live, and can assess your likes and shares to pinpoint your interests.
Facebook has 23 million users in Canada
Tom Yawney, with Toronto-based The Influence Agency, has experience buying ads and placing targeted advertisements on Facebook. He says advertising on Facebook is cheaper than traditional media and the messages also have the potential to be shared.
“It puts a lot of power in the hands of politicians and, apples-to-apples, it costs less typically than television, radio, billboards, and it’s more targeted,” said Yawney.
“Often times, whether it’s television, radio or newspapers, it’s one mass message to everybody, regardless of male, female, age, interests, it’s one mass message. So this is to really segment that message, make it more specific.”
Studies have shown that users are more likely to trust a post shared by a friend or family member.
Yawney believes after the fallout from the U.S. election, this style of advertising on social media will have to be regulated. The problem is: how do you regulate something that is global?
“A lot is known about us through Facebook… they say that if you aren’t paying for something you may be the product. So I think people need to keep that in mind when putting something online, if you’re not paying for the service, no monthly fee, then the info you willingly share is used as a mechanism to run advertisements.”
CityNews has checked to see how each party is using Facebook in this election. Doug Ford’s Conservatives:
65,000 people follow their page It has live streaming video with reporter style stand-ups from the campaign and dozens of ads, including one specifically addressing healthcare for people in Brockville
Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals:
Nearly 12,000 people follow their page — the lowest of the three parties There is video but none of it is live. As for ads, there are quite a few including one for Mitzie Hunter and targets people concerned about healthcare in Scarborough
Andrea Horwath’s NDP:
About 21,000 people follow their page They have no ads but they do have video content
Well putting my misgivings of the TSB's Post Modernists - Neo Marxist indoctrination camps: Toronto Schools, aside; this is certainly a step in the right direction. Now if we can teach the kids the Arts, Science and Language skills and critical thinking, they'll be able to step up to plate.
Founded in 2002, CIVIX’s highly successful Student Vote
In June, Ontarians will be heading to the polls to elect their government for another four years. OTF encourages all members not only to vote but to take the time to get involved in supporting the candidate of their choice. As well, it is a great time to get students involved in our democratic process. This page offers a few links which you may find helpful both personally and as a teacher. Student Vote
Founded in 2002, CIVIX’s highly successful Student Vote has become the main resource for teachers across Canada to inform and educate students about importance of civic engagement. The program is based on the belief that the best way to learn about democracy is to experience it. Designed for both elementary and secondary school students, the Student Vote program steers students through the entire election process. In essence, it is a parallel election for students under the voting age. Students learn about government and the electoral process, research the parties and platforms, and discuss relevant issues. Finally, they run their own E-day, taking on the roles of deputy returning officers and poll clerks and casting ballots for the official election candidates.
The popularity and success of Student Vote with both teachers and students was confirmed by an independent evaluation commissioned by Elections Canada. The evaluation found that 100% of teachers said they would like to participate in Student Vote again and 96% indicated that they agreed that participating in Student Vote improved their confidence with teaching politics, Canadian government and civics. With students, 83% said they would vote in the future and 90% believed that it is our responsibility as citizens to vote in elections.
Some of the recent successful projects have been the 2015 Federal Election, the 2017 Nunavut Territorial Election, the 2017 B.C. Provincial Election and the 2017 Nova Scotia Provincial Election.
Student Vote provides the guidance and resources needed for the classroom. Many schools have already registered for the Ontario 2018 provincial election.
But it’s not too late. Register now at Studentvote.ca.
Elections Ontario runs the provincial elections in Ontario. It is non-partisan and responsible for protecting the integrity of the electoral process.
Following are some of the resources Elections Ontario offers:
Voting rules! This program, geared to Grades 5 and 10 students, features lesson plans, activities and clear information on democracy, elections and voting in Ontario and Canada. It includes two teacher toolkits at no cost, one for Grade 5 and one for Grade 10. Each program finishes with the class administering and delivering a mock election.
Ontario register for future voters – a page for 16 and 17 years old Canadian citizens who reside in Ontario to register and be automatically transferred to the Voters’ List when she/he turns 18.
Voting in Ontario brochure – a brochure which describes the electoral process and voter’s rights, geared to those turning 18 years of age.
<snip> On October 29, 2015 Premier Kathleen Wynne confirmed rumours that the province planned to sell 60 per cent of Hydro One ("broadenening of ownership"). Some of the proceeds from the sale of shares would be used to begin financing of Premier Wynne's 10-year plan for public transit and infrastructure projects in addition to reducing the provincial deficit.
The plan was criticized by many, including Stephen LeClair, the new financial accountability officer for Ontario. LeClair warned that the sale of an entity that generated a $750-million profit in 2014 would lead to a long term negative financial impact for the province.
The sale will certainly provide short term benefits, generating an estimated total of $9 billion at a time when the provincial government is "desperate for money" (according to The Globe and Mail), with one of the largest subsovereign debts in the world. The estimated revenue will not all be a windfall for the provincial coffers however, since roughly $5 billion is earmarked to pay down Hydro One's $8.5 billion debt.
The balance of the revenue from the Hydro One sale would help meet the targets laid out by the provincial Liberal government in its April 2015 budget. Although the budget announced some austerity measures, there was no indication of any new revenue sources. Even so, the plan was to reduce the Province's estimated budget deficit by $2.5 billion to $8.5 billion in the 2015-16 fiscal year, then to $4.8 billion in 2016-17 and to have a balanced budget by 2017-18, according to Finance Minister Charles Sousa. This promise was made in spite of increasing demand for government services due to an aging population, at a time when "... a slowing domestic economy are putting downward pressure on its revenue streams,” according to Ed Clark, Wynne's chief advisor on government assets, as quoted in The Globe and Mail.
On November 5, 2015, the province began the first phase of the process, with an initial public offering (IPO) of 81.1 million shares (equivalent to 13.6% of Hydro One) on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It was the largest IPO in Canada since 2000. The estimated proceeds from this IPO were expected to total $1.83-billion. This was the first step in the long-term goal of gradually selling 60 per cent of the utility. Three more offerings, roughly the same size, are expected to follow.
Finance Minister Sousa told stated on November 4, 2015 that the Hydro One IPO was already "oversubscribed" at that time, with more advance orders than the shares that would be available. On November 5, 2015 the stock closed at $21.62, up 5.46 per cent or $1.12 from the IPO price of $20.50, with more than 18 million shares sold. Although this is not necessarily indicative of a rosy future for the share price, Sousa was optimistic. “Every uptick on the market is an indication the future offerings will net even greater proceeds benefiting all Ontarians.” However, shares dropped 3.9 percent on 2 December 2015 because of the Auditor-General warning that the cost of replacing outdated transmission assets was $4.47 billion, information that might continue to depress the share price. Hydro One responded by indicating that steps were under way to increase reliability: "There are several initiatives under way to ensure investments strike the appropriate balance between reliability and cost."
Some consumer advocacy groups and some analysts have raised red flags, concerned with the risk of increasing electricity costs under a privatized Hydro One. On the other hand, Brady Yauch, executive director of the Consumer Policy Institute discussed the potential benefits in a Comment (op/ed) item in the Financial Post, including "lower rates for ratepayers". His premise is based on the potential increase in productivity of Hydro One under private control, "something that the government has failed to do adequately", bringing high salaries into line, and reducing pension liabilities in future, with employees contributing higher amounts to their pensions. "Given the government’s performance over the last 15 years, it calls for hopeful optimism...," in his opinion.
A secondary offering of 72.4 million Hydro One shares, equivalent to 14.5%, in April 2016 generated $1.7 billion in revenue for the provincial government. Crown corporation Ontario Power Generation purchased 9 million of the shares, giving it a 1.5% stake in Hydro One.
In May 2017 the Ontario government completed the third and final sale of Hydro One shares worth $2.8 billion. With the completion of this offering, Ontario holds 49.9% of Hydro One's common shares. </snip>
Latest Polls. I sure wonder what rabbit the Liberals will pull out of their bag of tricks as we near Junes 8th election day. Surely Doug Ford has some skeletons the Liberals can run up the flag polls. It has all been far too civilized today.
Progressive Conservative Majority, Liberals lose party status if an election held today
Toronto, April 19th - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1126 Ontario voters, the gap between the Progressive Conservatives and their provincial challengers has widened once again, with almost half (46%) saying they would vote PC if an election were held today. One-quarter (27%) say they would support the NDP, while one-fifth (21%) say they would support the Liberals. Few (4%) would support the Green Party or another party (2%). Respondents most likely to say they are supporting the PCs include those aged 45-54 (52%) or 55-64 (50%), male (59%), and anyone earning more than $40,000 including: $40,000-$60,000 (47%), $60,000-$80,000 (47%), $80,000-$100,000 (49%), and the most wealthy (50%), parents (51%), the least educated (56%), living in Eastern (50%) or Southwestern Ontario (48%), or the 905 (49%). Respondents most likely to say they are supporting the NDP include those aged 34 and younger (33%), females (33%), earning $20,000-$40,000 (29%) or $40,000-$60,000 (32%), with a college/university degree (30%) or post-graduate degree (29%), and living in Toronto (30%), Southwestern Ontario (28%), or Northern Ontario (29%). Respondents most likely to say they are supporting the Liberals include those aged 55-64 (24%) or 65+ (27%), female (26%), the least wealthy (29%), with a post-graduate degree (30%), and living in Toronto (28%).
PC Super-majority on the Horizon If an election were held today, we project a PC majority government with 94 seats. The NDP would serve as official opposition with 23 seats, while the Liberals would secure only 7 seats, one too few for party status in Ontario’s legislature. More than half of Ontarians think the PCs will win More than half (54%) say that the PCs will win the provincial election. One-fifth (19%), about the same as current Liberal support, say it will be the Liberals. 1 in 10 (10%) say it will be the NDP. A hopeful few (1%) say it will be the Green Party, while one-sixth (16%) don’t know who will win. Almost 9 in 10 (87%) of PC supporters think the PCs will win. Contrast that support with (54%) of Liberal supporters who think the Liberals will win, and the quarter (27%) of NDP supporters who say they NDP will win. Ford approval and disapproval even, Wynne still low Kathleen Wynne see’s approval from one-fifth (18%), and disapproval from three-quarters (73%). Only 1 in 10 (9%) say they do not know. Her net favourable score (Approve-Disapprove) is -54. Doug Ford’s approval and disapproval are even, with (37%) saying they approve and (40%) saying they disapprove. One-quarter (23%) say they do not know. Doug Ford’s net favourable score is -3. Andrea Horwath sees the best net favourable score, with approval of (37%) and disapproval of (32%). A third (31%) say they do not know about Andrea Horwath. Her net favourable score is +5 “The bump in support following the Liberal budget is gone,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. "The Progressive Conservatives are back where we’ve seen them for the past year, and Doug Ford looks on track to be Premier in a few months. While campaigns matter, and it’s hard to count out an effective campaigner like Kathleen Wynne, the fact that the shine from the Liberals’ billions of dollars of promises has already diminished, must be a blow to their chances.” Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416) 960-9603.
As Ontario's economy is expected to declined in the next years. The Liberal budget takes us further into debt and they lied about it. The various public services are running on vapours, and are no longer able to deliver on their mandates. The provincial health services are being run by appointed folks that are not subject matter literal on health care. Doctors are continuing to have their pay reduce and are marginalized in any say, on how health care is delivered. Equality of out come, and compelled speak tribunals take us unapologetic back to Stalin and Mao's socialist disasters. The liberals are not liberals but post modernist neo-Marxists that at the same time endorse crony big business welfare.
For 2018-19, the FAO projects that Ontario’s budget deficit will increase sharply to $11.8 billion, the result of higher spending from the 2018 Budget combined with only a weak gain in revenue. Going forward, the FAO projects a continued deterioration in Ontario’s budget, with the deficit reaching $12.7 billion by 2020-21.
Importantly, the FAO estimates that Ontario was facing an $8.1 billion deficit in 2018-19 prior to the introduction of the 2018 Budget.
In this context, the government introduced the 2018 Budget which included a broad range of new public spending initiatives. While many of these new programs would provide significant social and economic benefits for Ontarians, the government has not raised adequate revenue to pay for them, adding to continued deficits over the outlook.
Large, on-going deficits will contribute to a steady increase in Ontario’s debt over the next three years. The FAO projects that Ontario’s net debt will increase by almost $70 billion, reaching $394 billion in 2020-21, pushing the net debt-to-GDP ratio to 42 per cent, well above today’s ratio of 39 per cent.
To address the budget deficit, the government introduced a ‘fiscal recovery plan’ which projects a balanced budget by 2024-25, based on restricting the growth in program spending. The fiscal recovery plan provides few policy specifics, but assumes that the government will dramatically cut spending growth from an average of 4.2 per cent over the next three years, to just 2.1 per cent from 2020-21 to 2025-26.
Based on the FAO’s analysis, severely restraining the growth in program spending, below the pace of population growth and price inflation, could lead to a balanced budget by 2025-26. However, this plan implies that the Province would have to lower spending by approximately $15 billion, or eight per cent, by 2025-26.
Even with the significant spending restraint planned by the government in the 2020s, Ontario’s debt burden would remain elevated, and the Province would miss its 2023-24 net debt-to-GDP target by a wide margin.
The Province Will Not Meet its 2023-24 Net Debt-to-GDP Target
The 2018 Budget postpones deficit recovery, leading to the accumulation of additional debt into the 2020s when demographic pressures on the budget will intensify. This additional debt will increase the challenge of stabilizing Ontario’s public finances, shift the burden from the baby boom generation to younger Ontarians, and would leave future governments with less flexibility to respond to future crises, including recessions.
Alternate fiscal plans that address the deficit would also involve difficult trade-offs. Raising revenue leaves less money for households to spend and businesses to invest, and would contribute to the already moderating pace of economic growth.
However, achieving continued spending restraint may be more difficult in the coming years. The government has been limiting spending growth since 2010, and many public services are currently facing budget pressures.
It will be interesting how close the pollsters are getting this.
The Maclean’s-Pollara Ontario Election Poll: Welcome to third place, Liberals
Source: Macleans Author: Paul Wells Date: May 7, 2018
On the eve of the official kick-off of the Ontario provincial election, Kathleen Wynne’s governing Liberals have fallen to third place and the second-place NDP has considerable room to grow, according to a shocking new poll.
The online poll of 1,010 eligible voters, conducted on May 3 and 4 for Maclean’s by Pollara Strategic Insights, shows that support for the Liberals has declined since other recent public polls. Among decided voters, the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford enjoy a strong lead with 40 per cent support. The NDP led by Andrea Horwath is in second place with 30 per cent. That leaves Wynne’s Liberals way back with 23 per cent.
The campaign is moving into a more intense and unpredictable phase. The first televised leaders’ debate is Monday night on CITY, followed by the dissolution of the legislature and the formal campaign launch on Wednesday. “This campaign’s going to matter,” Don Guy, the owner and chief strategy officer of Pollara, told Maclean’s. But his results show further room for the Liberals to fall and for the NDP to climb. Strong support as respondents’ second choice suggests Horwath’s NDP “has a lot of room to grow,” Guy said, whereas Wynne and the Liberals “aren’t even close to bottom yet.” <snip>
Usually I let the media prattle on these days, as their demise is self evident, and they are desperately trying to stay solvent by giving folks what they want to consume, in an effort to sell their wares.
When a story is so totally baft and incredulous, in it’s misinformation and omissions, I have to wonder about a lapse in the space time continuum or have thoughts of the possibility of renumeration incentives at play. The correct Ontario Liberal government is so far left of left Lenin and Mao would shake their heads and at the same time selling our province to global conglomerates and doling out incentives to their corporate buddies.
The Health care system is crippled with tribunals aka LINS that are staffed with non medical folks across geographical areas that have little in common in their requirements. Doctors are getting the wealthy bad people treatment and vilified (5 pay cuts in 5 years; euphemistically call salary discounts by the Liberals), while the system is flooded with administrators and the pay of medical support staff is raised and their work load diminished as doctor are required to decrease services and preventive medicine to save money.
The education system as shifted to a neo-marxist post modernist training camp that is crippling our children to be the fragmented drones willing to be the money for nothing social contract recipients. (spend and hour on the TSB website or look at the teachers unions support of the Venezuelan communist government).
The sell off of our infrastructure; roads, bridge construction, power generation power infrastructure to foreign companies.
The insane new labour rules that are untenable for most businesses to manage or understand; time off, sick leave, emergency time off; is just bizarre world that is killing businesses.
The tribunals that by pass our legal system to enforces speech and social behaviour, just like Lenin and Mao and Hitler and Chavez enacted to destroy the very fabric our legal system that has evolved over hundreds of years to safe guard us, and keep us unified as a society and culture, is being gerrymander by the liberals.
The current Liberals are a misguided pack of self serving pretend do gooders that have under mined our future.
The current Liberals have to be obliterated.
Hopefully in the future a real Liberal party in balance with the Conservation Party to steer Ontario to a viable future, were we all have access to: equal opportunities, a reasonable cost of living, a thriving business ecosystem in which everyone can contribute, and a viable safety net for those that need it, can be realized.
Stop the lies !
Kathleen Wynne was the premier we didn’t deserve ... such a scam !
I come not only to praise Kathleen Wynne, but also to bury her. The auspices for her government are so dire that a eulogy today hardly seems premature. Writing it now lets us imagine what settled opinion in the future, freed from the toxic fog of the current campaign, might make of Wynne and her six-year premiership.
Certainly four years of Premier Doug Ford will be more than enough to clear the air. But even before that, I suspect Wynne will emerge in hindsight as the bold leader of the most capable and effective government Ontario has enjoyed since the heyday of the fabled Big Blue Machine. She will be remembered as the best of her generation, representing Ontario at its best The partisan fog during the election campaign was thick enough to obscure even the plainest facts regarding Wynne’s Ontario. The province boomed under her government, enjoying record high employment, record low unemployment and sharply rising wages — especially for the lowest paid workers. Under Wynne, the province emerged as one of North America’s top magnets for foreign investment, just behind California, with Google leading the parade. The good times rolled on.
And Kathleen Wynne took the blame, her popularity plummeting as the economy soared. Suffice it to say that current public opinion in Ontario will seem just as mysterious in the future as it does today.
In this weird world, the premier’s greatest accomplishments proved to be her worst detriments. Her error was to assume that solving problems would win popular support. The opposite happened, as it turned out. But Wynne never stopped solving.
Michael Warren, who began his career as a key operative of the Big Blue Machine that once ruled Ontario so capably, put it well in a 2017 column that decried the opportunism and emptiness of that same Progressive Conservative Party now.
“Meanwhile,” he wrote, “the Liberals are stacking up policy initiatives like cord wood.”
It's probably safe to say that no one-term government ever passed as much significant legislation as Wynne’s. Her boldness in addressing social-justice issues and labour-law reform surpassed anything achieved by Bob Rae’s NDP. Her government made massive investments in transit and twinned them with the most progressive planning legislation in North America. It took concrete action against climate change. It successfully championed a groundbreaking pension reform, invested heavily in child care and early learning, cut Hydro rates, expertly cooled an overheated housing market, moved quickly to protect vulnerable tenants, took action against sexual assault and harassment, offered free pharmacare to youth, and led Canada in the installation of renewable energy.
Even when you disagreed with some aspect of the program, the sheer activism of Wynne’s government was undeniable. Also, it would seem, the problem: Wynne did too much, she pushed too hard, she modernized too earnestly — and refractory old Ontario rebelled.
There were certainly some deep reasons for Wynne’s downfall apart from those most often cited by her critics. Otherwise we are left to believe that she lost the 2018 election because of festering grievances over an ancient gas-plant scandal that failed to prevent her election in 2014, when they were fresh. The frequently uttered charge of “corruption” was no more persuasive. As a journalist who spent a good part of his career face-to-face with real political corruption, I’m astounded how freely that word is tossed around today. By any objective measure, the Wynne government was the cleanest in decades. The only thing that came close to a scandal was a ludicrous bribery charge against her aide, Pat Sorbara, which a judge dismissed before the prosecution had finished presenting its non-case.
Likewise, Wynne's government excelled in implementing its ambitious agenda. There was no e-health boondoggle, no ORNGE Air scandal, no gas-plant fandango, no real-estate scams. Wynne’s tenure was a master class in political management — and, in the face of populist derangement, it turned out to be terrible politics.
She failed because she was too ambitious, she failed because she never resorted to easy deceptions. She failed because she’s a woman, and because she’s gay. She failed because she's Ontarian, at the mercy of Ontarians, and we’re as ugly as anyone.
The future will judge, and what it will say is that we didn’t deserve her
The current Liberals have to be obliterated. Stop the lies !
ONTARIO ELECTION 2018 – AT THE MID-WAY POINT: NDP AND PCS IN STATISTICAL TIE HEADING INTO SUNDAY’S DEBATE
Source: Pollara Author: Macleaens Date: May 23, 2018
Since our pre-writ poll, the NDP have made notable gains (38% +8 ) and the PCs have dipped (37% -3 ), resulting in a statistical tie among decided voters. The Liberals have dropped 5 points to 18% support.