• A voter’s guide to the 2018 Ontario election

    The campaign of 2018 featured bold social policies for pharmacare, dental care and child care, though they may never come to pass. The bad news: The parties’ plans to pay for their promises don’t quite add up — and in the case of the Progressive Conservatives, were never made public as promised. The worst news: None of the above may matter, because this election is being fought mostly over personalities, not policies. For better or for worse, here’s how the major parties rank on five major issues facing the province in this election:

  • Ontario voters should back NDP to stop Doug Ford

    The NDP plan isn’t perfect; for example, we prefer the Liberals’ approach to child care. But overall it’s a program that would maintain Ontario’s progress toward a fairer and more prosperous society… The next government needs to pay greater attention to getting the province’s finances in order; we can’t assume the relatively good economic times will continue indefinitely… the majority of people in this province are fundamentally progressive. They want, and deserve, a government committed to openness, inclusivity and making sure our prosperity is more widely shared.

  • Choosing none of the above in the Ontario election is a cop-out

    Ontario is far from a basket case. Its citizens enjoy as good a combination of health, wealth, safety and security, education and freedom as any place on earth. It isn’t as evenly distributed as it should be, and governments over the years have worked to lift up and support the most vulnerable… You can’t have it both ways, damning the leaders for what has gone wrong and not giving them credit for what has gone right.

  • Hot!

    Two worlds collide [Ontario Election 2018]

    … governments that are afraid to raise taxes have two choices—go into deficit or sell off public assets. Part of Wynne’s unpopularity rests on this fundamental dilemma. She decided to both go into deficit and sell off public assets, namely the province’s majority shares in Hydro One. Outrageously high hydro bills ensued and Wynne is having trouble living that down… The moral of the story is that activist premiers may be capable of moving the needle on key social policies, but unless they’re equally progressive on the revenue side of the equation, it’s hard to strike a true balance.

  • Liberals’ voting bill needs sharper teeth

    For more than a decade, political parties and candidates have been prohibited from accepting donations from organizations, but third parties can accept these donations in unlimited amounts – even from foreign contributors. Foreign money is not supposed to be used to fund election advertising, but if it is donated outside of the regulated period and simply placed into general revenue, it becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the organization’s funds.

  • Ontario must ensure public supports and services for everyone

    … If you compare provincial government program spending, Ontario spends less per capita than any other province. If you look at the size of the Ontario Public Service, it employed 25 per cent fewer full-time equivalent staff in March 2016 than in March 1991… This obsession with small government encourages us to think small, to reduce our expectation of public service. It disengages us from our responsibility as social citizens to ensure public supports and services are there for everyone.

  • Ontario’s spending and debt are not sustainable

    … it’s really the complex government programs that cost us the most; $8 billion on eHealth, $37 billion on above market rates for renewable power, or the $93 billion Fair Hydro Plan designed to fix the high hydro rates caused by the Green Energy Act. Since 1997, the number of government employees has grown by 403,100, or 43.1 per cent… With bigger bureaucracies come bigger government plans, which means more government waste, paid for with higher taxes on the population.

  • 2018 Ontario Election Kit for Faith Communities

    ISARC has prepared a toolkit for faith communities to discuss issues and deliberate on electoral choices. As faith communities we have an obligation to care for those most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities… The ISARC Election Kit focuses on Income Security, Housing, and Employment Justice.

  • With populist politics, it’s emotion not economics that drives decisions

    … if we were wholly rational, we would make ourselves aware of the relevant facts and figures and calculate our way to the logical conclusion. “But voters don’t behave that way… They vote against their obvious self-interest; they allow bias, prejudice and emotion to guide their decisions. . . Or they quietly reach conclusions independent of their interests without consciously knowing why. Deft politicians (as well as savvy marketers) take advantage of our ignorance of our own minds to appeal to the sub-conscious level.”

  • Nine early signs of how Facebook ads are being used in Ontario’s election

    This is the sort of online messaging that will help shape Ontario’s spring election – and that tells the story of what a modern political campaign looks like, as digital micro-targeting increasingly replaces mass communication through more traditional advertising. Much of that story will by its nature fly under most voters’ radars, because they will only see the sliver of ads targeted directly to them… The Globe and Mail is monitoring as many of those ads as possible, to give readers the fullest available picture.