Archive for the ‘Governance Debates’ Category

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What is Doug Ford hiding in his mandate letters to government ministers?

Thursday, August 4th, 2022

Ever since he became premier in 2018, Ford has refused to let the public see his mandate letters to his cabinet ministers. Indeed, Ford is so desperate to keep the letters secret that he’s waging a costly legal battle to prevent their release. It’s a fight he has lost all the way to Ontario’s top court and is now appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada… he’s also keeping the letters secret even from key bureaucrats who help analyze and formulate government policy.

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Healthcare needs collaboration, not finger-pointing

Monday, July 18th, 2022

The health-care crisis is different in nature from the pandemic, but alike in urgency. As such, it is a challenge of sufficient scale and complexity to be addressed at the first ministers’ level. This is especially true when [negotiating] pharmacare and national dental care programs… Collaboration on those files and addressing the crisis must involve more than cheque-writing that pours more money into systems proving inefficient. It must involve systemic and structural reforms to help make the healthcare system more sustainable – and easily accessible.

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PCs form “majority” government with 40.84% of the vote: Ontario voters cheated by first-past-the-post

Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Only 40.84% of Ontario voters supported the PCs, yet the voting system has handed Doug Ford’s PCs 67% of the seats and 100% of the power. The election results were a gross misrepresentation of what voters said with their ballots… Voter turnout fell to 43.54%. That means the current “majority” government is supported by 17.77% of eligible voters.

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It’s time to unite the left in Ontario

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

Liberals, NDP and Green members share many overlapping aims and would be compatible in a merger. They would also produce a more accurate representation of what the majority wants: evidence-based, compassionate policies; a healthy economy; better quality education and health care; affordable housing; serious climate-change work and so on. 

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If I were a car, I’d vote Conservative. But I’m not a car

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Do we want a car society, or a caring society? … Yes, we need more hospitals and facilities to care for one another, but a bed without nursing staff is just a mattress.  Yes, we need more child-care facilities and smaller class sizes, but more spaces without trained caregivers is just a warehouse. We can deliver a strong recovery, for everyone. 

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Ontario election: 4 ways Doug Ford has changed the province’s politics

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

The Ford government’s agenda seems driven by instinct more than ideology… fundamentally reactive, and grounded in relatively short-term perspectives… [Its] most recent legislative moves have sought to further marginalize the roles of local governments in planning matters and to eliminate public consultation requirements as red tape… The overall decision-making model… is based on access, connections and political whim… The focus… on short-term savings for consumers.

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Raising the incomes of the poorest Ontarians

Friday, May 6th, 2022

While the cost of living is going up dramatically, Ontario Works and ODSP rates have been frozen since 2018… more than 843,000 Ontarians are living in deep poverty. / Ontario is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. / … precarious working conditions… the minimum wage well below the living wage. / Long-term care residents have suffered more than almost any other group in our province during the pandemic.

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Why Doug Ford will once again win the Ontario election

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

If a politician or a political party believes voters cast ballots in favour of policy positions laid out in a party platform, then they badly misunderstand persuasion and what it takes to motivate a voter… elections are communication challenges, and communication is not a rational process of information transmission… Communication is a process of producing an impact on others, not transmitting information on policy goals.

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Ontario budget falls flat on funding for public services

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Despite all the spending, public services do not seem to be a priority… Normally, health spending must rise by at least 4.5% a year just to maintain services. The budget’s plan for health care is to cut it… Take [federally funded Early Learning & Child Care] out of the education budget and the net result is that, in a time of high inflation, education is almost certainly seeing a cut in real funding per student…

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Canada’s parliamentary watchdogs struggle for more financial independence

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

The auditor general is Canada’s first officer of Parliament, created shortly after Confederation to check government spending. In the firmament of the nine agents of Parliament, the auditor general, with a $117-million budget, is the uber-watchdog, the most visible and often better known than ministers… the auditor general’s office has a deeply entrenched culture of independence and a “semi-adversarial role” in dealing with government.

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