When asked, should he become premier, if he'd ban the practice of Muslim Imams coming to some public schools to conduct prayer meetings and relegating girls to the back of the room and not to mix with the boys, Hudak said no one was going to discriminate against his daughter (which wasn't the issue) and that he trusted school principals to do the right thing (again, not the issue). Why couldn't he say he opposed such discrimination, and promise to have his education minister take action if Conservatives form the government? Sharia law, anyone? His faith that principals would not be intimidated or pressured by minority groups or human rights zealots verged on the naïve... or cynical.
Jason Lietaer (PC): You know it's unpredictable when leaders start making things up. This week, Mr. McGuinty launched a new jobs plan that's not in his platform, announced a negotiating position for the OMA talks and cancelled a powerplant that looks more like a powerplant than a field.
If McGuinty's support of democracy and compelling arguments is legitimate, a moratorium, proper independent health study on impacts from wind turbines and restoration of planning control should be forthcoming for rural municipalities.
Jason Lietaer (PC): Ms. Horwath did well. Much improved from her performance on Friday. She was poised and on message, and I think most Ontarians saw her as genuine. Her ideas all sound great until you start to cost them, but that's not the biggest issue in any debate. Details don't win, impressions do.
What do comedienne Kathy Griffin and Premier Dalton McGuinty have in common, besides their Irish roots? Within the space of 24 hours, I saw them both ...
Jason Lietaer (PC): Dalton Mcguinty's trying to make a difficult case: that things are going to get tougher and you need the same guy to continue. Do you think McGuinty did a good job under tough circumstances? Vote for McGuinty. If you think that his tax increases, high hydro rates and waste made a bad situation worse? Vote for one of the other options.
Heather Fraser (NDP): The challenge for all the leaders in tomorrow's debate is to get past the cameras and the political score cards and actually connect with voters. And if Ms. Horwath comes off as the adult in the room I won't be surprised or bothered because being premier requires adult behaviour.
Over a million Ontarians lack a family doctor. While boosting funding may result in some more GP visits to people in major cities, the reality is this: the doctor shortage is pathetically real and many Ontarians -- too many Ontarians -- lack the most basic access to primary care.
Heather Fraser (NDP): Who has a message that will motivate voters to go to the polls? Which party has a machine that can help deliver the vote? And which ridings have close races where the outcome really is decided by those who show up? If I were in the Liberal headquarters, I'd be worried.
The Green Energy Act is an issue that has been festering in rural Ontario communities for years. The Liberals are campaigning in defence of their Green Energy Act, while the opposition has centred around three key issues: health and environmental impacts, process issues around decision making and the economics of the feed-in-tariff program.
Simply put, voters just don't know Tim Hudak. If you don't assign yourself a role in the play, you leave the door open for others to assign one for you. Liberals are defining the PC leader as a Tea Party-loving, immigrant-hating, right-wing extremist, who will gut our health care and shut down our public schools.
Why bother to vote Green if the Liberal Premier is already acting on green initiatives? Because Green voters should not forget this: McGuinty may dress in green clothing when it's in style, but that may not reflect who he is.
Jason Lietaer (PC): This is the Hollywood campaign: pretend everyone can get one of the favoured jobs, and when the game of musical chairs ends after the election, tell Ontario families you screwed up again. Sorry. Miscalculated. Just like coal plants. And eco-fees. And eHealth.
Jason Lietaer (PC): Now, the issue of the day: taxes. A Liberal backbencher says a carbon tax is on the table. Liberals go into damage control, saying he misspoke. The problem: it was delivered in a web chat. He typed it. Twice.
John Duffy (L): As the Canadian Press reported, Ms. Horwath is "standing behind a candidate who is coming under fire from the other parties for comments he made about religion and Nazis." We don't know how much quality control went into the NDP's candidate selection process, but one imagines we're going to find out in the days ahead.
The premier of Ontario continues to make new announcements of jobs, and promotes fear mongering that his political opponents would kill those jobs if elected. The reality is no matter who wins Ontario's Oct. 6 general election, those jobs won't be there to kill, because in most cases they aren't real.