As cities across Ontario try to squeeze out savings to expand public transit, something doesn't add up. Too many cities, including Toronto, are missing out on hundreds of millions in savings. That's because Ontario has a labour law loophole that's putting cities, companies and taxpayers at a huge disadvantage.
The LCBO is hoping to cash in on marijuana sales. The dubious reasoning being that they, and only they, are capable of handling the burdensome task of quenching the insatiable thirst of millions of Ontarian adults -- so obviously they and only they are responsible enough to distribute marijuana. Too bad Ontarians don't view it this way.
Already testing affordability limits, higher new home prices could be among the unintended consequences of the provincial government's announcement on May 10 that it is proposing changes to four provincial plans that shape how land is used in the Greater Golden Horseshoe -- Canada's fastest-growing urban region, the province's economic engine and the home of the Greenbelt.
"Sorry sir, we've reached our sales quota, you'll have to wait until next year to buy beer." Words from a Soviet-era dispensary or a modern day grocery store? The government announced it was building a program to allow alcohol sales outside of the traditional methods -- unfortunately, any grocer selling six-packs will only be able to sell up to a maximum quota or run the risk of additional charges for meeting consumer demand.
In a landmark legal filing, Jesse Razaqpur and Charles Benoit, owners of the Toronto Distillery Company, have sued the LCBO over what they claim is the unfair practice of enforcing distillers to sell their product for the same price as at LCBO retail stores and then pay the same markup amount in tax to the LCBO. It goes without saying that this court case could hold sweeping consequences for the LCBO should the Ontario Superior Court rule in favour of the Toronto Distillery and other, larger distillers begin to seek similar legal action.
Ontario announced $1.6 billion funding for the Hurontario LRT. Given the unmet transit demand in the City of Toronto, it is odd that the transit billions are being targeted at the suburban 905-ers. If ridership should be the primary consideration for prioritizing transit investments in Ontario, how does Hurontario LRT fare?
The current Quebec government is at least trying to tame its deficit and start chipping away at its huge debt. But there are some people out there who question whether or not Quebec's public debt is really such a serious problem, and therefore whether our provincial government's "austerity" policies are truly necessary.
We've seen this script before. Higher spending. Tax increases. Persistent deficits. Growing debt. Warnings from credit rating agencies. A government unwilling to make the tough choices to turn things around. That's the Ontario of the 1980s and early 1990s. It's also where the province finds itself today.
With Ontario lagging behind other provinces on a wide range of economic indicators and recently becoming a "have-not" province, it desperately needed a bold plan to improve competitiveness and foster economic growth. Unfortunately, Thursday's budget failed to deliver and will only exacerbate Ontario's fiscal and economic challenges.
The industry undeniably preys on those who are desperate for a way in, and capitalizes on their insecurity with unpaid internships. But the demand doesn't justify the exploitation. The fact that it's a standard practice doesn't mean people have to accept it. Future journalists can, and should, fight back against this standard. This is why I am genuinely pleased by the government's crackdown. It will not solve all of the problems facing prospective journalists like myself, but it is a great way to eliminate one.