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.
It seems, based on Ontario Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray's actions, that the task of saving Ontario's honey bees is now an exercise in throwing out ideas without any concern for the impact it will have on saving the bees, or the broader consequences. Here's one he has not considered: ban cellphone use.
Do I wish this scenario hadn't happened? Yes. Do I feel the Opposition is making hypocritical hay out of a situation they've done many times themselves? Yes. Does it bother me that the Premier is under fire? Yes. But I also respect her defiance, her honesty and her insistence that she tackle the issue head on, herself, clearly and in public. She's taking responsibility and sticking to her guns. I'd expect no less.
Andrea Horwath wants things to 'Make Sense,' Tim Hudak 'Wants a Million Jobs,' and Kathleen Wynne has 'A Plan for Ontario.' One can't expect too much from platform titles, but none of the policy books display a focus on improving the health of Ontarians via bettering their social conditions as a primary driver. This leaves it up to the voters to read between the lines.
Kathleen Wynne's plan promises "only" two more years of deficit spending, with "only" $9 billion in deficit spending for 2015-2016. Then, somehow, two years later, the budget would be balanced, program spending would be the same, and interest payments would be $3 billion higher. Where that money will come from has yet to be explained. A Liberal government under Wynne would introduce yet another tax: this one a payroll tax that would cost each person up to $3420 per year.
Last week, the release of Tim Hudak's Million Jobs Plan filled the news space about what Hudak's plan would and would not do. Predictably, a portion of that news cycle was committed to fear mongering and the spin the Liberals and NDP attempted to put on Hudak's plan. Indeed, even with Hudak's Million Jobs Plan laid out in detail, the NDP and Liberals have stuck to the narrative that Hudak's plan would result in the "firing" of 100,000 public servants.
It's hard to imagine how the Ontario Liberals thought they could create a budget to the left of the NDP and think the NDP would support it. Then again, the 21st century Ontario Liberals have never been good at working with other parties. Dalton McGuinty was used to getting his way -- in his days, he only had to answer to his Liberal Party and union buddies. Within a year of being elected with a minority government -- where he, appallingly, had to work with the PCs and NDP -- he resigned and fled to Harvard University. Kathleen Wynne has not been any better.
On February 11, Kathleen Wynne held a Reddit "Ask me Anything" session. It was the Ontario premier's attempt to connect to the younger generation and respond to their concerns,but she failed miserably. Wynne's session lasted less than an hour and she only responded to 10 questions, all of which sounded like pre-drafted, generic answers. That left 1505 comments without responses. To attempt to make up for her disappointment, Wynne promised she would answer one additional question per day for the rest of the week. But the damage had already been done.
As the Ontario Liberal Party prepares to host delegate election meetings across the province this weekend, all signs point to a victory for Kathleen Wynne. She continues to demonstrate the organizational strength and critical levels of support needed to become the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. Glen Murray chose to drop out of the race and endorse Wynne prior to delegate election meetings where delegates, who will ultimately elect the next leader, will be elected themselves. Assuming his supporters follow him, Wynne's advantage going into this weekend's delegate election meetings is significant.