The Ontario Liberal government's recent announcement to allow beer sales in grocery stores and craft brewer membership to The Beer Store's executive board is a first step to actually repealing prohibitive practices from production to distribution to consumer rights. But from the production to the sales process, Ontario liquor laws are antiquated as the ideals that formed them. This prohibition won't end in earnest until the playing field is leveled and competition, real competition, is allowed in Ontario.
Ontario Premier Wynne ascended to power by winning over the small clique of Liberal Party members who can afford leadership conference fees and travel expenses. Both Ontario women and LGBT communities rejoiced at this opportunity to have, for the first time, one their own at the seat of power. People of colour and hijab-wearing Muslim-Canadian women face acute harassment that falls outside the sort explicitly described in Wynne's plan. As a candidate, Wynne reached out to visible minorities on her way to the mountain top. Then she forgot about them.
The Ontario government is to be applauded for emphasizing the importance of apprenticeship programs, particularly as the province strives to produce a more qualified and highly trained workforce for the skilled trades and other sectors. Ontario has committed funding towards new equipment and technology upgrades to ensure apprentices get training that is aligned with innovations in the workplace; while new funding has been announced to encourage greater numbers of Aboriginal Peoples, at-risk youth, women and newcomers to Canada to pursue skills training.
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.
Consider that in 2013/14 interest on the provincial debt was $10.6 billion. According to the province's fall fiscal update, that was just over half of all provincial sales tax revenue paid by Ontarians last year ($20.5 billion). So Ontarians should know that when you pay your provincial sales tax at the till, half of it flutters away just to pay your provincial government's debt interest.
On December 1, the Ontario Court of Appeal failed Canadians who are homeless or living in substandard conditions. By ruling that the Government of Canada has no obligation to provide "affordable, adequate, and accessible housing" to its citizens, the Court sanctioned the government's abdication of responsibility for housing and dealt a significant blow to vulnerable Canadians.