Bob Rae and Kathleen Wynne are hardly the only (former and current) politicians to engage in storytelling. Politicians of every partisan stripe do the same thing. But while stories are useful and guide us in a variety of beneficial ways, the rational side of human nature should revisit tales now and then, especially political ones. That leads to better, smarter government. Ontario is no exception.
This suggests that simply shifting our language from "epileptic" to "person with epilepsy" can alter the way others think about those living with epilepsy. Employers, colleagues, teachers, and peers may think of their friends differently if we all start referring to "people with epilepsy" instead of "epileptics."
Tim Hudak had no plan to address this pension crisis and the provincial Conservatives are, in fact, out of the picture on this issue. There is very little disagreement between the Ontario Liberals and the Ontario NDP when it comes to the need to restructure existing federal and provincial retirement coverage, with or without federal impetus.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa complained on Thursday that the federal government underfunds Ontario. The complaint is part of a political effort by some Ontario politicians and others to distract Ontarians from the real issue: made-in-Ontario policy that is killing investment and jobs in that province and creating massive provincial deficits.
Vaccines are the only effective prevention we have, but right now they are only available against certain strains of the disease. I believe that all Canadians need to get vaccinated, but families and medical professionals still need to remain vigilant and know the signs and symptoms, in order to get the proper medical help before it's too late.
Georgian Bay Forever maintains that we need climate-resilient structures strategically placed to control the water levels throughout the basin. Such structures will mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Premier Wynne and her reelected government can act to prioritize research into engineering measures to mitigate declining water levels, which will only get worse with climate change.
Looking for a charming escape from big city Toronto or Ottawa? Between Canada's business mecca and Parliament Hill, sits Canada's very first capital. And she's a breath of fresh air. Of Kingston's many assets, I'm most impressed by the cobbled streets of downtown, and the European style of Market Square.
As the war recedes even farther into the past, the experience of the Great War risks sliding out of our collective memory. The centenary of WWI challenges us to renew our understanding of the conflict and reconsider its contemporary meaning. In that same spirit, my office is hosting Lest We Forget, an exhibition of WWI-inspired paintings by celebrated contemporary artist Charles Pachter.
The government already spends 9.2 per cent of its revenues to service its debt and, according to its own estimates, this will rise to nearly 11 per cent in the next four years. Put plainly, Ontario spends $1 out of every $10 sent to Queen's Park to pay for past debt. This is money not spent on health care, education, transportation, or other public priorities. The increase in rates and the expectation for further hikes means even more tax revenues will go to paying interest instead of key government services.
The biggest loser in this election is not the Hudak Conservatives, but the NDP. Had Ms. Horwath not defeated the May budget and triggered this election, she would have kept the minority Liberals hostage to her dictates. While the NDP is set to gain an additional seat in these elections, it has lost all legislative power it enjoyed only a few weeks ago. Hardly a success by any measure. Tim Hudak's Conservatives ran a far right Tea Partish campaign that took comfort and strength in ideology, flawed as it may be, and not in rationality.
The newest hot trend in the trying-so-hard-not-to-expend-one-iota-of-independent-self-guided-research crowd is declining your vote. In less than 24 hours all manner of articles have sprung up that read like the person writing them caught a case of spontaneous narcolepsy when forced to talk about the election. Nobody is going to argue the fact that the Ontario party leaders we've been presented with this time around come across as flat and less than engaging, but when was it ever going to be an option that Hudak's lifeless floating grin be the one I could hold accountable were something to happen to me in my own neighbourhood? Did everyone forget how our political system works?
Research in pedagogy shows that children learn much better in smaller classrooms. Tim Hudak, if elected, has promised to increase classroom sizes and the student-teacher ratios. The Ontario elections could very well be a vote on the learning outcomes for millions of school-going children. Tim Hudak, the leader of the Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, is campaigning to increase the classroom size by two to three students and the student-teacher ratio, in addition to numerous other proposed cuts to the Ontario's education system. This may require parents to learn more about learning before they vote on June 12.
At present, Ontario parents are, at least theoretically, allowed to send their children to a school other than their neighbourhood school. In practice, however, there is a large group of Ontario families who are quite unlikely to be able to access any of these options. That group is English-speaking, lower-income, non-Catholics, and it includes a great many recent immigrants to Canada.
The results do not bode well for Ontario. Provincial debt amounts to 237.7 per cent of revenue -- the highest ratio amongst the provinces. In other words, the total debt accumulated by the Ontario government represents almost two and a half years of revenues. Ontario's ratio is much higher than Quebec, the second most indebted province (189.5 per cent) on this metric.
Like millions of Ontarians, I don't care about Ontario politics; Why should I? Have no doubt: the Ontario premier is an insignificant figure on the world stage. Premier Wynne: Welcome to the new economy. Young people are more politically engaged and self-aware than older generations. Want to stop an election scandal or influence Senate reform? Don't write a letter to the editor of legacy print media. Start a YouTube channel. Tell us the truth and we might vote. We're smarter than you think we are.
Much of Canada's current approach to liquor retailing has its roots in prohibition-era attitudes towards wine, beer and spirits. But anyone who thinks that era ended should consider the anti-competition rhetoric that emanates from government liquor stores across Canada or Ontario's government-approved private sector beer cartel, The Beer Store.
Scandals happen to all governments at all levels, and I might speculate that the only reason the NDP hasn't been implicated in something deemed a scandal recently is that the last time they were elected Provincially was in 1990. They've never been elected federally. Jumping on other parties' scandals, as Ms. Horwath has, is a convenient way to avoid offering substantive policy alternatives and maintain the illusion of principled superiority. Scandal obsession dominates political discourse and freezes our governing institutions in wasteful bickering until the next scandal.
As Ontario inches closer to elections in June, two distinct visions emerge for the provincial economy. The Liberals propose investments in physical and social infrastructure, which will require running a deficit in the short run. The Ontario Conservatives, however, balk at the idea of deficit financing and propose stringent spending cuts.
At the provincial level, the Ontario Association of Food Banks strongly believes that the provincial government can and should take a more active role in tackling the root causes of hunger. This Hunger Awareness Week, ask yourself: who do you think uses food banks, and more importantly, why? Together, we can take a stand against hunger and poverty.
Georgian Bay Forever is all about protecting your water -- but not simply because water is a precious part of our natural environment. Indeed, water is critical to our $5.1-trillion regional economy and the 40 million people who call the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River region their home. Whether through tourism or shipping, water matters to the economy.