GO workers wait ahead of announcement from Ontario government about green bonds (Oct. 30, 2013)
Ontario made a small splash in the financial world at the end of October when Premier Kathleen Wynne and two top cabinet ministers announced the province was set to become the first Canadian jurisdiction to issue “green bonds,” a debt tool for governments to raise money solely to fund environmentally friendly initiatives.
“These bonds will help attract institutional investors, and they will be competitively priced based on what the market bears,” said Finance Minister Charles Sousa at the announcement.
Craig Alexander, senior vice president (Read more…)
Young Tim’s Mad Face
Readers of this blog will know that I have no use for Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, an acolyte of Mike Harris who learned the essence of that hated leader’s philosophy when he served in his cabinet in the 1990s: divide, conquer, sow dissension, lambaste instead of lead, etc., etc.
In yesterday’s print edition of The Toronto Star, the lead letter neatly summed up young Tim’s vacuity of vision and his vicious vilification of unions. I have taken the liberty of copying it from the paper’s digital edition for your consideration:
Re Hudak targets (Read more…)
News roundup: November 30, 2013
Here are a few thoughts about recent Canadian political stories (in no particular order).
Liberal spin on the Toronto Centre by-election
Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have been falsely claiming they ran a wholly positive campaign in the Toronto Centre by-election, and that this is why they beat the “angry” and “negative” New Democratic Party (NDP).
First, the Liberals did go negative during that campaign, including distributing a flyer that was a personal attack against NDP leader Tom Mulcair. When called on it, the dishonest Liberals cynically claimed that the personal attack was not (Read more…)
Woodland Caribou (Flickr image from Jim Winstead)
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has shown a “shocking disregard” for its legal obligation to consult with the public on numerous changes to how species at risk and their habitat are managed in the province, Ontario’s environmental commissioner Gord Miller warned recently.
In Laying Siege to the Last Line of Defence: A Review of Ontario’s Weakened Protections for Species at Risk, the commissioner’s special report on endangered species protections in Ontario, Miller argued that since the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) came into effect the government has “failed miserably” to provide (Read more…)
When considering the political motivations of Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, the boy who would be premier, there seem to be only two possibilities: he is either an indefatigable demagogue appealing to the same kind of folks (a.k.a. Ford nation) who blindly support Toronto mayor Rob Ford, or he truly believes the nonsense he is spouting, the latter perhaps the more disturbing, given the intellectual limitations it would suggest.
Either option, in my view, renders Hudak unfit to hold Ontario’s highest public office.
A secret document leaked to the Toronto Star confirms that, if his party wins (Read more…)
Captured grass carp at Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans research lab in Burlington, ON (Andrew Reeves)
Anyone doubting whether Asian carp could successfully breed in the Great Lakes watershed got their answer Monday as researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University in Ohio announced four grass carp were found to have lived and bred in the Sandusky River, a tributary of Lake Erie.
This is a critical milestone. Canadian and US scientists and policy makers have been holding onto a last hope that, should the destructive invasive species make its way into the watershed, they (Read more…)
Critical Mass in Toronto (Flickr photo by CG Cunningham)
Two decades was a long time for cycling advocates in the province to wait for an overhaul of the Ontario Cycling Strategy, and the draft report released Aug. 30 has left many underwhelmed.
The report from transportation minister – and avid cyclist – Glen Murray (who represents the urban riding of Toronto Centre) outlined five priority areas for improving the way in which people cycle on Ontario roads and the relationship between cyclists and other road users:
Design healthy, active and prosperous communities;
Improve cycling infrastructure;
Make highways and streets (Read more…)
Stuff like this is why, even though I like Kathleen Wynne, I’m not exactly running to renew my OLP membership card:
Premier Kathleen Wynne is “deliberately dismantling” protections for everything from Crown land to prized species like polar bears, snapping turtles and lake sturgeon, Ontario’s environmental watchdog warns.In his 190-page annual report, Gord Miller sounded the alarm over an “obscure” change in last spring’s budget that allows Wynne’s cabinet to delegate powers over government-owned wilderness to private companies. That paves the way for “wide open exploitation” of Ontario’s north without proper checks and balances to safeguard wildlife and precious (Read more…)
It is a truism to state that the poor have little power to influence the political discussion. Those toiling away at minimum wage jobs, our silent serfs, for want of choice, are one of the invisible minorities (perhaps soon to be a majority?) seemingly easy to ignore.
This was baldly demonstrated last week when the infamously consultative Premier Kathleen Wynne chose the default position so near and dear to politicos everywhere: political pandering. Despite the fact that she struck a panel to study how to raise the minimum wage, she reassured a nervous questioner in Simcoe that (Read more…)
So. There is this website that the Ontario Liberals have set up called “Common Ground” that is designed to elicit comments from Ontarians on new policy directions. This is not a bad idea. But good ideas can be hijacked by special interests who would clearly be positively or negatively affected by a certain proposed policy. […]
Tim Hudak will not face a leadership review, the Progressive Conservative delegates decreed at their convention yesterday in London. Tim Hudak is very happy. His party supporters are very happy.
The only ones possibly as happy are the Ontario Liberal Party and the NDP. They face face a lot easier task beating the PC Party with Tim Hudak at its helm (the Mike Harris leftover) then say, a more moderate and more popular leader.
The sun is shining across Ontario’s political divide. For this day at least, everyone is unified. Thanks PC party.
The struggle to raise the minimum wage has been the subject of several of my recent posts. The current wage of $10.25 in Ontario is as inadequate as the $7.25 that the majority of jurisdictions in the United States pays, forcing millions to live below the poverty line even if they are working 35-40 hours per week.
Today’s Star has an editorial championing an increase, perhaps not the 40% immediate increase that poverty activists are calling for in Ontario, but at least a reasonable step toward that goal.
Consider this startling fact from the editorial:
Some 534,000 Ontarians (Read more…)
I have written several recent posts on the campaign gaining traction across the United States to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour from the current average of just over $7. That struggle has now come to Ontario, where those living in poverty thanks to the current minimum of $10.25 are demonstrating for a boost to $14 per hour. Raising it to that level would put workers just above the poverty line, assuming a full working week.
The minimum wage campaign, which began Aug. 14, is planning similar days of action across Ontario on the 14th of every (Read more…)
Pickering area protest sign (Flickr image courtesy of jbcurio)
Residents opposing the Pickering airport have come to expect the unexpected.
In their 40-plus years of struggle against a development many feel prioritizes business interests over prime agricultural farmland, the story has unfolded in fits and starts. Long periods of inactivity on the part of the federal government are punctuated by seemingly random, unanticipated announcements, jump-starting worried citizens waiting for the struggle to begin again, as it recently has.
The history of the struggle against an airport in north Pickering, a growing suburb to the east of Toronto, suggests that until (Read more…)
Apparently, instead of taking his position as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party seriously by articulating responsible policy, young Tim prefers to engage in children’s games:
Tory leader Tim Hudak dares Liberals to call election
‘Nuff said? Recommend this Post
In a political landscape littered at all levels with lies, deception and expedience, it is hardly surprising that young Tim Hudak, the beleaguered ‘leader’ of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, has hung former Finance critic Peter Shurman out to dry.
Those who follow Ontario politics will likely be aware that Shurman, who represents the riding of Thornhill, lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake and maintains an apartment at taxpayer expense in Toronto, since his principal residence is more than 50 km from Toronto. This was done, according to Shurman, with the full knowledge and approval of Hudak, knowledge and approval which the Tory leader (Read more…)
Well, the Ontario legislature resumes sitting today. You’ll note in the story about it this morning in the Toronto Star that there is not a single mention of PC Leader Tim Hudak resigning (or even mentioning him for that matter).
Unless things change in the hours before the Legislature formally opens, that means I’ve won my bet with Jim Calder that he made with me that due to the poor PC byelection results earlier this summer, Hudak would either voluntarily submit to a leadership review/allow an easier implementation of it at the PC Convention later this year (he actually exhorted (Read more…)
Many Ontario residents of a certain age will be aware of the fact that the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party ruled the province for forty-two years, from 1943 to 1985, a time during which the term ‘progressive conservative’ did not constitute an oxymoron.
That was then. This is now. A headline in today’s Star reads: Tim Hudak best leader for Ontario PC party, poll shows.
How the mighty have fallen. Recommend this Post
I’ve spoken before about an ongoing bet I’ve had with fellow Liberal blogger Jim Calder over whether or not Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak would either voluntarily resign or voluntarily call for a leadership review before Sept 9 (the day the Ontario legislature is recalled), in the wake of some disgruntled Tories calling for said review of his and his parties dismal performance in last month’ Ontario by-elections.
It appears I’m going to win that bet:
Tories upset with beleaguered Tim Hudak’s leadership will get to air their beefs at the party’s policy convention next month despite Hudak’s objections, (Read more…)
Crazed clerics are not the only ones possessed of an evangelical fervour. Young Tim Hudak, leader (at least for now) of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, is well-known for wanting to bring back some of that old-time religion in the form of union-bashing and dismantlement, something he likes to describe eupehmistically as workplace democracy.
Happily, the agenda clumsily yet avidly embraced by Mr. Hudak and his federal brethren is transparent to many, as the following Star letter makes clear:
Re: A Conservative banner you won’t see, Aug. 10
Susan Delacourt misses the point. While home ownership is the dream of (Read more…)
Yesterday I wrote an entry offering my opinion on why Ontarians are not embracing Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak as the economic messiah he purports to be. Fellow blogger ThinkingManNeil offered a concise and insightful comment on Hudak’s problem, which I am posting as a separate entry here:
I think that another reason that Ontarians are reluctant to give Hudak the reins of power is that most most people who remember the Harris regime really remember seeing no tangible benefits from it. Hospitals were closed, teachers and nurses were fired by the truckload, the deregulation free for all (free fall? (Read more…)
I realize that the subject of Ontario politics is likely of little interest to those residing outside of the province. Yet I can’t help but think that the dynamics at work here are not much different than anywhere else in the country, especially when one is talking about the qualities that make for an effective political leader.
In today’s edition of The Star, Michael Taube, a political analyst and former speechwriter for Stephen Harper, offers his opinion as to why it is imperative that Tim Hudak, the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, should step down as soon (Read more…)
When you are leading a major provincial political party, it is never a good sign when the country’s largest-circulating newpaper makes editorial sport of you:
Memo to Tim Hudak: Please stay as Ontario PC leader: Editorial
You lost an Ontario election in 2011 that you were to supposed to win; failed in two byelections last year; and dropped four out of five this month against a tired and scandal-prone government. But so what? You’re Tim Hudak, head of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, and winning isn’t everything.
Ignore the growing number of Tories worried they’ll never achieve power as long as (Read more…)
I wasn’t expecting to be writing a followup post to this on Tim Hudak and leadership questions on whether he would still be here on Sept 9 or not so soon after the by-elections, but there is already some dissension in the ranks – enough to get the Toronto Sun to write about it.
I’m not sure whether ten PC members from London asking for an amended party constitution so that a leadership convention can be demanded is proof of a “palace coup” or not; supposedly there are also 5 PC caucus members who support this. Some other PC members (Read more…)