Ontario Provincial Politics

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Avro Arrow, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Doing Whatever It Takes Moderator

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    OK, I don't really know how well this thread is going to go over... I don't really know if there are a lot of people from Ontario who post here, and it probably won't be of very much interest to those outside Ontario. But I am genuinely curious, so I guess we'll see where it goes.

    Confession time: I like Kathleen Wynne. A lot. However, she has an abysmally low approval rating: 20% is the last number I heard, which is the lowest among all the provincial premiers. However, there is also a lot of evidence out there that Ontarians like Wynne's policies, they just don't like Wynne herself. So much so that the Progressive Conservatives under Patrick Brown pretty much adopted Wynne's platform wholesale as their own... before Brown was forced to resign for sexual impropriety, and the PC leadership candidates all pretty much set aside the so-called People's Guarantee.

    (We'll set aside for the moment the question as to why voters would vote against policies they like because they're implemented by someone they don't like. I would think that the actual legislation would have more affect on individuals' lives than the premier's personality or whatever, but anyway...)

    So why is Wynne so unpopular? Sure, there are going to be PC supporters who dislike her because she's a Liberal. That's pretty much a given. And of course, there is a certain segment who will dislike her because she is a woman, or because she is our first openly LGBT premier; I'm sure we've all seen the misogynistic and homophobic comments online. But I'd like to think that's just a small but noisy group. So I'm wondering more about why centrist or left-leaning people, who might ordinarily vote Liberal, don't like her?

    This columnist suggests the reason is her sale of Hydro One. I admit that I didn't agree with that decision either... but it's one thing out of many other good things. Could it really be this one issue? I wouldn't have thought one thing would be enough to cause this much damage. I was deeply disappointed in Trudeau's abandonment of electoral reform, but I'm not suddenly going to turn to Scheer because of it! (Although my understanding is there are still Westerners who detest Trudeau Sr. over the National Energy Program--and that was almost 40 years ago! So I guess it's possible...)

    Just wondering if anyone else had any thoughts or insight about this?
     
  2. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've lived in Ontario my entire life and I consider myself to be reasonably well-informed when it comes to politics, but I don't have a clue. I'm one of those 20% who approve of her and I'll happily vote for her again in June if the NDP don't impress me. The Hydro One sale is a negative mark on her record, but that's not nearly enough to generate this amount of hatred.
     
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  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I'm one of those rare Albertans who has voted Liberal both provincially and federally (not lately, though) and has never voted for any sort of Reform-Alliance-Conservative party and there's no way in hell I'll be voting for that cobbled-together mess that Jason Kenney glued together and calls the "United Conservative Party."

    What we hear about Kathleen Wynne, and what I see a lot of on the CBC.ca comment boards, is that she and Justin Trudeau are in cahoots to destroy Canada. Yeah, there are Canadians who are seriously dumb enough to believe that and will shout it to everyone online where they can.

    One of the issues has nothing to do with hydro. It's the age-appropriate sex education part of the Ontario school curriculum that bothers people. How DARE the schools teach kids that some families are "different" and that this is perfectly okay? How DARE girls learn about puberty, pregnancy, STDs/STIs before they end up with experiences they don't understand and have no idea how to handle? One guy said that sex education shouldn't even be a consideration until a girl is at least 14. He didn't just mean pregnancy, he meant everything. Newsflash to him: Getting the knowledge at 14 that would have come in handy at age 10 isn't going to help anyone.

    Knowledge does not equal "go out and do it; consequences don't matter." But try telling some (C)(c)-conservative bible-belt parent that.


    As for Hydro One... from the article, I get the impression that this was owned by the provincial government (aka the people) and Wynne sold it? Has your hydro now been privatized? Are people's average water bills higher or lower? Are there predatory companies locking people into deals and then fudging them, like the telecom companies do?
     
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  4. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Doing Whatever It Takes Moderator

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    Tell me about it. Although I did sort of think that most of the opposition to the modernized sex-ed curriculum was coming PC supporters, who would already be inclined to dislike Wynne anyway. But maybe there's more opposition to this on the left side of the spectrum than I was aware of.

    I had mentioned the PC leadership candidates in the OP... one of the candidates, Tanya Granic Allen, initially joined the race due to her opposition to the sex-ed curriculum. She has since taken on other positions though.

    Hydro One is the largest electricity distribution utility in the province. (I just checked Wikipedia, they apparently operate 97% of the transmission grid in the province.) Yes, it was entirely provincially owned, and Wynne's government sold off a majority share. The province still owns a minority share. I don't think it was mentioned in the article I linked to, but IIRC they needed the revenue to pay for the public transit projects they had promised.

    Electricity bills have gone up recently, but I'm not sure if it was all due to the sale. There was enough of a public outcry about the increases that Wynne implemented a 25% rate cut in 2017. But that apparently comes at a significant cost to the province because of how they financed it. (And I'm not sure about other predatory companies, sorry.)
     
  5. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I'm not sure how you reached the "more opposition on the left side" conclusion from what I said.

    Politicians take on whatever positions they think will get them elected. They can always renege later or cross the floor as may apply.

    Are these public transit projects just within cities and towns, or also between urban centres?

    What about public transit for the disabled?
     
  6. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Doing Whatever It Takes Moderator

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    Sorry, it was just speculation that possibly this was the issue that was causing those not on the right to turn away from her as well, since her levels of disapproval are higher than can be accounted for from just the conservative base alone.

    Too true. Brown, their previous leader, won the leadership campaigning as a social conservative, and then adopted a completely progressive platform as leader. Now *all* the leadership candidates are campaigning with pretty much the same positions... even Christine Elliott, who was their main progressive candidate in the last leadership contest.

    Some of the other positions that Granic Allen has adopted is an opposition to a carbon tax (this is one they've all adopted, even though the federal government will impose its own carbon-pricing on any province who doesn't implement one), and "ripping" wind turbines out of the ground in violation of existing clean energy contracts.

    I think the smaller ones are all just within cities and towns, although there are also improvements for the GO Rail system, which is technically between cities, even though they're all in the Toronto/Hamilton area.

    I haven't heard anything specifically related to that.
     
  7. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You don't really want to know... :devil:

    Short story is that us in Northeastern Ontario feel neglected by her government. So many gaffes over her many years. I can name a few for example: The recent by-election scandal & its trial in October, the decommissioning of the Ontario Northland train service (although technically this was done by the previous government, she's done nothing to make amends) which is a service much needed in northern communities that are more isolated and have depended on it. Last I've heard there's been a tiny bit of progress looking like there might be private contracting involved in restoring the routes.

    *Sigh* Yeah Wynne. I have to admit to not liking her much, but that's due to a lot of issues in the north.
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the best factor has been the sale of Hydro-One and the increase in Hydro prices.

    While the Liberals haven't exactly helped things in that area (mcginty's green energy plan was poorly conceived), their long time in office has allowed the tories to gloss over history.
    a) people have largely forgotten the utter mess made by the tories when they tried to privatise in the 1990s leaving a $5bil debt.
    b) both the tories and ndp promised to cancel the contreversial gas power plants in 2011 provincial electoral campaign
    c) the sale of Hydro-One was part of the tory agenda under hudak so opposition in pure hypocrisy mode for their criticism there.

    The problem with hydro is that the tories really haven't announced any ideas on how to deal with the issue and what was there under brown's policies has been tossed out the window and the party being dragged to the hard right.

    I doubt we'll see much in the way of policy out of the tories in the election campaign instead they'll simply run on not being wynne's liberals.

    And god help us if ford wins the leadership and become premier.

    That was pure political bullshit and the charges should never had been laid in the first place and it was very telling that the judge tossed the case.

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/sta...heir-innocence-over-claims-of-corruption.html

    Now that brown's pretty much gone I wonder what's going to happen with wynne's libel suit after he claimed she was on trial (which was a flat out lie).
     
  9. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, it was. Not discounting that at all. It's just that by the time the trial came around, it had already been brewing for awhile and there was already some aversion attached to her at that point. It was very long and drawn out, and I'm not even talking about the trial itself, because by that time, the damage had already been done. The system up here kind of suffered a whiplash. As someone in the city where it happened, it was unreal. Nobody quite knew who to trust. Whole load of he-said-she-said. Not to mention the money spent on the trial.

    Point being that I think the fact that it even had to go to trial showed that there were trust issues. And when it all came down to it, it was pretty much down to a misunderstanding.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  10. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Doing Whatever It Takes Moderator

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    Thanks for the insights! I'm from the south-west, so this isn't a perspective I get exposed to often.

    This possibility scares me to no end. I would have thought that if he managed to win the leadership, that he would be unelectable to the general population but a) all the polls seem to be saying the PCs would win no matter who the leader ended up being, and b) I've been proven quite wrong about someone else who I also thought was unelectable in another high-level example recently. :shifty:
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored That's not... ahhhh... logical, man Moderator

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    Maybe all the people who don't like her are secretly Trekkies and the name is a little too close for comfort to a popular villain:

    [​IMG]

    ;)
     
  12. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking that way. At first glance, I read the thread title as Kai Winn. :rommie:
     
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  13. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, no problem. Just trying to paint a different picture. We in Northern Ontario have often felt neglected, almost to the point that Southern Ontario feels completely foreign to us. It's a big province, and we sometimes feel the government can't equally govern and our infrastructure is stretched too thin . Another example: I'll use the GO train as a direct counterpoint example. How is it that Ontario Northland rail service is discontinued due to money issues, only to see them turn around and pour money into improving the GO train service? See what we're dealing with? It constantly starts to feel like decisions are being made to benefit the south rather than the province as a whole. I get it that the south has more population, but the north needs its transit as well, and there are some smaller communities up north with no other way of getting out. The GO Trains and the Ontario Northland were at one point considered sister services, but sold off Ontario Northland.
     
  14. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would have thought that for the rail link to the north with places like Sudbury, North Bay etc that Via would have made more sense give that Go is more commuter transit.

    Think it can also come down to a battle between the feds and the province.

    My local neck of the woods lost it's direct train service in the late 1980s and while there's been a push it's still no closer. A regional tory mp was moaning there was no money in this year's budget for anything beyond more studies it's not like the tories put in much money post 2010.

    Still have the rail lines but they're owned by CN or CP who've never bothered to put in any money to actually upgrade the rails so the frieght trains crawl along at 10Kph (so if we commuter rail tax payer money has to go in).

    We do have a GO and greyhound. The later isn't that frequent and isn't cheaper (and if you need accessibility you've gotta call Calgary to book). Go Transit is reasonable but it's about 3 hours to get to Toronto (just over a hour to Oshawa then the train to Union Station).
     
  15. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, you'd think so, and honestly rail is one thing that I'm rather nostalgic for, as like you, we lost direct access and it's mostly a thing of the past now. Sudbury used to be a big rail hub, and it still is to a certain extent when it comes to commerce, and it had its big start first in Lumbering, then in metal exports, so there's that long history. Plus North Bay is well situated and ironically enough is where the Go trains go to either get repaired or refurbished and has whole heritage linked with rail. Via is a name I haven't heard in quite some time, as I don't see them anymore, but they used to be the ones to offer service to Ottawa for instance. All I hear about VIA lately is in relation to The Canadian, the one that goes across every province. Ontario Northland if I remember correctly started up when VIA stopped operating, to service the north. They still operate bus service. In fact, it used to be Greyhound offered service and they'd have reasonably priced trips to Ottawa, but I think it's almost 4 years ago now that they decided they didn't want to take on the routes anymore as it wasn't a money-maker for them. Guess who stepped in to service those routes? Ontario Northland. They built a brand new terminal. Greyhound had a rather rundown terminal in this city that they hadn't upgraded in many years and it got to the point that anytime we'd pull in after a long trip, I'd hear complaints about how shabby it was. I remember an old lady that had bluntly observed that it looked like an eyesore, and she wasn't wrong. Somewhat humorously, Greyhound is now using that new ON terminal for mail and other trips. Funny how things come around.

    Well, the other thing about North Bay is that it's where the Ontario Northland HQ is located. They have a big repair yard. And North Bay has a beautiful terminal that's part train terminal and bus terminal.
     
  16. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    yeah VIA doesn't get much coverage but it's still running both within the provinces and to other provinces. I used it last year to travel from Oshawa to Belleville for a job and it's also competing with Go for some services into Union Station. Could tell all the uni students travelling home for the weekend on the train by all the Apple laptops :)

    Been to both Sudbury and Northbay but don't know much about them when it comes to transport.

    Greyhound terminal here isn't much to look at either and it's not much fun waiting there for a bus as 4am on a January morning when waiting for a bus that was late arriving - the thing was closed so had to wait outside.

    though one other point to remember about Northern Ontario is that it does get a lot of tax breaks that others areas don't get. sort of irks my mother-in-law because another few km's north and she'd be counted as Northern Ontario but that also shows that perhaps they've defined the area actually starting too far south.

    And see the court has tossed out the challenge to the tories closing their leadership vote today which is going to make things fun (only about 60,000 members have and the number of members is being touted as 190,000 but after brown's shenanigans the number of kosher members supposedly ranges from 75 - 125,000). Wait for the whinging and moaning from doug the thug. Polls are putting him in a tie with elliot so extending the vote would have benefitted him the most according to once political analyst.
     
  17. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Does she live on Manitoulin Island by any chance? Boundary wise, you'd think it would count as Southern Ontario, but it's actually in Northern Ontario :)

    That reminds me, that the funny thing is in all this, our community in terms of commuter trains has been reduced to having as little as maybe 1 train a week if that. We used to have a fairly nice train terminal that's now been converted to an outdoor market and more recently, a school of architecture, and the train picks up passengers at a junction outside of town. How far have we fallen... heh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  18. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Doing Whatever It Takes Moderator

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    Oh, that's great! :lol: I'm embarrassed to say I never even made the connection...

    I can certainly see that... politicians do tend to focus their efforts on more voter-rich areas. Which of course, doesn't make it right.

    And to be fair, if you replace "south" in your sentence with "GTA", then you get a sentiment that many people express down here, too! ;)

    VIA is a major presence where I live, but I live in the Windsor-Montreal Corridor, so... yeah.

    I'll be watching this with a fair bit of trepidation. I prefer Elliott over Ford... but I would also much prefer 2015 Elliott over 2018 Elliott. ;) If she does manage to win the leadership, hopefully she will drift back to her more progressive/centrist positions, rather than the far right positions all of them seemed to feel they needed to take in order to win the leadership vote.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  19. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As for conservative candidates, It must have something to do with our region, but I have a hard time voting for the conservatives on either level as none of the candidates have been all that promising. That goes with every past election we've had too.
     
  20. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Doing Whatever It Takes Moderator

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