Doug Ford’s abuse of power for petty personal gain

The premier is ignoring very real problems across Ontario in order to settle a personal vendetta with Toronto city council

Doug Ford’s abuse of power for petty personal gainIt’s no shock that Ontario Premier Doug Ford wishes to shrink the size of Toronto city council. Conservatives like small government. Ford, a former Toronto city councillor, and his late brother Rob, a former mayor of Toronto, were known to be libertarian. They regularly made it clear that they believed that government should be leaner…

Ford’s notwithstanding clause gamble

The Ontario premier set a milestone precedent by invoking the clause in relation to Toronto city council. The fallout could be huge

Ford’s notwithstanding clause gambleThe Ontario government’s legislation to cut the number of Toronto city council seats from 47 to 25 was scuttled on Monday by a court ruling. While the general feeling had been that Premier Doug Ford would appeal this decision, he opted for a nuclear option that will be discussed for generations. The Progressive Conservative premier…

For beer fairness, end price controls and corporate welfare

If government believes it should discourage alcohol consumption, why does it subsidize the beer and wine industries?

For beer fairness, end price controls and corporate welfareWith much fanfare, the Ontario government has brought back “Buck-a-Beer” by lowering the government-mandated price floor on a bottle or can of beer (with alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent) from $1.25 to $1. Ontarians who don’t drink or who consume only more expensive alcoholic beverages won’t be much affected by this policy. But for…

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminated

An open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Lisa MacLeod concerning the cancellation of the Ontario basic income pilot

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminatedDear Premier Doug Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, We, collectively, represent the principal investigators, research teams and stakeholder groups behind several distinct basic income experiments underway in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the United States, Spain, Kenya and India. We profoundly regret that you chose to cancel the Ontario Basic Income…

Ontario workers have little to celebrate this Labour Day

The problems are widespread: a low private-sector employment rate, too many part-time jobs, below average productivity

Ontario workers have little to celebrate this Labour DayBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute Labour Day is a time to celebrate workers. Unfortunately, when you compare Ontario’s labour market to other North American jurisdictions over the past three years, Ontarians have little to cheer about. Premier Doug Ford’s government has an opportunity to help turn things around. But it will…

Ontario News Now sparks a silly political firefight

The Ontario PCs's Twitter channel is hardly without precedent: both the provincial Liberals and NDP have created their own "news" channels in the past

Ontario News Now sparks a silly political firefightWhy are some people so worked up about Ontario News Now? The Twitter account was started by the Ontario Progressive Conservatives on July 31. It’s being used as a political branding tool to promote Premier Doug Ford and his government’s programs and policies. The host is Lyndsey Vanstone, a former radio/TV producer and current deputy…

Ottawa’s contradictory climate policy just wastes money

Billions of dollars in spending announcements allow politicians to burnish their green credentials. But they don't get the job done

Ottawa’s contradictory climate policy just wastes money“Around the world, businesses, governments and experts agree that carbon pricing is the cheapest and most efficient way to cut carbon pollution,” Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment and climate change minister, recently tweeted. If what she says is true, it means all other anti-carbon strategies – including regulations and subsidies – are unnecessarily expensive and inefficient.…

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reform

The province needs to remove religious schools from the public system while introducing partial funding for independent schools

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reformProfessors from Western University recently renewed calls for the Ontario government to change the way kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education is delivered. Most Ontarians live in areas served by four distinct public school boards – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. If you live in Penetanguishene on the Georgian Bay, a fifth school board operates…

Ontario needs to get cracking to clean up its finances

A variety of factors - from uncertain economic conditions to higher public spending - threaten to push Ontario further into debt

Ontario needs to get cracking to clean up its financesAs Ontario’s new government takes charge, attention has focused on the moves made on education and the management of Hydro One. However, the most important task remains: dealing with the province’s public finances. The government of Premier Doug Ford took a first step by tapping former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell to lead an inquiry into…

The high-stakes battle between Doug Ford and Toronto city council

It's entirely possible that the federal government could wade into the pitched fight between the new Ontario premier and Canada's largest city

The high-stakes battle between Doug Ford and Toronto city councilWhen the Ontario provincial government fights city hall, no-one expects the House of Commons to join in. Yet it’s not out of the realm of possibility that all three levels of government could get involved in one testy issue. This scenario started taking shape last week when Premier Doug Ford announced his plan to cut…

Getting out from under Ontario’s high electricity rates

Premier Doug Ford's new government should cancel existing renewable energy contracts, not just future deals

Getting out from under Ontario’s high electricity ratesBy Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute If its recent throne speech is any indication, Ontario’s new government wants to reverse past mistakes and reduce electricity prices for Ontarians by cancelling 758 expensive green energy contracts with renewable generators for sources such as wind and solar. According to the government’s press release, this…

Green Ontario Fund a misuse of resources

There’s no better way to waste public funds than to have programs where everyone is spending everyone else’s money

Green Ontario Fund a misuse of resourcesPremier Doug Ford has already broken a key promise. Instead of putting money back into the pockets of Ontarians, the new Progressive Conservative premier of Ontario is apparently hiking expenses. We know this because that great bastion of sound fiscal logic and clear economic thinking – the Toronto Star editorial board – says so. The Green Ontario Fund, which Ford plans to cut, “is putting money…

Make Ontario energy affordable again

Premier Doug Ford must fulfil his promise to scrap the cap-and-trade carbon tax

Make Ontario energy affordable againBack in 2016, Toronto-based Leland Industries announced it would no longer expand in Ontario but instead do so in Illinois. Illinois businesses are themselves fleeing to nearby U.S. states because that state’s business and personal taxes make it an expensive place to do business. That a company would move to high-tax Illinois tells us all we need to know…

Ontario can learn from B.C.’s education model

Independent schools deliver higher student test scores at lower costs to taxpayers

Ontario can learn from B.C.’s education modelWith another school year ending, it’s a good time to reflect on kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education in Ontario. As the second largest area of provincial expenditure, it can’t escape review as incoming premier Doug Ford’s new government plans to rein in spending. Fortunately one only needs to look to British Columbia for an example of how independent…

Is Ontario’s Big Blue Machine rolling again?

There's no evidence the tribal loyalty of the past can exist today. And today's financial limits will ultimately handicap any government

Is Ontario’s Big Blue Machine rolling again?With Doug Ford’s surprisingly decisive Ontario election win, you might wonder about going back to the future. Specifically, is the Progressive Conservatives’ fabled Big Blue Machine rolling again? Younger voters may find this hard to credit, but there was a time when the Progressive Conservatives consistently dominated Ontario politics. Beginning in 1943, they won 12…
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