Tag Archives: Dalton McGuinty

Is an election on the horizon in Ontario? Liberals, NDP still trying to make a deal


Ontario general election, 1999

Ontario general election, 1999 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ontario Liberals and New Democrats are meeting again today, trying to negotiate a deal before Tuesday’s crucial budget vote to keep the minority government alive and avoid another election.

Sources with both parties confirm the talks continued all weekend, but aren’t saying when NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Premier Dalton McGuinty will hold a face-to-face meeting.

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What is the plan for Transit City now? GTA has worst commutes in 19-city survey


Commuters in the Greater Toronto Area suffer through longer round trips than their counterparts in 18 other major centres, including notoriously congested Los Angeles, according to a new report commissioned by the Toronto Board of Trade.

The board’s second annual “scorecard on prosperity” concluded the average GTA commute lasts a punishing 80 minutes for drivers and public-transit riders alike, putting the region an “embarrassing” last place behind not only L.A., but also the gridlocked metropolises of New York, London and Montreal.

“The report shows [commute times in the GTA] are getting worse,” said Carol Wilding, the president of the board of trade. “So there’s another clearly strong proof point and evidence that says they’re getting worse; we’ve underinvested. We’ve got to get on with it.”

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Transit City Cancelled?

Toronto’s commute times are the longest

Government fails Toronto Transit again! Transit City is now dead, who can be trusted?


No more funds for Transit CityRocco Rossi will not have to keep his promise to kill Transit City. Dalton and the Liberals may have done it for him? Is this one of the “dumbest decisions ever made?” The government seems to be following in the footsteps of its predescesors and the Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives, when similar projects were ended without understanding the long-term investment in Transit for a viable city. What do you think? Who is fighting for Toronto and the G.T.A?
The G.T.A Patriot
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Fri, 2010-03-26 05:40.
Cheryl Camack

As a part of the Thursday’s provincial budget the McGuinty government announced a belt-tightening of $4 billion over five years that will derail the expansion of public transit projects, essentially cutting Mayor David Miller’s Transit City funding by half.

In a press conference in his city hall office, a seething Miller says he’s “beyond disappointed” by the cuts.

Miller says this is unacceptable to him and it should be to the people of Toronto.

“You don’t balance budget’s by stopping building the future–that’s the job of the government”

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Liberal budget swipes away Transit City funding

Should we now reallocate funding for Transit City?

Click to read poll

Why the Conservatives and the PM need an election now to save themselves.


Elections for Canada - October 2008

Elections for Canada - October 2008

Some high profile Conservatives are not seeking re-election. Do they see the title wave coming? Are they afraid? The real reason the federal Conservatives are calling for an election now is that they really do not have a choice. What do I mean by that? Let’s make just a few points.

  1. The longer they wait, the better chance they will loose even more seats next year, pending the coming downturn in the economy. In case your head is stuck in the sand somewhere, the economy is not doing well.

  2. The numbers for the Conservatives are still strong in Quebec and they have a chance to grab some seats in Ontario. The election may affect the Liberals more than the Conservatives.

  3. The Honourable Stéphane Dion polling numbers are not strong. However, that is slowly changing and they need to go to the polls now, rather than later. The longer they wait, the more “sympathy” for Dion. I believe that the Conservatives will stay away from poking fun at Dion, because this stragedy does not help. They will will HAVE TO focus on making the PM more personal to win.

  4. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is betting that their low-profile governance will help them at the polls. To be honest, there is not much news and “substance” to go on. People tend to figure, if it is not broken why fix it, to be frank.

  5. The overall view is, when the economy is in a downturn, you need a “fiscally conservative” approach. That is a perception that has not changed much. This is probably what did in the government of Bob Rae in Ontario, leading to the extreme right in the Harris “common sense revolution. Again, I have already said it, but the PM does not want to have the stain of being the government that caused a ressession. Even though it would not be true, it does not really matter. Its all about perception.

  6. The western provinces are doing well, so “milk it while we have a chance to”, because the Greens are coming!

  7. The George Bush factor! Need I say more, as November approaches? If people believe that they have become a bit too “neo-conservative”, than the Conservatives are in trouble, especially in Ontario and Quebec. So go now while we are “a sleep at the wheel”.

  8. The PM needs an election fast, before the historic election in the U.S. It is a fact the a huge amount of Canadian’s are watching the American election. No matter what you think the Conservatives “DO NOT” want to be caught in the “change title wave” that is approaching. If they do, they will basically drown in the possible Obama factor, no matter what side of the fence you are on.

The fact is the only point the Conservatives are riding is the fact that they can say “the Green Shift is not a prudent policy for the coming economic downturn”. While, offering no option of their own, they are “fear mongering” people into thinking that this is all about raising taxes. This is a dangerous gamble, seeing that people list the environment as an important factor, despite economics. Now make no assumption, I am not a Liberal member. To be honest, if there was a viable Libertarian Party I would go down that route (albeit I do like the Greens a bit). But that is besides the fact! There is a burning ship in parliament, and the Conservatives are doing what ANY party would attempt to do. Get a few more years and hope, you can ride the possible recession out. Maybe even a possible Liberal, NDP leadership review and like magic call another election. We will probably see another Conservative minority. Who really knows? This election may end up hurting the Liberals, more than the Conservatives and the NDP or Green Party may make substantial strides in politics this time around. The question is, at who’s expense? What will happen if Canadian’s want change? Can any leader capitalize on this? Or is this a bit of Russian roulette? I welcome your comments!

By Andy MJ
a.k.a the G.T.A Patriot

Ontario Listeriosis Update August 22, 2008


Listeriosis

Listeriosis

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health reported today that two additional deaths have been confirmed to be directly caused by the listeriosis outbreak. This brings the total number of deaths to three.Outbreak associated cases of Listeriosis have also been reported in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Quebec.

QUOTES

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “I would like to remind the public, especially those at high risk for Listeriosis, such as the elderly, pregnant women and those with weak immune systems, to avoid consuming any meats connected with the CFIA recall. If in doubt – throw it out.”
QUICK FACTS

* Listeriosis is a reportable disease under Ontario Regulation 569 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
* The incubation period for Listeriosis is from three to seventy days with an average incubation period of three weeks.

read more | digg story

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

August 25, 2008

NEWS

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s listeriosis update, as of Monday, August 25, 2008.

The local public health units have been asked to check their local hospitals, long-term care homes and daycares to ensure that any products from the Toronto Maple Leaf plant have been removed and are not being consumed. In addition, they have also been advised to check for recalled products at key retail outlet locations.

Last Friday, the public health units were asked to check the smaller stores, mom-and-pop shops that may not have heard of the recall.

QUOTES

“I would like to remind the public to check their refrigerators and ensure that any products related to the food recall are thrown out,” said Dr David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

LEARN MORE

For an up-to-date list on this recall and other CFIA consumer food recalls online

Find out more about Listeriosis online

Contact your local public health unit.

For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only) Members of the media :

Mark Nesbitt, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ontario.ca/health-news

Sheela Basrur, the cool voice of reason during 2003 SARS crisis, dead at 51


PREMIER DALTON MCGUINTY ON THE PASSING OF DR. SHEELA BASRUR

“I was deeply saddened when I heard today of the passing of Dr. Sheela Basrur. She was a remarkable woman and her passion for public service is what made her such an extraordinary Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. “

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Dr. Sheela Basrur, a public health figure whose skilful leadership and communications expertise helped guide Canada through Toronto’s SARS crisis in 2003, died Monday after a 17-month battle with a rare form of cancer.

Basrur, 51, had stepped down as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health in December 2006 when she learned she was suffering from leiomyosarcoma, a diagnosis for which the prognosis was poor.

Many of her friends, colleagues and admirers fought back tears as they paid tribute to a diminutive woman with a big brain, a big heart and a quick smile.

“It was obviously at one level expected and inevitable, given what she was dealing with. But it’s too soon, too young and a huge loss, not just to public health but far much more in the country,” Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s chief public health officer, said from Halifax.

Born in 1956, Basrur was raised in a professional family.

Her father is a radiation oncologist at the Kitchener, Ont., hospital where Basrur died. Her mother is a professor at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.

Divorced, she had one child – a daughter, Simone Koves, who is now 17.

A private funeral will be held, according to family spokesperson Sujit Choudry. A public memorial to mark Basrur’s life and professional contribution will follow.

But some of that recognition started to flow before her death. In April, at a ceremony Basrur was well enough to attend, the provincial government announced it would name Ontario’s new arms-length public health agency the Sheela Basrur Centre.

People for whom she worked and who worked for and with her described a woman able to quickly grasp the big picture, a leader who easily marshalled and motivated troops, and a person whose keen sense of humour was ever at the ready.

“She was one of those people who can take the information and understand the implications of it and be able to convey that to people in a way that they understand,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, a friend who also served as an associate medical officer of health in Toronto during Basrur’s tenure as medical officer of health for the city.

“To me, her greatest skill was being a passionate and very good communicator with people.”

Henry, who now works at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, often marvelled at Basrur’s easy turns of phrase.

“I used to ask her if she practised those – ‘We’re fighting the fire while we’re building the bucket,”‘ Henry chuckled, quoting a famous Basrur description of what it was like trying to contain SARS with antiquated disease surveillance tools. “She’d just come up with these things.”

After Basrur emerged as a rising star of public health during the 2003 SARS crisis, Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman lured her from Toronto Public Health to serve as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

“The day that Sheela Basrur said she was going to come to the province of Ontario and help to champion the renewal of public health, the bounce was the kind that only a very, very small group of leaders is able to accomplish,” Smitherman said in an interview.

That move, in 2004, sent a message to public health professionals throughout the province that things were looking up for their long-neglected field, Smitherman said. “That’s the Sheela Basrur effect.”

The two worked closely together as Ontario moved to enact the Smoke Free Ontario Act, which banned smoking in enclosed work places and public spaces across the province.

“Her determination and always a sense of joyfulness even when the sledding was really very difficult – that’s what I’ll remember the most. That woman was determined and forceful and powerful, in such a tiny little package,” he said.

Getting people to do what was necessary was another of Basrur’s highly honed skills. Saying no to Sheela Basrur just wasn’t something people in public health wanted to do.

“You can’t. It was impossible,” said Dr. Donald Low, who along with Basrur became a household name during the SARS crisis.

After taking on the job with the province, Basrur called Low, head of microbiology at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, to a meeting to talk about the problems plaguing the provincial public health laboratory network, which was perennially short of staff and unable to attract a medical director.

“I was telling her what the problems were and by the time I left the office I took the job,” Low said. “You really couldn’t say no.”

Liz Janzen, who worked under Basrur as a director of healthy living at Toronto Public Health, knows that feeling.

“She would kind of look at you with those big eyes and you’d go ‘OK, all right, yes, I think I can do that,”‘ an emotional Janzen said.

Basrur championed health promotion, Janzen said, going to bat for parts of public health that typically get little attention.

“So although she had her hands full with DineSafe (a restaurant inspection program) and TB outbreaks and communicable disease outbreaks, she also was a very strong proponent of health promotion in general and in particular working with children and women and vulnerable populations in the community,” Janzen said.

“She was very much there.”

But it was her role in the SARS crisis which showed the world the steel in Sheela Basrur’s spine.

Calm and composed in a time of chaos, she earned the respect of all those who worked with her or watched her on TV.

“Her unique ability to distill complex medical issues at a time of distress brought much needed reassurance to the Canadian and international communities,” Federal Health Minister Tony Clement – who was the provincial health minister at the time – said in a statement.

Dr. Jim Young was Ontario’s head of emergency preparedness when SARS hit. Working with people during a crisis really shows you what they are made of, said Young, who has worked through many in his career.

“You get to assess people as they really are. And they didn’t come any better than Sheela.”

read more | digg story

Dalton McGuinty’s increasing centralization of power


Premier Dalton McGuinty insists he is not rattled by apparent dissension in his Liberal ranks. In a move that even loyalists now concede was ill-advised, McGuinty ordered all staff members to leave the Liberal caucus room on May 13 then criticized MPPs for speaking out of school.

The MPP said the ensuing one-hour discussion, sparked by a May 10 Star article headlined “Premier McGuinty’s tight ship,” exposed a growing resentment from elected officials over the increasing centralization of power.

“There’s a bit of arrogance coming out of the premier’s office,” said another senior Liberal.

read more | digg story

Ontario legislature orders Toronto’s transit workers to end – Strike is over for now!


Ontario’s legislature has ordered Toronto’s 9,000 transit workers to end their suprise strike that idled the country’s largest fleet of subways, streetcars and buses. All parties supported the bill, introduced personally by Premier Dalton McGuinty, who called a rare Sunday session of the legislature to pass the back-to-work legislation.

As a result, subway trains, streetcars and buses should be rolling within hours, well before Monday’s commuter rush begins – welcome relief to the 1.5 million people who use transit weekdays.

The legislation imposes fines on individuals and the union if they don’t heed the back-to-work order.

The city was caught flat-footed when the transit workers walked out with barely any notice at midnight Friday night after rejecting a tentative contract.

McGuinty called on transit users to extend courtesy to transit workers.

read more | digg story

Is replacing John Tory and going neo-consertive a bad move in Ontario? Yes!


John ToryAs I have mentioned before if the PC’s decide to go the “neo-conservative” route, and it plays out in the public eye as an “internal turf” of their leader, it maybe many years before they ever hold the seat of power in Ontario again. Insiders have also said that the people who want John Tory removed are former Harris conservatives. Maybe they are living in another world, but those days are long and gone. Ontario will not tolerate another Harris styled government, love him or hate him. What I find interesting is that Dalton McGuinty, Mike Harris and a other past leaders got a few “kicks at the can”. However, with John Tory it seems that many conservatives are unwilling to do so. It seems that he did the unforgivable sin? It maybe because of the school funding issue and the move to run in Don Valley, a not so “safe seat”. Unfortunately, this is something that John Tory may wear for years. Ironically, if he waited he probably would have easily defeated David Miller in Toronto for mayor. If the Tories want to ever win again in Ontario they must go to the “grass-root” level and focus on the next generation of voters. Dalton McGuinty, at the moment, is playing towards the middle of the pack (pulling soft-c conservatives). Going backwards to the old Harris era will just not work in Ontario. At the moment, times are good in Ontario and if they go further to the right they just might find themselves even further back than they are now after the next election.

By Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Read more information about the move to remove John Tory from the CTV article below.

read more | digg story

Ontario to go trans fat free


New legislation will be introduced today to end to trans fat and junk foods in school cafeterias and vending machines.

“Our kids’ health is just too important to risk,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty. “Trans fats have no place in our schools and we’ve got to act now.”

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2007/04/c7260.html

Everything is proceeding as the Liberals has foreseen


 

Everything is proceeding as Dalton McGuinty had foreseen”. John Tory was supposed to lead Ontario‘s Progressive Conservatives to certain victory over the “supposed” dark side; however he led them instead to a resounding defeat. Emperor Dalton McGuinty became the province’s first Liberal leader in 70 years to claim a second straight majority government. Albeit, one has to wonder; did John Tory simply not stand a chance against the political dark elements of deception, manipulation and down right Liberal political experience and know how? The Liberal engine is experienced; they knew what the electorate was prepared to talk about and what they did not want to hear. Elections are not for issues because in reality we only like comfort and ease. We like to know that everything is alright and under control. Only an all encompassing “Provincial Empire” can achieve this stability in Ontario and we gladly allowed it. Progressive Conservatives, and others, in Ontario thought that John Tory would have brought ‘A New Hope’ to the “integral deficit” that now exists among politicians; however the imperial forces of the Liberals got their way.

As such, the seasoned Liberals (lets give our due to the Liberals – they know how to run a campaign, like it or not) knew what to do and perhaps, over-confident conservatives thought that they had the upper hand. But with a strong economy and positive outlook, I assure you, the Liberals were quite safe. It did not take much to “scare” Ontarians into voting for the status quo. Now, on radio and media outlets, they are talking about the “real” issues, that were never brought up during the election. Unfortunately, John Tory and the PC party left Ontarians defenseless to it and our journey to the “Liberal Side” was completed! “The Progressive Conservatives and their feeble skills was just no match for the power of the Liberal side of the force! Ontarians allowed our Emperor Dalton to use their own aggressive and hostile feelings to focus on the faith-based school issue; essentially allowing fear and trepidation flow freely. Dalton and the Liberals felt that fear and knew how to use it. You would think that Ontarians would have not allowed one issue to dominate the election, but it did. Our radio and media outlets participated in the mix that focused us all on that one issue. Now that fear, along with hate, has made ‘Emperor McGuinty’ more powerful then we could ever imagine; fulfilling the destiny of a second term.

So now, Ontarians, we selected another path. One that we think is certain, stable and safer, but is it? Dalton led a smart and clean campaign; showing himself on television, always telling Ontarians what he would do. He always said “we can do better” and “there is more work to be done”. Your compassion for him led you to vote overwhelmingly for the Liberals. And those of you who hated the faith-based school funding issue, allowed yourselves to be used by simply not showing up to vote. This will be our undoing and in the end we will pay the price (that’s called taxes, if you haven’t gotten it already…) for our lack of vision!

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot
Toronto, Ontario

NEWS FLASH: The Imperial House of Commons will no longer be of any concern to Ontarians. We have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved elections permanently. No point anyway since only half of Ontarians bother to get out of there house and vote anyway. The last remnants of the “OldRepublic” of Ontario have been swept away. The regional Mayors, (David Miller and others) now have direct control over their territories, using the template of the “City of Toronto Act”. Fear will keep the locals in line. Hasn’t it always?


The Ontario Imperial  House of Commons

P.S. OKAY! I’m having little political fun with my love for Star Wars!

Merging the TTC and GO under GTTA control?


The Toronto Star, CityTV (Breakfast Television) and other media outlets are reporting that the TTC maybe “high-jacked” by the Liberal Government of Ontario, which may have been secretly planned all along. Rumors are flying high that the TTC may be taken over by the Government of Ontario and merged with GO Transit, under the umbrella of the GTTA (Greater Toronto Transit Authority). Many have believed that this would eventually happen, since the TTC has become so large and important to the welfare of the GTA that it may have become just too large for the City of Toronto to handle. Of course speculation is that this may have been their plans all along. Many have wondered, for a while now, why the province was so adamant on expanding the TTC into Vaughan, and beyond, when it seem illogical for Toronto to care on managing transit into the other regions of Toronto. Greg Sorbara, one of the proponents of the plan, tied up funds to ensurCity Halle that the expansion into Vaughan took place. If this is the case it may have simply been the master plan of the province. Now the Liberal Government has a majority and there would be no stopping them from doing this. Of course this is only rumored, however one has to wonder if this was not the plan, than why bother with the GTTA? The Metropass has passed the mythical bar of $100, now costing $109 dollars. With the TTC complaining about funding, almost every year, the province may simply believe that the TTC is just too much for the City of Toronto to handle, removing control of the Toronto symbol from David Millers hands.

Ironically, moving the control of the TTC to the province would allow Toronto to better balance their books, now that council passed the new taxes. In some ways it would seem that the province may have been waiting for the results. Or it maybe a simple choice of choosing what they feel is best. We know that the Liberal government, although they promised, has not uploaded services that were downloaded during the Mike Harris years. What would happen if the province simply decides to take control of the TTC, covering all costs and leave everything else as is? Would, removing the TTC from Toronto’s books balance the budget? It definitely would help, however how would service be affected? Would the province run the service as is, or run it like GO Transit? Would they merge services with GO Transit? Would they start Zone fares? Would you be able to jump on the “GO” and then to the TTC seamlessly? There are hosts of unanswered questions. Or, is it time for the TTC to simply grow up?

TTC StreetcarThe TTC is a Toronto icon, from the storied streetcars of yesteryear to the way the subways were originally created along Yonge Street. I will not go into a rant about the TTC not being able to innovate and change the way they do business. The TTC, unlike other transit systems across North America, receives little Federal funding for operating costs. However, at least the Federal government did kick in the needed funding for the extension of the subway to Vaughan (ill-conceived, but done nonetheless). If this really does happen then some of the moves the government made, along with their promises for Move2020, would make sense. What we should debate is whether this is a good idea or a bad one? I am not sure if this is a good or bad idea, but do not be too quick to jump on the bandwagon? Does the province understand the needs of Malvern, King Street West, Don Mills, North Etobicoke or the Beaches? What about those routes that do not make a lot of money? Will they be continued or operate like other jurisdictions? Do they think streetcars or buses are more important? Do they care to support the “Transit City” initiative or Subway expansion? What does this mean for the YRT and VIVA? How about Mississauga Transit? These are all unanswered questions, which Torontonians, and GTA residents, should think about and want answers to. What maybe good for Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga and others, may not be good for Toronto, and so visa versa. The debate on merging the TTC with GO, and surrounding systems, has been going on for years, with pros and cons on both sides. This was not on the table during the last provincial election; however loosing the TTC may be the evolution of progress or the greatest public transit “coup” ever conceived by the Province of Ontario.

Read more news from the Toronto Star Article, below.
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/269896


Andy MJ
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”

Toronto, Ontario