Posts Tagged Kathleen Wynne

Ontario PC’s Running The Largest Deficit Projections in Current Platform

Mike Moffatt who is a director at the independent think tank Canada 2020, and an associate professor at the Ivey Business School, has come up with an interesting post comparing the platforms of each party in the Ontario election and how they compare to deficit projections. Moffatt’s deficit projections put the PC’s with the highest run deficits, with the Liberals in close second, and the NDP with the lowest deficit projections. These numbers include the recent correction of $1.4 billion/year the NDP has had to make on reserves.

Moffatt noted that there is a lot of unknowns when it comes to the PC platform, however right now – on the information they have currently provided to the public – the PCs seem to be running significantly higher deficits in their platform than the other two parties.

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NDP and PC’s Neck and Neck as Millennials Engage

The latest poll from Abacus shows that the PC’s and NDP are now neck in neck with Ontario voters.  The PC’s lead seems to have evaporated, and the progressive vote is moving from the Liberals over to the NDP.

The PC campaign has been plagued with controversy over this past week, from the selloff of user data from the 407 to help with PC fundraising, to PC Leader Doug Ford secretly attending a fundraiser outside of the election period and breaking election laws, to the York Regional Police and Election Ontario opening up investigations into the theft of data from the 407 ETR.  It’s no wonder why to end his week Ford chose to stop in York-Simcoe that has been considered a “safe” riding for the PC’s.

Hoping to get a warm reception in York-Simcoe, Ford was met by several concerned residents over the backroom sell off of the Greenbelt which is still a very hot topic locally.  You can view the exchange below:

 

With election day two and a half weeks away, this election is shaping up to be one of change.  Ontario voters don’t seem to be too interested in a right wing populist movement as we’ve seen with in the US with Trump.  Earlier last year I discussed the real chances of the NDP shaping government and that this election will be shape up around the millennial vote which typically votes progressive left. Journalists are reporting that millennials seem to be quite engaged in this election:

 

Over the past year we’ve seen shifts in policy by both the PC’s and Liberals over to the left in expectation of this.  The PC’s felt the party was too far left in its policies under previous leadership and staged a coup against former PC leader Patrick Brown, opting for a right wing populist Doug Ford. The Liberals had a chance to replace their leader Kathleen Wynne during an expected change election and chose not too. Both parties seem to have miscalculated, and in two and a half weeks we’ll find out how large of a miscalculation will be for both parties.

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Refusal To Regulate Regional Autism Centres Has Opened The Door To Lawsuits

 

The Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau has actively refused to bring in regulation of the provinces regional autism centers despite major issues being reported to the government regarding the behaviors of these regional service providers.  I’ve heard significant issues over the past few months with respect to the roll out of the new Ontario Autism Program and the lack of compliance with ministerial guidelines by these providers in which the Minister himself stated was an issue in a town hall last May.

The issues right now are with respect to wait list management in which is the responsibility of these regional centres, and adherence to new OAP guidelines. The Ministry has stated it will be providing regulations regarding how private autism centres are administered, however Coteau in a townhall with parents last May rejected the claim that regulations were needed on the regional centres because “some people are happy” despite admitting frustration that these centres were not adhering to guidelines.  This decision to not regulate the regional autism centres may have opened the door to massive legal liability on the province moving forward.

I’ve written a lot on this blog about autism and our long battle to get service for my son, which has come at great cost to all in our family.  While doing this I’ve been making a legal case directly to the Ministry regarding the need for regulation of the regional autism centres. That appears to have fallen on deaf ears. With less than a week away from the election writ dropping, there has been no legislative movement on the file.  I recently commented on social media about the case we made to the Ministry with the hopes that it might assist others legally going forward. We are now getting service through our regional provider.  Here is that conversation:

JK (me): “The implementation committee rejected calls for legislation to regulate the regional centers. I have the Minister on tape with respect to that, and even acknowledging the fact that these regional centres do not follow ministerial guidelines. It’s the ministry’s legal responsibility as the legislative body to oversee these centres. The minister is also on record that these regional centres HAVE to provide you with your place in line when asked, and an estimate as to when you are expected to get service.

In short those that are on the implementation committee who rejected regulating the regionals hoping a direct funding option would cure any bad behavior, opened up the government to substantial legal liability. The government can’t distance itself from the behaviors of the regionals because they’ve openly admitted there are problems, and have actively refused to legislate a solution.

Statute of limitations for all of this began May of last year with the admission from Minister in the first pilot teleconference. Families experiencing problems now, have one more year to file with the Superior Court of Justice. There may not be any limitations on the Human Rights Tribunal since the problem is ongoing.”

Link to the May 2017 Townhall is here:

https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21ANRZ77MT4n3vltg&id=47BE96EF78FE2F05%212481&cid=47BE96EF78FE2F05

MB: “The ministry has successfully argued before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal that the government is not responsible for the service delivery of the AIP. We are just on of many other programs the province claims ownership of but the reality is there is no oversight over any programs.

The MCYS has allowed children’s aid at at with impunity for years. And the youth justice system under the MCYS doez what exactly?

It was public embarrassment that lead to the current charges, nothing more. The only way to affect change is through public awareness.”

JK: “Yes they have successfully argued that they are not responsible in the past, however these cases didn’t include an admission from the Minister and government directly of the problems, and admittedly walking back on regulation because “some people are happy”. We also had several phone calls recorded from our regional provider, blatantly disregarding ministerial guidelines, and treating us as hostile.

I would also add, after we slapped this on the Ministry, the Ministry essentially took over, and is currently overseeing progression of our file with the regional provider ensuring service delivery. I’ve been in consistent contact with the Ministry regarding service delivery since November. They’ve been working along side the regional ensuring we are properly supported.

MB: “I have an email from the ministry asking about accountability. They avoided answering the question.

I used this example: as a feberal employee i am responsible for my actions with the public. My employer, the federal government is accountable for my actions. They will not admit accountability.”

JK: “Of course they aren’t going to blatantly admit it. They are currently trying to duck liability. You don’t need them to admit it. The minister already has.

Coteau is on record stating the Ministry is accountable. Not only did he state that in the teletownhall in May last year, but prior to that he reaffirmed that position here:

“Parents have long complained about red tape, miscommunication and inconsistencies when dealing with the regional centres. The minister said he has heard from families who say they’ve been pressured to choose services run by those centres instead of the direct funding option they prefer, which would allow them to arrange and pay for their own therapist and treatment schedule.

Many say they’ve been told by the centres that choosing direct funding will mean waiting at least a year longer for treatment, he said.

“To me, that’s unacceptable. We need to hold systems accountable,” he said. “When you have so many people complaining about a particular system, the status quo cannot be maintained.””

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/10/11/massive-change-needed-in-autism-services-minister-says.html

^^ He assumed liability with these statements in the Star. Couple that with an admission that the regionals are disregarding ministerial guidelines,  a walk back on regulation in the teletownhall in May, and they can’t distance themselves from it. After the first teletownhall in May last year, all the questions were screened and Coteau stuck to talking points, for this very reason. We got him off script in the May teletownhall. He screwed up royally. They need to regulate. It’ll be up to next government to deal this with now. In the meantime that’s the door to walk through.

One final point and the reason why I’m coming forward in a public way now on this, is because the election writ drops next week. So unless the Ministry drops legislation in to fix it and passes third reading in the next 3 or 4 business days, this door will be open for a while for others to walk through.”

If any of you have any further questions you can e-mail me at jkobopoli at rogers dot com

Jason Koblovsky

 

 

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BREAKING: Toronto Sun Could Be In Violation of Ontario’s Election Laws

A leaked document reportedly from the Toronto Sun has emerged.  In the documents handed to independent media organization CANADALAND show a clear ideological advertising strategy geared towards “exposing the Liberal record during the campaign and advocating for change“.  While it is normal for editorial boards to weigh in on the election, this goes far, far beyond that.

The document shows a detailed strategy geared towards unseating the Ontario Liberals.  Recently Ontario changed its election laws around third party advertisers. It is unclear whether these documents run foul of those laws, however the fact that there is a detailed strategy in the first place, and the media organization (according to these documents) is clearly advocating for change, will most likely have the eye of Elections Ontario going forward.

Former Sun Media Vice President Kory Teneycke is currently running Doug Ford’s campaign.

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Austerity Looms As Parties Refuse To Come Clean on Autism Services in Ontario

(Current Platforms in Ontario’s 2018 Election Puts Province At Risk of a Credit Downgrade)

Late Tuesday afternoon Moody’s downgraded the economic outlook for Ontario from stable to negative. In its press release Moody’s cited the recently tabled Liberal budget, and growing spending pressure from all parties that need to be addressed as the economy is expected to retract 1% by 2021. Moody’s also cites current household debt is a record high level, and that key interest rates are likely to rise as a result, making it expensive to service the debt, with retracted economic growth. If spending pressures do not ease post-election, it could mean that Ontario could face a credit downgrade in the very near future which would have a huge impact on the provinces ability to borrow money.

What does this mean for autism services? Over the past several years the autism community has been dealing with austerity through the Wynne Liberals. The last time Moody warned of an impending credit downgrade Wynne slashed special needs education budgets, tried to lower the age of behavioral therapy, and froze special services at home funding. Just in time for the election Wynne has stopped a lot of the austerity measures she put into place, and focused more investment in autism services in Ontario, with huge spending promises in other areas.

The NDP have released their platform, which is huge on spending rather than prioritizing. The NDP in their election platform have stated that they are willing to keep the status quo in Wynne’s investment in Autism Services. In fact NDP MPP Monique Taylor took to social media to try and calm the nerves of parents that the NDP would in fact keep investments the Liberals have made in place, however did not respond to questions regarding Moody’s economic outlook downgrade and what the NDP would do to shift priories to protect the disabled from austerity measures.  Taylor who has championed parents’ plight with austerity in the past is currently being sued for human rights abuses in her own constituency office.  NDP leader Andrea Horwath has stated in the past that she may take action against Ms. Taylor if a negative judgement is placed on Taylor’s conduct.

Doug Ford hasn’t released any policy platform at all.

With a credit downgrade almost certain in the near future with the current platforms, all three parties should clearly express to the people of Ontario exactly what their priorities are and where the cuts will be. The disabled should not be the punching bag of austerity. They’ve been through enough of that over the past few years. The cupboards so to speak are already bare. The tax payers deserve answers.

UPDATE 12:43: Finance Minister Charles Sousa has responded to the Moody’s downgrade:

 

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

You can read the full Moody’s press release below:

 

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Poll Trend Shows PCs Steady Decline Since Patrick Brown Was Ousted

A new poll from Forum Research shows a downward trend for the Ontario PC’s since the Patrick Brown resigned as party leader in January. It’s been long suspected that the far right social conservative movement in the party is to blame for putting pressure on Brown to resign. The poll also seems to suggest that there is an uptick in support for the Wynne Liberal’s as disenfranchised progressives from the PC party seem to be correlating around the Liberal’s election platform. This spells bad news for the current PC party leader Doug Ford because if an election were to be held today, he would win, but not with a majority mandate from voters and he doesn’t seem to be connecting with the majority of voters in the province a few months out from a general election.

 

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Ontario NDP Digs Huge Hole With Millennial Vote Over College Strike

(Andrea Horwath Looks Tone Deaf on Biggest Voting Demographic)

The decision by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to order striking college workers back to work was a decision that was based purely on politics geared towards getting the millennial vote ahead of provincial election.  Wynne has seemingly backed the Ontario NDP into a corner on their union values, as the NDP fights back to stall back to work legislation.  It’s an interesting position, considering Ontario students have long suffered under Liberal rule as a result of educational unions, and lack of oversight in the public educational sector for well over a decade.  A lot of the banter between both the Liberals and NDP has less to do with Ontario’s students, and more to do with the millennial vote.

The NDP had all the time needed over the past decade to bring up serious concerns of Ontario students, that being the lack of supports and oversight in our public education system on special needs students, the lack of compliance with human and charter rights of students in the system,  and the fact that many students attending college and university can’t even afford rent let alone pay for classes they haven’t received as a result of this strike. Instead the NDP decided to die on a hill of its traditional values of workers’ rights.  As the leader of Ontario’s NDP party Andrea Horwath put it in the Ontario legislature today regarding standing up for their party’s values for Ontario workers over Ontario’s students:

“We do it before an election, and we do it after an election”

Horwath went on to read a letter from a Niagara College student regarding how this student felt about workers’ rights and how the NDP should stand up against back to work legislation.  I attended Niagara College myself for journalism back in the 90’s where our professors and staff were also threatening a strike at that time.  Thankfully a strike was averted; however had any strike been applied during my studies I would want to be compensated for that by the college. Nowhere in Horwath’s speech today or even from the Liberals has there been any talk of compensation for lost time in class as a result of this strike (which includes not just tuition but living expenses), and the rights of students to seek such compensation.

While Horwath’s speech focused in on the rights of college professors to earn a living, the rights of students to simply live with a roof over their head, and food on the table seemed to have been grossly disregarded.  With the biggest voting demographic now up for grabs, will the Ontario NDP’s traditional values line up with those who out number financial donors to the party, and whether or not the Ontario NDP just shot itself in the foot with the millennials as a result of being completely tone deaf to the biggest voting demographic in Ontario.  Wynne may be playing politics with respect to this back to work legislation; the NDP’s wounds seem to be rather self-inflicted.

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