Will Doug Ford be Andrew Scheer’s Kathleen Wynne?
Doug Ford’s provincial policies and public image may negatively impact Andrew Scheer’s campaign in the 2019 elections, pushing Ontario voters away from Scheer due to their contempt for Ford.
A recent poll, released July 13 by Corbett Communications, shows that Liberals currently lead by 5 points in Ontario, with 38% favourability for Liberals compared to the Conservative’s 33%.
While such a margin is easily surmountable with strong rhetoric and popular appeal during the primaries, the most important point to keep in mind is what the poll showed regarding Doug Ford’s effect on potential voter turnout in the Federal Elections.
The poll goes on to show that “Six-in-ten voters now say they are less likely to vote for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives because of Ford’s policies, an increase of 6 points since last month”.
This figure represents roughly one fifth of the Conservative’s federal base, quite a significant proportion.
Another poll, released June 16 by Corbett Communications, found similar problems with Ford’s effect on federal voting plans. According to the poll, “More than one half of Ontario voters agree Ford’s policies in Ontario make them less likely to vote for Andrew Scheer’s federal Conservatives in the next federal election (54%).” They added, “This includes one fifth of Ontarians who voted Conservative in the last federal election (21%).”
If the poll is accurate, this means that Ford is potentially causing the federal Conservative Party of Canada to lose voters.
Of course, the reliability of polling is always a matter of debate. Was the sample pre-selected and not random; is it truly representative of the whole or just representative of a small subgroup within; were the questions used loaded? These are all important questions to keep in mind when looking at any polling results.
With that said, it isn’t hard to imagine what policy decisions may have had a long-lasting negative effect on Ontario voters’ overall view of the Conservative Party. Namely, Ford’s decision to lower or eliminate many post-secondary grants as a means of lowering overall tuition costs by 10% likely had a dampening effect on younger voters’ opinions, and possibly their parents who may feel obliged to flip the bill.
It may be good for students in the long run, certainly they’ll have less debt, but immediate negative financial factors are rarely swallowed readily, regardless of your political loyalties.
Something similar happened to Justin Trudeau’s likability because of Kathleen Wynne’s policy decisions. For Ford it is likely his handling of student loans and grants; for Wynne it was her highly controversial carbon tax crusade.
As of June 2019, Canadians are twice as likely to believe that a carbon tax will make businesses less competitive, according to a Nanos report. While this figure is higher than when Wynne was in office, it’s indicative of the trend which began under her watch and contributed to her loss to Ford.
As the CBC wrote in 2017, “Polls by three different firms in recent months suggest that just 13 to 16 per cent of voters approve of the job Wynne’s doing,” one of the lowest premier approval ratings in history. They go on to cite apathy resulting from her inflammatory hydro policies that led to sky high electricity costs resulting from her environmental concerns around oil and gas use. The carbon tax was, at the time, at the fore of this controversial stance and policy.
As the most visible premier of the Liberal Party at the time, this, of course, negatively impacts Trudeau’s image. They are affiliated, not only by party but because their sharing of policy stances are generally assumed, and often confirmed.
This is still significant as environmental issues and climate change are more pressing than ever in Canada.
Currently, Canadians are split down the middle on the issue of a carbon tax. As a Nanos poll shows, “48 per cent of Canadians say the government should use carbon taxes to help fight climate change, while 44 per cent say there are better ways to fight climate change than a carbon tax. With such a divide it’s sure to be a major talking point and hydro bills under Wynne will inevitably be brought up.
However, the important difference between the instances I’ve just shown is that Wynne is out, and Ford is still in. Wynne is no longer a major constituent of the Liberal Party, but Ford is still seen as very representative of the Conservative agenda.
Furthermore, the coming Federal Election does not look like it will be based on positive support of one candidate’s policies but on negative prevention tactics.
As the Angus Reid Institute reported in May, “Currently, one-in-three voters (35%) say that they are planning to vote for a party because they dislike another party even more and want to prevent that party from winning.” They further added, “This sentiment is equally high among Liberals (40%) and Conservatives (40%).”
They go on to show that while Andrew Scheer sits at a 40% approval versus 46% disapproval and Trudeau sits at 28% approval versus 67% disapproval rating, all candidates of the three major parties have higher negative net approval scores.
This means that, come election time, every negative action or policy a candidate can point to from the other will become more significant than whatever positive policy they are offering, and no example will be off the table.
While Trudeau can point to Ford as an active example, Scheer won’t be able to levy blame at Wynne nearly as easily. She’s already out; he’s still in. For this reason, there’s a strong chance that provincial politics will play a major role in the federal election for both candidates, and it won’t be good for either of them.
Jasmine Pickel is an entrepreneur and the Interim Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Our politicians are addicted to spending. Even though they speak poetically about their good intentions and virtue signal whilst cheque-signing on our behalf, much of that spending is wasteful and sinks us further into debt.
Here are five phrases that usually indicate that a politician is about to waste your money.
1) Politicians will say they’re “investing”
When politicians say they’re investing government money, what they really mean is that they’re spending taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, politicians at all levels of government in this country have a poor track record in this regard.
In Newfoundland, the government lost $260,000 when it tried to operate a Tim Hortons. Likewise, the Ontario government lost $42 million trying to sell marijuana.
Given that governments can’t make money selling double-doubles or weed brownies, they should let taxpayers keep more of their own money to invest it themselves.
2) “It’s not a spending problem–it’s a revenue problem!”
Imagine saying that in the context of your own life – that it’s not your fault you spent so much, it’s just that your job doesn’t pay what you’d like to spend. Unfortunately, our politicians just keep adding to our credit card bill.
A recent Ontario government report shows why it is in fact a spending problem. It found that Ontario would have spent $330 billion less in the 15-year period the former Liberal government was in power if it had simply kept spending in line with population growth.
Instead, spending increased in real terms by $2,200 per person, and now Ontario’s debt has surpassed $350 billion, making the province the largest subnational debtor on the planet.
Politicians love painting deficits as a revenue problem so they can raise taxes. Don’t fall for it. Tell politicians to manage their own budgets instead of taking more out of yours.
3) Politicians say they’re spending to “help the middle class”
While big government apologists like to pretend all of our tax dollars go toward vital services such as health care and education, the reality is that politicians will often take tax money from hard working Canadians to hand it over to large, profitable corporations.
Take for example the $12 million the Trudeau government gave to Loblaws to buy more energy efficient fridges (even though the company posted net earnings exceeding $800 million that fiscal year). That’s nothing in comparison to the $4 billion of taxpayer money that has been given to Bombardier though, a company owned by one of Canada’s wealthiest families worth close to $3 billion.
Taxes are the single largest expense for most Canadians, taking up approximately 45 percent of the average Canadian’s annual household income. If politicians really wanted to help the middle class, they’d stop giving corporate welfare handouts and instead lower our taxes.
4) Politicians justify their overspending by saying they’re on “a responsible path to budgetary balance”
Translation: “We’re going to keep adding to the debt for the next few years at least.” There’s simply nothing responsible about overspending, especially in good economic times.
In fact, it’s very irresponsible for politicians to ignore the opportunity costs of running up large debts. For example, this year Ontario will spend about $13 billion on interest payments. That’s more money than it will spend on colleges and universities put together!
Politicians should stop making excuses as to why they can’t balance budgets, and they should start paying down the debt.
5) Politicians say “we can keep spending as long as the debt-to-GDP ratio stays in check”
Although this is a favourite excuse used by our current prime minister, the reality is that this economic ratio isn’t reliable. For example, if Canada were to encounter tough economic times and our debt were to increase more sharply than planned, the ratio would be thrown out of whack. All of a sudden, we’d be in a position where we’d be saying “wow, we really need to pay down debt, but now we’re not in a financial position to do so.”
Conversely, even if our GDP were to increase sharply thereby lowering the ratio relative to our G7 counterparts, it doesn’t necessarily follow that more spending is justifiable or a good idea.
Canadians live within their means. It’s time our politicians followed suit.
Boozehounds rejoice! Toronto airports are now free to sell alcohol 24/7. The Ford government has passed a bill making it possible for vendors in the airports to serve drinks at any time of the day.
The move is part of the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, an initiative to rid the province of unnecessary or archaic rules.
A press release reads: “The Act is part of the government’s signature package to address red tape and modernize regulations to make life easier for people and business. The legislation will lower the cost of doing business by making it simpler and more cost-effective to comply with regulations—leading to more jobs, higher wages and more opportunities for hard-working families.”
Andrew Scheer’s departure as Conservative Party leader provides a strong opportunity for the party to get a more charismatic leader who can defeat Justin Trudeau.
But it also is a moment of serious risk.
The Conservative Party under Andrew Scheer has taken a much stronger approach towards Communist China than has been seen by Canada’s political establishment in a long time.
The Harper government had started with a tougher approach but then began getting closer to China under relentless pressure from the Liberals and the corporate establishment.
With China becoming more aggressive and mistreating Canada in recent years, the Scheer Conservatives have been one of the few parties with the stones to actually call out China’s actions and propose real ideas to push back, such as banning Huawei, pulling Canada’s money from the Asian Infrastructure Bank, and pursuing tariffs on the mercantilist empire.
The risk now is that with Scheer departing, the corporate and political elites will take this opportunity to do China’s bidding and push to install a leader who is far weaker on China.
While the Conservative base is the strongest bastion of strong Canadian nationalism and strength against China, there are some who would seek to turn the party into an elitist organization that is out-of-touch with real Canadians.
That’s exactly what the Liberals have already become when it comes to China, with their party endlessly seeking a “free trade” deal, showing pathetic cowardice on China’s actions, and repeatedly ignoring Canadian public opinion (which has turned decisively against China).
If the Conservatives go that same direction it will be a huge loss for our country and will put our nation at serious risk of becoming a political and economic colony of the Communist State.
That’s why it’s essential for the Conservatives to continue Andrew Scheer’s strong approach against China, and why all of those who end up running for the Conservative leadership must be relentlessly pressured to maintain a similar approach.
There are good signs so far, with many Conservative MPs and Senators, including Leo Housakos and Erin O’Toole slamming the Liberals’ weakness on China and fighting for Canada to finally show some courage. That’s what needs to inspire the party going forward, and any effort by the elites to weaken the Conservatives’ resistance to China must be opposed.
Canada already has one political party that is selling us out to the communist state. We can’t afford another.
Andrew Scheer used money from the Conservative Party to pay costs of private schooling for his children, according to sources in contact with Global News. Some are suggesting this story might have ultimately let to Scheer’s resignation.
Scheer has since stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, but he will not fully resign until the party has a replacement to fill the position.
According to some senior Conservative members, Scheer’s use of the Conservative Party of Canada funds was improper.
While in the House of Commons, Scheer said, “I just informed my colleagues in the Conservative caucus that I will be resigning as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and I will be asking the Conservative Party national council to immediately begin the process of organizing a leadership contest.”
“In order to chart the course ahead in the direction this party is heading, the party needs someone who can give 100 percent.”
Dustin van Vugt, the Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada wrote a statement saying, “All proper procedures were followed and signed off on by the appropriate people.”
Van Vugt talked about the party covering some of Scheer’s costs in the statement saying, “As is the normal practice for political parties, the Party offered to reimburse some of the costs associated with being a national leader and re-locating the family to Ottawa.”
Prime Minister Trudeau also commented on the situation tweeting, “Andrew, I wish you all the best in your next steps — in the house and beyond. On behalf of Canadians, Thanks for your service and commitment to building a better future.”
According to the Elections Canada Act, there are not specific rules in place for these circumstances.
Some are confused about the situation seeing that Scheer’s average salary has been approximately $170,000 to $180,000 for the past 15 years.
Michael Spratt, an Ottawa lawyer said, “It may be off-brand for the Conservatives, but I don’t think any reasonable person would say that it’s a criminal offence to spend a salary top-up on personal items.”
Doug Ford also commented on Scheer’s resignation saying, “I wish Andrew Scheer all the best as he undertakes this new chapter in his life, and thank him for his service as the head of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and leader of the Conservative Party.”
Jamie Ellerton–longtime Conservative political strategist and public relations strategist at Conaptus Ltd.–said, “I know that he in more recent weeks had finally started reaching out to caucus candidates, close friends, longtime [party members] and I think he finally realized how tenuous his grasp on the leadership was, and it’s my understanding the family indeed came to the decision to do it this way.”
“But the idea that grassroots Conservative Party donations–$25 and $50 [donations]–is paying for his kids … to go to private school is just beyond the pale.”