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.
The Ontario teachers’ strikes are proving to be more acrimonious than anyone expected. Elementary teachers have now opted out of writing report cards and have already begun to engage in rotating strikes.
The Ontario government, on the other hand, have offered up to $60 per day for parents who are feeling the fiscal consequences of the strike, and rumours of back to work legislation is being floated around the corridors of Queen’s Park.
The teachers’ strikes are deeply consequential and have affected the day-to-day lives of 13 million Ontarians who live in the most populace province in Canada. Due to the vast impact this strike, and the mainstream media’s lack of balance in the coverage (often siding with the unions and tecahers), The Post Millennial has compiled a list of things you need to know about the Ontario teachers’ strikes.
1. Ontario’s teachers are among the highest paid in the country
Ontario’s teachers are among the best paid in the country. In the Greater Toronto Area, for instance, top teachers can expect to get paid up to $96,000 a year. The average salary for a teachers in Ontario is $89,300 for elementary teachers and $92,900 for high school teachers. In contrast, the average Ontarian earns $55,000 per year.
2. Ontario teachers are taking more and more sick days
A 2017 study found that teachers have been taking more and more sick days over the past five years. On average, sick days have increased by over 30 percent. In 2020, another report revealed even starker results with teachers taking 70 percent more sick days than over a decade ago.
3. Teachers get a whole lot of time off
Ontario’s teacher’s have a pretty great job. Not only do they get paid a wage that is far higher than the average Ontarian, they also get a lot of time off. Due to breaks in the school year, teachers are allowed three whole months off, on top of the aforementioned sick days.
4. Teachers’ Unions are spending big bucks to win the PR war
So far, the OSSTF has spent $336,389 on Facebook ads alone. These ads usually attack the Ford government and have been running since June. In one week alone, they spent over $40,000. They’re also waging a war of words against Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce through the mainstream press.
5. The Ontario government has already made concessions, but unions won’t meet in the middle
Premier Doug Ford has offered numerous concessions to the teachers’ unions from the government’s initial demands. Ford, for example, offered to meet the teachers half-way on classroom size. This, however, was not good enough for the teachers, and they walked away from the negotiation table. They’re also refusing to do report cards and help out in after school activities, despite claiming the strikes are primarily for the students, not their pay cheques.
6. Ontario’s students are flunking math tests
If you’re going to teach mathematics to a new generation of students, you should probably have to prove that you have some basic ability to do so. This hardly unreasonable request, however, created some tension with the teachers’ unions. Despite EQAO tests showing all-time lows, the unions were upset that teachers had to score at least 70 percent in a math test.
7. Ontario’s debt is astronomically high
After a decade of Liberal government, Ontario’s debt stands at over $350,000,000,000. This figure constitutes one of the highest sub-national debts in the world. Due to this, the Ford government is trying to cut back public sector salaries, which means slowing down the rate at which teachers are paid. Teachers in Ontario also have what many experts consider to be a great pension package.
Striking elementary teachers in Ontario are refusing to produce reports cards due to the ongoing work-to-rule action.
In a statement produced by the Toronto District School Board, they reminded everyone that “ETFO members have been engaged in legal job action, which includes sanctions related to report cards.”
They went on to add that, “as per the sanctions, teachers will not complete term one report cards … [nor] undertake the role of report card administrator … [nor] file the progress report.”
As well as this, the Toronto District School Board informed it’s members that the teachers will also not conduct parent-teacher interviews, creating severe disruptions for parents.
These latest disruptions follow a long list of strike action that teachers have been engaging in throughout the province. Teachers, for instance, have been conducting “rotating strikes,” thereby forcing parents to look after their children who would otherwise be in school.
In response to the strikes in the province, Premier Doug Ford vowed to compensate parents who would have otherwise felt the financial strain. Ford offered parents up to $60 a day, depending on the age of the child and other factors.
Despite concessions from the Ontario government, the negotiations between the teacher’s unions and the government have remained acrimonious.
Trudeau cabinet’s Bill Blair has revealed that their gun control plan will be rolled out in a “multi-step process” which will include the prohibition of the sale of assault weapons.
While the Trudeau government aims to prohibit assault weapons quickly, other measures, they say, will take more time, including the partial handgun ban that will require talks between the federal and provincial governments, according to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
Trudeau had specifically called for the banning of “military-style assault weapons” during his 2019 campaign, with a primary focus on weapons that farmers “did not” need that were designed to kill “the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.”
Blair went on to tell reporters Tuesday that his government will implement their agenda on firearms as the steps become ready to implement by the federal government or by the country’s minority parliament.
“Our work is to reduce the supply of guns getting into the hands of criminals, but you also have to interdict the demand for those guns,” he said. “We have just gone through, for many communities across Canada, a very difficult summer last year. And so we want to make sure we are there for those communities and work in those communities to make substantive changes and investments that will help to keep them safe,” Blair told The Globe and Mail in Winnipeg.
Blair said that new rules being put in place “could be accomplished in the near term,” going on to say that programs like an assault weapon buyback “will take a little bit more time.”
When Prime Minister Trudeau was asked in September about those who would not want to participate in a gun buy-back and “making law-abiding citizens into criminals,” Trudeau did not give a direct answer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been criticized for splashing out on gourmet doughnuts this week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, according to Global News.
The doughnuts in question were purchased at Oh Doughnuts, which, as discovered by True North Centre, cost an eye-watering $47 per dozen.
The owners of the restaurant, however, said that the $47 doughnuts were their “most elaborate, fancy doughnuts… which they didn’t get. They just got regular variety doughnuts.”
As well as this, the doughnut shop stated that Trudeau ordered the product online, resulting in a ten percent price decrease.
This, compared, to Canada’s favourite doughnut shop Tim Hortons, who sells doughnuts for less than ten dollars per dozen, will lead to questions about Trudeau’s inclination to fork out taxpayer money on unnecessary expenses for himself and his Liberal team, all while his government fights veterans and Indigenous people in court over money.
Justin Trudeau is in Winnipeg for a cabinet retreat where he re-groups with his executive in preparation for the upcoming parliament. Trudeau’s retreats have often been stamped as needlessly expensive. Take, for instance, the Liberal cabinet’s trip to St. John’s Newfoundland, where Trudeau visited the theatre, leaving Canadians to foot the tab.
As well as this, in 2018 Trudeau splurged on a cabinet retreat to Vancouver Island amid the on-going wild fire crisis in the province at the time.