National Newswatch

Ontario’s financial watchdog sounds alarm over hydro-rate cut

Oct 17 2017 — Robert Benzie — Ontario’s financial watchdog is sounding the alarm over the Liberal government’s 25-per-cent cut in residential electricity rates. Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk estimates the scheme, unveiled last May, could cost Ontarians an additional $4 billion in interest charges over the next 30 years. In Lysyk’s latest salvo against the provincial government over a continuing accounting dispute, […]

Wynne is ready for her close-up in Liberals’ ad campaign

Oct 16 2017 — Robert Benzie — Kathleen Wynne is putting her best face forward in the Liberals’ first campaign ad for the June election. Despite polls showing Wynne’s personal approval rating lower than that of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, the premier plays a starring role in the new TV commercial. The 30-second spot, which began […]

Half of Ontarians want weed regulated like booze: Poll

Sep 30 2017 — Robert Benzie — Half of Ontarians believe recreational marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, a new poll suggests. Forum Research found 50 per cent of respondents want the government to treat cannabis like alcohol. That’s encouraging news to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s administration, which will restrict the sale of legalized weed to 150 standalone LCBO-run stores

LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

Sep 8 2017 — Robert Benzie — Premier Kathleen Wynne is cornering the recreational marijuana market by restricting sales to 150 LCBO-run stores, sources say. The standalone cannabis outlets – physically separate from existing provincial-owned liquor stores – and a government-controlled website will be the only place weed can lawfully be sold after Ottawa legalizes it on July 1. Read more: Wynne […]

Brad Duguid won’t run in 2018 provincial election

Sep 8 2017 — Robert Benzie — One of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s best players is hanging up his skates. Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid will not run for re-election in the June 7, 2018 campaign. Duguid, 55, has represented Scarborough Centre since 2003 and was a city councillor for nine years before that. He has been Wynne’s point man on economic growth, […]

Government and auditor general at odds over size of Ontario’s deficit

Sep 7 2017 — Robert Benzie — It’s not quite Mayweather-McGregor, but the stakes are high in the accounting slugfest between the provincial government and the auditor general. Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Treasury Board President Liz Sandals — and the bureaucrats in their ministries — say Ontario’s deficit last year was $991 million, while auditor general Bonnie Lysyk maintained it was […]

Patrick Brown says he wants nothing to do with The Rebel

Aug 21 2017 — Robert Benzie — Under pressure from the Ontario Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has distanced himself from the controversial far-right website The Rebel. “I deplore intolerance of any kind and in any place, including Rebel. That’s why they thoroughly detest me!” Brown tweeted, with a link to a Rebel video critical of his party’s troubled nomination […]

Ontario Liberals mocked over ‘frivolous’ complaint that Tories, NDP are breaking fundraising law

Aug 4 2017 — Robert Benzie — The next Ontario election is 44 weeks away, but political games are already at a fever pitch. This week, the Liberals filed a formal complaint with Elections Ontario claiming both the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats have broken the province’s tough new fundraising law. But the governing party’s allegations against their main rivals do […]

Wynne shuffles cabinet after Murray’s departure

Jul 31 2017 — Robert Benzie — Premier Kathleen Wynne has done a minor shuffling of her cabinet, promoting Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn after Glen Murray’s resignation. As first disclosed by the Star, Murray is stepping down as minister of environment and climate change immediately. In a statement, he said he would resign as Toronto-Centre MPP on Sept. 1.