National Newswatch

Ontario Liberals gearing up for 2022 election

Jun 29 2020 — Robert Benzie — The Ontario Liberals are gearing up for an election two years away as the Progressive Conservatives celebrate two years in power. Premier Doug Ford marks his second anniversary of taking office Monday — ending almost 15 years of Liberal rule under Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty — at the same as the Grits are getting […]

Queen’s Park and Ottawa giving small businesses $57.6M to boost their online sales

Jun 11 2020 — Robert Benzie — Queen’s Park and Ottawa are teaming up with a new $57.6-million “Digital Main Street” program to help thousands of Ontario small businesses boost their online sales, the Star has learned. Ontario’s Associate Minister of Small Business Prabmeet Sarkaria and federal Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly will announce the new initiative on a Zoom teleconference Thursday. […]

Premier Doug Ford lowers booze prices and extends takeout beer, wine, and liquor measures to help ailing restaurants during the pandemic

May 6 2020 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford’s government is further liberalizing Ontario’s liquor laws as a prescription for helping an ailing restaurant sector stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has lowered the minimum price that restaurants and bars are allowed to sell gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey.

Next Ontario Liberal leader to be chosen by 37,831 members

Jan 6 2020 — Robert Benzie — The next leader of the Ontario Liberals will be elected by delegates chosen by 37,831 members. That’s how many people paid $20 to join the party that governed the province for almost 15 years before being toppled by Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives. While the membership cut-off to join the Liberals was Dec. 2, the […]

‘Unannounced’ tax cuts and spending could threaten plans for Ford government to balance budget before 2022 election: fiscal watchdog

Dec 9 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford could balance the budget a year earlier than planned if the Progressive Conservatives can limit the growth of program spending and avoid cutting taxes, says Ontario’s fiscal watchdog. Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman said if the Tories can stick to their promised 1.4 per cent average annual increase, they could almost be […]

Doug Ford staying quiet but wants to fire back at Justin Trudeau

Sep 30 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford is itching to fire back at federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for constantly attacking his provincial Progressive Conservative government, sources told the Star. Ford, who has shown remarkable discipline throughout the federal campaign in order not to hurt Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, has privately told associates he is growing fed up with […]

Premier Doug Ford’s ties to lobbyists has Tory riding association ‘alarmed’

Aug 19 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford’s ties to lobbyists have “alarmed” a Progressive Conservative riding association president, according to an internal party email obtained by the Star. In a letter to Ford, Tory executive director Mike Crase, and other PC officials, Lillo Ognibene complained about the premier’s appointment of a dozen lobbyists to his 17-member re-election committee. “These […]

Ontario’s gas-pump stickers attacking Ottawa’s carbon pricing are on the way

Aug 13 2019 — Robert Benzie — The stickers are in the mail. Ontario’s controversial new gas-pump decals that warn against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon-pricing measures will be in place well before the official launch of the Oct. 21 federal election campaign. They are being sent to thousands of gas stations in time for the Progressive Conservative government’s self-imposed Aug. 30 […]

Doug Ford stresses he will remain on the sidelines in federal election

Aug 9 2019 — Robert Benzie — Doug Ford, who is struggling in public-opinion polls, insists federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is not “distancing himself” from an unpopular Ontario premier with an election looming. Ford told reporters Friday in Kitchener that he has a “good” rapport with Scheer. “I’ve talked to Andrew and I’m the premier of Ontario and I’ve got to […]

Tory MPPs lobbying to save services at Scarborough hospital

Aug 1 2019 — Robert Benzie — Progressive Conservative MPPs from Scarborough, North York and Markham are urging their own government to save existing pediatric and obstetric services at the Birchmount hospital. Last week, six Tory MPPs met with senior aides to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott to plead their case for stopping the maternity ward move from the […]