National Newswatch

Ontario PCs still lag behind Liberals despite launch of new platform

Dec 9 2017 — Robert Benzie — Ontario voters do not yet seem to buy into Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown’s “People’s Guarantee” election platform, a new poll suggests. The Campaign Research survey shows Brown’s Tories have slipped slightly to 34 per cent — from 35 per cent last month — while Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals have inched ahead at 35 per […]

Justice officials will decide if feds needed on Progressive Conservative nomination probe: Ontario’s attorney general

Dec 5 2017 — Robert Benzie — Attorney General Yasir Naqvi says provincial justice officials, not politicians, will determine whether federal prosecutors are needed to handle the case of a disputed Progressive Conservative nomination election, now being investigated by police. “Any criminal investigation of any kind is a very serious issue, especially (one) of the nature we’re discussing,” Naqvi told reporters Tuesday […]

Wynne inks $1B in business deals for Ontario as China mission starts

Nov 27 2017 — Robert Benzie — Premier Kathleen Wynne is touting $1 billion in new contracts with China that will create more than 1,100 jobs in Ontario. Wynne, on a two-week trade mission to China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, announced in Nanjing that some 33 separate business agreements had been reached since she arrived Friday. “The partnerships we’ve created today reinforce […]

Brown adds big name in Ontario PCs’ push for GTA seats

Nov 23 2017 — Robert Benzie — The Progressive Conservatives are aggressively setting their sights on the Greater Toronto Area ridings that have kept the Liberals in government since 2003. Tory Leader Patrick Brown signalled Wednesday night that his “modern, inclusive and pragmatic” party is ready to make inroads throughout the GTA in the June 7, 2018 election. “There’s something special happening […]

Wynne gets an earful at raucous town hall

Nov 20 2017 — Robert Benzie — Premier Kathleen Wynne went to the Rolling Stones’ rehearsal space to get an earful from some Ontarians who “can’t get no satisfaction” from her government. Wynne held her first town hall at the Concert Hall on Toronto’s Yonge Street on Monday night, facing 200 people — a few friendly, but many adversarial — and taking […]

Sousa to unveil tax cuts for small businesses in budget update

Nov 14 2017 — Robert Benzie — Finance Minister Charles Sousa is set to deliver an election-ready fiscal update that will give small businesses significant tax breaks to offset paying employees a higher minimum wage, the Star has learned. In Tuesday’s fall economic statement, Sousa will announce that corporate income tax rates for small business owners will drop to 3.5 per cent […]

Poll suggests union attack ads on Brown are taking a toll

Nov 10 2017 — Robert Benzie — An onslaught of union-funded attack ads aimed at Patrick Brown appears to be hurting the Progressive Conservatives with female voters, a new poll suggests. The blitz of negative commercials from public- and private-sector unions seems to have tightened an already close race in the June 7, 2018 election. The Campaign Research survey shows Brown’s PCs […]

Ontario Liberals look online for policy suggestions, but may not green light most popular ones

Nov 6 2017 — Robert Benzie — Some Ontario Liberal activists are calling for an end to public funding of Catholic schools, improvements to the recognition of foreign professional credentials, and a boost to children’s mental health services. In a non-binding online policy-making exercise — known as “Common Ground” — launched by the governing party last weekend, those three ideas have the […]

Ontario hydro rates to remain stable through 2020: energy plan

Oct 26 2017 — Robert Benzie — Ontario electricity rate hikes will be held to the rate of inflation over the next four years, according to the province’s latest Long-Term Energy Plan. In the first energy blueprint since 2013, the Liberal government said prices will actually be lower than forecast four years ago — thanks to the 25 per cent rebate known […]

Jagmeet Singh vows to help Horwath topple Wynne

Oct 23 2017 — Robert Benzie — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath can count on some major campaign help from her party’s brightest star. Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he will do all he can to ensure Horwath replaces Liberal Kathleen Wynne as Ontario premier after the June 7, 2018 election. “I’ve committed to supporting the provincial party. I have a personal […]

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, […]