Why Change is the real issue in the June 7 Provincial election

By Gerry Barker

May 21, 2018

In just 17 days, the voters in Ontario will go to the polls to elect a new government in Ontario.

In Guelph a riding encompassing only the City of Guelph, the indication is that voters just want Change meaning ABW – Anybody but Wynne. That leaves just three candidates for the Guelph riding including Ray Ferarro, representing the Progressive Conservatives; Mike Schreiner of the Green Party; and fot the NDP – Agnieszka Mlynarz.

The fourth candidate is the Liberal candidate Sly Castaldi who has the dubious task of defending the policies of the Wynne Government whose party is mired in third place in the polls. Chief Liberal problem is the low approval of the leader Kathleen Wynne, who has not budged from a 20 per cent approval rating in more than a year.

The desire for change in Ontario exists right here in Guelph. Right now, the PC’s are leading over all the other parties to form a new government. It is their’s to lose aided and abetted by the Toronto Star’s daily concentrated negative news and commentary carried throughout the news pages. The Star’s target is PC Leader Doug Ford who despite a few missteps, seems to maintain his party’s lead in the polls.

In my opinion, this election is about Change triggered by 15 years of Liberal governments that reflect abuse of the public trust (gas plants destruction). Overbuilding power green generation facilities with expensive long-term contracts (wind and solar) making Ontario with the highest power costs of most jurisdictions in North America.

Even the Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, said the government borrowed $4 billion off its books. This was to finance the five year “fair hydro” 25 per cent reduction of power charged to end users.

What happens then when that money must be paid back? Our power rates will soar in 2022 when the deal expires.

Another reason Ontario will vote for Change.

Assuming the Liberal candidate has no chance of retaining the seat, lets compare the remaining three candidates and what issues are Guelph voters most concerned about? What influence can they have to accommodate their constituents’s concerns and desire for Change?

Health accessibility and long-term care – Ray Ferarro: “If elected, I will work as your member to undo the Wynne government’s cuts to hospital and long term care expansion. I pledge to fight for an end to hallway medicine where patients, for lack of space, are ware-housed in the hallways of Ontario’s medical service institutions.”

The NDP candidate, Agnieszka Mlynarz, is responsible for the Party Leader’s platform that while critical of the Liberals, represents costly social programs that are warmed over policies of the Wynne government. The platform came under fire recently from financial experts who claimed the numbers did not add up. Regardless, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, a veteran of 12 years in the Legislature, has been running an intensive campaign that has her moving the party into second place according to the latest polling.

Can Agnieszka Mlynarz win? In my opinion too many memory of the Bob Ray NDP government still lingers in the minds of many voters. Besides her platform does not represent change but a version of the Liberal’s social engineering policies.

The green tinge of the environmentalists in the NDP does not help in Guelph where citizens were hammered by a secret abortive green-power scheme. It was to create power self-sufficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are affecting climate change. The cost was more than $60 million of citizen’s public money.

The Green Party candidate, Mike Schreiner, has mounted a well-funded campaign including the best signs on the roads and streets. Voters know that the Green Party under leader Mike Schreiner, has never elected a Green Party candidate in Ontario.

But where does the Green Party money come from?

Well, the Greens held a rally in Guelph that was allegedly attended by 350 people with the guest speaker David Suzuki, the British Columbia multi-millionaire exploiter of fear of the earth atmosphere destroying the planet. This guy has made a handsome living promoting fear and loathing of the use of fossil fuels that he, among others, is destroying our atmosphere.

Some facts. That erupting volcano on the Hawaiian Big Island spews more carbon dioxide, the dreaded CO2, into the atmosphere in five minuses than all the fossil-fueled facilities in Canada in a month.

Canada contributes two per cent of all global CO2 emissions in a year.

This is the party that elected three members in the B.C. legislature and yjeu are propping up the NDP government opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline. It will take Alberta crude to the Pacific and open new markets for our resources.

The Canadian Government approves the pipeline as it has passed all regulations including an environmental assessment. But the three Green Party members of the B.C. legislature are dead against it. Based on the hypothetical argument it will carry fossil fuel feed stock and the threat of a tanker oil spill on its coastline is too great a risk.

More facts: The polls in B.C. show the majority of people are in favour of the pipeline. The three Green Party objectors have been members of the Legislature for little more than a year. Yet they are effectively stopping construction, so far, this pipeline that is legal and necessary to open up new markets for Canadian resources at better prices now only available from the U.S.

Ask yourself, why is Mike Schreiner running in Guelph?

In my opinion, even if he is elected to the Ontario Legislature, he will be the loneliest member in the House with no power, no influence and no support.

Nice guy but running in the wrong place.

In summary, I like Ray Ferarro for my member in the Ontario Legislature. He is the only candidate born, raised and worked in Guelph and as a former city councillor who knows what the people are concerned about.

That’s why he will work to improve our ailing healthcare system. Battle to stop the Guelph Hydro/Alectra merger now before the Ontario Energy Board for approval.

He will speak up on the issues affecting Guelph not only in the P.C. caucus but also in the legislature.

If elected, we can depend on Ray being part of Change at Queen’s Park.


Filed under Between the Lines

10 responses to “Why Change is the real issue in the June 7 Provincial election

  1. Joe Black

    None is better

  2. I have difficulty recommending the PC’s who’s strategy seems to be “Don’t try to win, just say little and let the others lose”.

    Ford says he is going to cut expenses by 4% and yet not lay off a single government employee. Since approximately 50% of government costs are people costs, that translates into an 8% cut in the remaining costs. But he is also going to add more to healthcare to “fix the wait problems”. It does not add up. He is not being honest with the voters.

    The Liberals do have a higher debt than many would like, however with a Debt to GDP ratio of about 35% it relatively better than many.

    On a per capita basis, Ontario’s expenses are lower than all other provinces with the exception of Quebec. And yet Ford is going to make deep cuts. He needs to be honest and tell the voter which programs are going to be cut.

    As for the local PC candidate, Ray Ferarro, I don’t know much about him other than to say that at an all candidates meeting, he seemed to display “willful” disinterest. Perhaps part of the PC plan to keep the voters in the dark.

    PS. My numbers above are based upon the 28 Feb 2018 RBC Economics/Research report.

  3. Guido

    What was the % to debt ratio before the libs took power, why do we have to wait 6 months for an MRI, why are referrals out 10 to 15 weeks. Terrible I know I was there

    • I’m sorry for the challenges you faced getting timely medical attention. That can be a terrible experience for anyone. I’m puzzled though by those who say that the debt is too high in one breath, and then say there should be more spending. The reality is that society has to make choices between the two or perhaps better stated, we have to find the right balance between the two. The Conservatives say that they will provide more services in healthcare (as the Liberals and NDP have also promised), but also say that they will cut expenses.

      To break down the numbers, if you eliminate healthcare from the cost cutting (no employees laid off plus increase spending), then the healthcare portion of the cuts as calculated above has to be picked up by other government departments. The 8% cuts then become 11% cuts for them. Once again it does not add up.

      I support some more spending in healthcare. However, if I had a say, I would also start a public debate about healthcare. As a society, we have to make choices. Perhaps we are spending too much on over-medication, especially of seniors. Over-medication creates other complications and additional costs. For example, for decades we over-used antibiotics, and now we find ourselves running out of options to treat really serious infections (of which there are more), and the costs are now even higher.

      I hope you get the care you need.

  4. Guido

    I don’t think we need to throw more money at the system, we need to allow the private sector to supplement the system which will relieve the hospitals of their overload. ALL within the OHIP card. Knees, hips, cataracts can be done under a clinical system and within the OHIP system. It has shown that they can be more efficient, faster. It is happening in many European countries NOW.

  5. I agree that there should be more debate about alternate delivery systems. The concern is twofold. One you eventually end up with a two-tier or pseudo two-tier system where the wealthy get one level of care and with less income get a lesser level of care. The other concern is how do you control costs. Costs are already out of control in healthcare all around the world, and there are concerns that introducing the private sector will only exacerbate the problem. I’m not sure these fears are well founded and that such a solution might be possible.

    As for your earlier question about the debt to GDP ratio, it was about 27% at the end of the Harris/Eves period. The biggest increase after that occurred starting with the US 2008/2009 crash. The Liberals chose to help people during this period when a very large number of jobs lost.

    I agree that debt is still climbing and this cannot go on forever. But, of course, at election time, everyone (including the PC’s) promises more money for a variety of programs.

    Governments generally plan on controlled inflation to make the debt problem gradually fade away. The problem is that inflation is not happening to the extent virtually all economist expected.

    Finally, returning to healthcare about which I am passionate. I believe that technology is going to disrupt the entire industry. Even with disruption, we have to change our mindset about throwing every possible technology (diagnostic tests, drugs, etc) at all medical problems. There is a movement in the USA where people voluntarily reduce their demands on the healthcare system after the age of 75. It is early days and there is not a lot of data, but it appears that people who do so live higher quality lives. Their lives might be a few months shorter, but the quality of life (sometimes for years before death) is measurably higher.

    I encourage you to keep pressing for governments to look at innovative approaches to healthcare.

  6. voter

    Ferraro is a lacklustre candidate. Who was undemocratically acclaimed by Doug Ford.
    Take a look at the 2014 vote division, and the percent change over last election. Try to imagine 20% of those who voted Lib, NDP and Green saying sure, I want Doug Ford running the province and an guy who couldn’t even sustain a city council seat as my rep.
    Gerry has noticed the obvious – biased media attacking the party that poses the greatest threat to their desired outcome. The Star going after Ford and praising the Libs.
    This morning polls suggest NDP are in majority territory. Proven by the Sun’s recent focus on attacking them.
    Here, Gerry spends quite a bit of space attacking Schriener.
    Who’s the threat?
    If Guelph follows the ‘ABDoug’ trend and also the reject the Liberals trend, that leaves three main options. NDP, Green, and not voting.
    With public sector unions dumping the Libs, who appeased them for years, that’s a big gain for NDP. Last week, Horwath promised to never end a strike with legislation.
    Does an NDP gov’t mean Ontario is hostage to public sector unions, with strikes crippling all aspect of life perpetrated by people who also populate the Sunshine list? Who will wreak havoc indefinitely until they get what they want.
    Yes, don’t forget Bob Rae, stabbed in the back by those unions, when he asked them to take a bit less rather than cut jobs.
    Voting Green is the best option for Guelph. Mike Schriener is a community presence every day, not just during a campaign.
    Considering Guelph’s high per capita of public sector workers, who are very motivated voters, I think we can forget about Ferraro gaining 20% and going to Queen’s Park.
    And blaming the Greens for blocking the BC pipeline is not so much them and their supporters. It’s the NDP doing anything, saying anything, just to be in power.

    • Voter: Wow!Your comments are a shotgun approach to support one candidate, Mike Schreiner of the Green Party. My interest today is focused on that poll that shows Andrea Horwath’s NDP in a position to win a majority June 7.The pollster, Forum, was commissioned by the Toronto Star but did not provide the question, the number of respondents, the coverage area, or the error statistic, common to all polls.

      This poll is so far out of whack compared to the many polls already on record that it is a charade designed to reinforce a narrow point of view held by the NDP a Party that has trouble with math. Before the Horwath team cracks open the champagne, remember what happened to Bob Rae. He was elected premier and a caucus that was inexperienced and incapable of running the government. This is an election about change. Question: How many elections has Mike Schreiner won and what elected offices has he held? Just asking.

  7. voter

    Gerry, here’s a question, in response to yours: how many nomination contests has Ray Ferraro won democratically?

    Here’s another: how many elections have been accurately called by polls in recent years?

    The media’s daily branding of yesterday’s sound bite is just part of the problem with politics.

    Although I did appreciate the columnist who pointed out that this is a contest of free stuff. From all sides, it is utterly ridiculous. As if any party is going to fix health care or any of the other corrupt publicly funded enterprises they are supposed to oversee on behalf of taxpayers at all levels of income or lack thereof.

    Bob Rae actually tried to bring equity and the unions killed the mandate they helped him get. No wonder he turned Liberal.

    It is my understanding that Schreiner is a businessman and entrepreneur as well as a politician. That alone sets him apart from the other candidates.

  8. Capricorn

    No matter who you vote for, I believe it’s worth considering whether or not the candidate is actually from Guelph. It appears that Mr. Schreiner has embraced Guelph for the simple reason that it’s where his best chance of winning lies. There’s more to representing us than focusing on green issues.

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