Here’s our daily look at what’s making news in the lead-up to the next provincial election.
- New Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford has reaffirmed his promise to scrap the sex-ed curriculum. “We will repeal it, and then we’ll make sure we consult with the parents and teachers,” Ford told reporters. (The current curriculum was put in place in 2015. The previous curriculum, from 1998, didn’t deal with issues facing today’s youth, such as sexting and cyberbullying.) Ford did add that if he were elected premier, his primary focus would be on balancing the province’s books and not on sex-ed.
- In an interview on CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning today, Ford said human activity causes climate change “to a certain degree” and added, “I’m not a climate-change denier.” But when asked whether he would take steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, Ford replied, “Not if it’s a tax. We’re going to stop calling it a tax.”
- Ford also told Metro Morning he would create a way for Ontarians to voluntarily pay more tax, though he predicted none would do so. The CBC’s Mike Crawley points out that the province has allowed people to voluntarily pay more tax since the Mike Harris years, and a that small number of Ontarians do.
- You can say this about Ford: he’s not afraid to set high expectations. “We are going to sweep this province,” he told CityNews. “I’m predicting right now this is going to be the biggest majority this province has ever seen. We are going to win more seats than anyone ever has.” According to TVO’s Steve Paikin, that would mean winning more than 95 seats out of the 124 that will be up for grabs.
- According to Newstalk 1010’s Siobhan Morris, Ford says he expects Tory MPPs, not just their staff, to return every phone call made to their offices. “Ford’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is going to be busy,” TVO’s John Michael McGrath observed.
- While Progressive Conservatives in Ontario loathe the idea of a carbon tax, Manitoba’s PC government is using a carbon tax to slash income taxes and reduce the deficit.
- NDP leader Andrea Horwath says a New Democratic government would move the province’s schools away from standardized testing. Meeting with a teachers’ group this weekend, Horwath said the Ontario-wide tests administered by the EQAO aren’t working for students or teachers. She says she would work with educators to introduce a random-sample system that would test a small group of students to measure how well the province’s schools are doing overall.
- One of Ontario's largest restaurant companies says the province's controversial increase to the minimum wage has been manageable. Cara Operations, which owns such chains as Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, and East Side Mario's, says the company has dealt with wage hike through menu changes and selective price increases. So far, it hasn't seemed to affect business. Chief Executive Officer Bill Gregson told the Canadian Press that “most of our banners . . . have had stronger sales in Ontario than in other parts of Canada.”
- Premier Kathleen Wynne says voters would’ve faced a “stark choice” on June 7 regardless of who’d won the PC leadership race. “I think what we are putting forward as a platform is very, very different than what any of the Conservatives were putting forward, which is cutting and removing supports from people,” she told reporters in Toronto on Monday.
- Wynne is not willing to forgive and forget when it comes to ousted PC leader Patrick Brown. Reports state that she is still planning to pursue her defamation lawsuit against him. Wynne says Brown implied she was “on trial” in the Sudbury by-election court case, even though she was never charged and appeared only as a witness. The premier is seeking damages of $100,000.
- More bad news for Brown: reports suggest Ford will not let him run as a PC candidate in the June election.
What to watch for
- NDP leader Andrea Horwath will join local MPP Gilles Bisson in Timmins to hammer away once more at a key theme for the party: hospital overcrowding.
May we have a moment of your time?
Our public funding only covers some of the cost of producing high-quality, balanced content. We depend on the generosity of people who believe we all should have access to accurate, fair journalism. Caring people just like you!
Get Current Affairs & Documentaries email updates in your inbox every morning.