I hate having to go into a voting booth holding my nose but that is exactly what I am facing for the provincial election to be held June 7.
The incumbent premier, Kathleen Wynne, seems set on driving the province deeper into debt, the $318 billion or so we have now not seeming to register with her as a problem.
NDP Andrea Horwath, with a host of new programs such as universal pharmacare and free daycare for those with yearly incomes under $40,000, would just be more of the same.
Doug Ford, the freshly anointed Progressive Conservative leader, would have it both ways, cutting the debt while spending heavily on infrastructure, every day sounding more and more like Donald Trump, the faux U.S. president.
Wynne appeared to be ripe for picking this time around as her favourable rating was in the tank..
But then the Conservative death wish appeared, as it has in elections past.
You will recall John Tory, who should have won in 2007 until he announced his party would fund faith-based schools, a cash drain voters were not prepared to go along with.
Then we had Tim Hudak who in 2014 said he would slash 100,000 public sector jobs, including teachers, a promise that did not sit well with voters.
When CTV News took down Progressive Leader Patrick Brown by running a story about a couple of unnamed women claiming he had made unwanted advances toward them years ago, MPP Christine Elliott looked to have the inside track to take over.
But through a weighted election process, she became a three-time loser as the party opted for Trump, pardon me, make that Ford.
He has promised $5 billion for Toronto Transit but when CityNews fact-checked his proposal, it came up with a figure of $22.5 billion to do what heis actually proposing.
That would seem to say Toronto is not going to get what he says it will or he will continue to balloon the deficit which also means ballooning the debt.
Ford also said he would open up the protected Greenbelt around the Greater Toronto Area for housing development, then walked it back a day later because of protests..
I think you will see my problem and you certainly should because for those of you not wedded to one of the parties, who consider themselves independent as I do, it is your problem too.
When this, my distaste for all party leaders, occurs, I do find a way out. I just turn to the local candidates.
I have essentially gone this route from 2003 on as I had no problem casting my vote for Liberal David Orazietti, just as I had no problem in 1997 when he initially ran for city council.
I probably won’t have any trouble this time either.
The candidates are incumbent Ross Romano of the Progressive Conservatives. He was elected to city council in 2014 and then won a byelection in June 2017 to replace Orazietti. Michelle McCleave-Kennedy is running for the NDP, She is president of Sault Ste. Marie Labour Council and a member of the Community Adjustment Committee. Kara Flanagan is again carrying the Green Party banner and Jaclynne Hamel, a former Saultite whose latest position was as senior strategic adviser to MPP Michael Gravelle, apparently is being parachuted in as the Liberal candidate..
Ford has said that if elected premier he’ll call a commission of inquiry into government spending, which seems a ridiculous exercise. We want a government that will do that. However, based on what has gone before from all parties, I don’t like our chances of achieving that.
Ontario’s fiscal watchdog recently warned that the Liberal government’s deficit projections are billions of dollars more than disclosed in its budget.
Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk was quoted as saying this year’s shortfall is $11.7 billion, not $6.7 billion, as Finance Minister Charles Sousa forecast March 28.
“When expenses are understated, the perception is created that government has more money available than it actually does,” Lysyk wrote in a pre-election report to the Legislature.
With either deficit mentioned, Lysyk’s or Sousa’s, I would say it is time the government got its act together, that it quit spending more than it was taking so it can start paying down the debt.
I know we all love social programs but it is time we all took some responsibility for the financial bind this province is in.
You can only live beyond your means for so long, a lesson we as householders learn early on.
It is government learned it as well.
Anyway, I didn’t really want this to be a rant but I did want to make it clear that I don’t like any of the choices when it comes to party leaders.