Key election issues for the future of Ontario ~ Hugh Holland

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The next election in Ontario is only six weeks away. Ontario is 40 per cent of Canada. What happens in Ontario matters to the world, so we should consider the impact of our vote on the world and on Ontario. I will try to keep an open mind until Election Day, but here is my summation of the key issues at this time.

Education and Health Care – These two items take up 70 per cent of the provincial budget but they are the critically important foundation for a healthy and prosperous future. We need sensible restraint on all of our wages, but we don’t need another war with teachers and health care workers.

Looking globally, unsustainable population growth is a root cause of the world’s looming climate crisis. Progress is being made but we are still on track to add the equivalent of three more Africas or 100 more Canadas to the world population by 2100. Canada cannot be a credible voice on this issue if we are not observing best practice in our own country. Stephen Harper knew that and worked with Bill Gates at the 2010 G8 conference in Huntsville to increase funding for maternal and child health in developing countries because, “Although it sounds counterintuitive, when more children live past the age of five, and mothers can decide when to have children, population sizes don’t go up. They go down.”

Research also shows that the facts of life are best delivered at an early age when they are non-sensational. Some parents can do that and some cannot, so there is clearly a need for sex-ed at school. Doug Ford proposes to change sex education and abortion rules. Both are bad ideas.

The Liberals have started the ball rolling on expanding pharma-care and the NDP wants to add dental care to the burden on the public purse. There is an argument for both, but let’s get the basics right first. There is much more to do on wait times and sustainable funding for convenient local hospitals.

Energy and Environment – These two items also go together because fossil fuel use that is driven by unsustainable population growth are the two root causes of climate change. The Liberals have taken a lot of heat (along with Germany) for being in the forefront of a bold experiment in renewable energy, but they have since experienced reality and have adjusted the push for wind and solar power. To their credit, the Liberals have expanded hydro-electricity to the political limit (remember the Bala Falls fight) and are refurbishing Ontario’s Nuclear power plants. The end result is an optimum system (given Ontario’s conditions) with 55 per cent nuclear and 25 per cent hydro that are both emission-free and reliable 24/7 regardless of the weather. The balance is made up by reliable natural gas, using wind and solar to reduce the cost and emissions from gas when intermittent wind and solar are producing. Solar is ideal for mid-summer mid-day peak power and the current amount of solar in Ontario is about where it should be for that. The Green Party and the NDP are still ignoring Germany’s failed experiment to kill nuclear power and are still trying the sell the fantasy that renewables alone can do the job. Yes, Ontario’s electricity cost is now a bit higher than some US states but Ontario’s cost will be lower after those states make the investments to eliminate coal-based electricity.

The other issue around energy and environment is that of a carbon tax. Traffic in and around the GTA is now among the heaviest in North America. Doug Ford’s idea to build houses in the Greenbelt would increase urban sprawl. Ontario is now well-positioned with enough clean electricity to supply electrified public transit and electric vehicles (where they make sense). A carbon tax is a sensible way to fund clean transit. Doug Ford is proposing to kill the carbon tax to compete with the US. President Trump’s recent US tax changes might produce superficial short-term benefits but they will balloon the US debt.

Resources – Electric vehicles are coming but not as fast as some predict for two reasons: EV powertrains require entirely different materials and manufacturing equipment than conventional powertrains, and EVs work better in urban sun-belt areas than in rural snow-belt areas.

There is now a global race by companies and countries to lock up the world’s limited supplies of the copper, nickel, and cobalt needed to make 50 million electric motors and batteries per year. The “Ring of Fire” in Northern Ontario contains large deposits of copper and nickel. Cobalt has cobalt. But the area needs massive infrastructure work to access these minerals. This has potential to end poverty for local First Nations. The Conservatives and the Liberals initiated joint support for development in 2011, but it has been slow going. Doug Ford says he would get on a bulldozer himself to get it going.

The world will need oil for several more decades and Canada is well-positioned to supply it. Except in Quebec, both Liberals and Conservatives were supportive of the Energy East pipeline, which is arguably the most beneficial to Canada and may still be needed. Except for Alberta, the NDP and the Greens are not supportive of energy pipelines.

Social Issues – Having spent considerable time studying the legalization of recreational cannabis, experts find there are still many serious concerns, so responsible implementation is critical. Good plans often go wrong in the implementation. Doug Ford’s idea of privatizing the point of sale puts the goals of the program at risk. I agree with the Liberal’s plan to sell cannabis at locations with well-trained and well managed staff. Dedicated LCBO outlets are much more likely to help achieve the goals of the cannabis program than hundreds of corner stores. Let’s be honest: like every country, we have a serious problem with young people using harmful drugs. Let’s not make it worse.

Leadership – Politicians have a critically important and increasingly difficult job. But they can’t do anything if they can’t get elected, so they are often tempted to make promises they should know they can’t keep. Then they feel obligated to appear to be keeping their promises. The circus south of the border is a prime example. So it is up to the electorate to separate fact from fiction. Doug Ford’s promise to “Make Ontario great again” sounds all too familiar. International studies show clearly that Canada and Ontario are already among the best places in the world.

It all boils down to the capability and credibility of the leader and key cabinet members. While I do not like the Liberal’s Cap-and-Trade program, I find Kathleen Wynne to be an honest, sincere and hard-working person who (like Stephen Harper) was free of any personal scandal for over ten years in office. I don’t doubt Doug Ford’s sincerity, but he had some crazy ideas when he was on council in Toronto and he still has some. Notwithstanding all of the bravado, the only notable success of the Ford Administration was to outsource half of Toronto’s garbage collection. I pine for the days of the so-called Red Tories like Bill Davis and Brian Mulroney. (Remember it was Mulroney that solved our national debt problem by bringing in the GST even though it cost him his job).

We lived in Quebec when the PQ was first elected because the prevailing sentiment was “nothing can be worse than the current government.” Quebec will never be the same again. I will try hard to keep an open mind until June 7, but unless something changes, I am inclined to stay with the devil I know.

Hugh Holland is a retired engineering and manufacturing executive now living in Huntsville, Ontario.

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20 Comments

  1. Jim Logagianes on

    Mr Holland
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with everyone, these are very challenging times in
    our province. Dalton McGuinty cancelled a billion dollar gas plant, to get one more seat.
    David Livingstone was sentenced to four months for deleting computer files. Who gave the order
    to delete those files? Honestly , the ruling liberals are not responsible , they were elected to run the province. Reelecting parties that have no respect for the public purse will not help Ontario prosper. Why are politicians not accountable for their actions? Receiving and indexed pension for life should come with some responsibility.
    This is the same party that is promoting a sharing economy now. This new sharing initiative
    is not Socialism. Ontario does not need a party that promotes Marxist ideology. Voting for the devil you know may not be considered sound judgement.
    Jim Logagianes

    • Bravo, Jim. We should be voting for our “better angels”, not any kind of devils. The worldwide liberal socialist agenda (read Marxist) is an agenda of death for any of the populations who have had to suffer under their rule. The Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution were ruthless devils who killed many, many Russians (in some of the most gruesome ways ever). The Stalinists killed many tens of millions more. Mao killed even more–probably 70 million–and the Marxist, Pol Pot was horrid with his “killing fields”. Fidel was somewhat of a piker in the modern killing department with only about 100,000 of his own countrymen. The Cubans who have fled Cuba say that Fidel’s brother, Raoul is even worse.

  2. Kathryn Henderson on

    I think that no one can possibly be worse than who we have now. But i do think they are all cut from the same cloth. I would like see the sex ed program that is and will be taught to my child. And if i dont agree with the way it is done I will pull my child from that class and teach him at home. I will cover all the bases but would prefer teaching it myself. I would like to see the agenda for sex ed being taught. I will Google and see if it is available for viewing. I’m sure I will get “OH your poor kid” comments and more but he is my kid and I should he aware of what he is learning in school. My opinion.

  3. Ron Murdoch on

    Hugh I think this is the first time that I find myself totally disagreeing with you. the Wynne Liberal Gov has had ten years to solve Ontario’s problems and the hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper. The Conservative Gove when elected always get the short end of the stick when we’re in trouble financially and should get credit for making the most of a liberal catastrophe but instead they are criticized for cutting services. If there’s no money in the Bank don’t buy it, something the Liberals should have been doing also the alternative N D P is just another name for Liberal

    • George Young on

      Hugh there isn’t a chance I will be supporting another Liberal givernment in Ontario.
      It is truly time for change.

  4. Hugh, I get where you are coming from but the Liberal agenda is just a chapter of the globalist book that is NOT sustainable. And here are the reasons why:

    It is a myth that the world is overpopulated. http://rayharvey.org/index.php/2010/02/the-great-overpopulation-myth/ The world population will likely level off by 2050, at 8 billion, and then it will begin to decline–slowly at first, but then it will go down steeply.

    Population geneticists are starting to worry about runaway population decline because of the problem of “genomic entropy”. It is a bit complicated, but essentially, it is the idea that it really doesn’t take a very large reservoir of mutations in the genome of any species to cause it to slide into extinction. Plants are much more vulnerable than animals it seems, as scientists estimate that a huge proportion of all plants which have ever lived, are already extinct. Many animal species are also extinct and the extinction rate is growing rapidly.

    Finally, we come to humans. Our very toxic world is causing the human genome mutation rate to accelerate. And despite the hype, “gene editing” will NOT help. The human genome is simply too complex–when one area is tinkered with, it could cause a cascade of other genetic problems and the patient dies anyway. And germ cell altering is REALLY scary as those “edits” would be carried forward to all future generations. All world-class population geneticists understand the issue, but they prefer to stay silent on it. Our problem is NOT too many people. Our problem is the lack of will and the commitment of resources to solve the problem of the toxins that pollute our world. There are tens of thousands of man-made compounds that have been added to our biosphere with little regard for how they are affecting life on this planet. Focusing on CO2 is simply a distraction. There is no evidence that it is toxic. In fact, there are botanists who insist that the world’s plant kingdom is “starving for CO2”.

    Our problem is NOT too much CO2 in the atmosphere (no matter what you have been told). The scientists who were chosen to comprise the IPCC are all AGW (anthropogenic global warming) advocates. There’s little to NO money given to research the affects of the increasing energy output of the sun (it has been increasing for about a century). Do we know how it affects the warming of the planet? The “global warming” that we are experiencing could be an entirely natural cycle. We know that there have been vast periods of warming and cooling in the past. The most recent example of COOLING illustrates that it is likely much more dangerous to human life than is a few degrees of warming. The “Little Ice Age” from the period after the Medieval Warm Period was after the advent of recorded history. The Medieval Warm Period featured the growing of grapes in northern Scotland and some agricultural crops having been grown in the most southerly area of Greenland. The Little Ice Age that followed was quite simply a disaster for life on the planet. History records that tens of thousands of people starved to death in northern Europe because there were years when there were massive crop failures due to no frost-free months.

    Carbon dioxide is not even the most potent “greenhouse gas”. Methane is MUCH more potent in that regard but no one but a few scientists, appear to be concerned about the massive amounts of methane being released from melting permafrost. Could it be that no one has figured out how to profit off of its suppression (as if that were even possible)? Doesn’t it make anyone uncomfortable that the same globalist elites who came up with the VERY corrupt “oil for food” program are the ones who came up with AGW? Water vapour, because it is massively more common than CO2, would seem to be very much more of a problem than CO2 as a “greenhouse gas” (that is, it traps and holds on to heat) but no one seems to be able to figure out how to make money off of suppressing water vapour either. The global socialist elites of Emerald City and their political lackeys have been exposed for the frauds that they are. The truth is beginning to emerge.

  5. If you care about … budgets, deficits, the cost and impact of vote baiting programs, the cost of government mismanagement, the cost of scandals, the cost of political correctness , the impact and consequence of the “revenue – expense” equation, investment, job opportunity, … and .. the non-stop tax increases and non stop service charges … on EVERYTHING …its a no brainier of where to put your ‘X’!

    • Erin Jones on

      Right you are, Bob. I will NEVER vote for a “tax and spend” Liberal ever again. Their globalist policies have made this a very hostile place for small business–which is the provider of the greatest number of good, productive jobs.

      The Liberals despise the middle class (like all good little communists) and see them only as a source of revenue. All the while, they curry the favor of their friends among the elites who are not only their benefactors but their beneficiaries as well. It is a closed loop. As their policies go forward worldwide, we are seeing the once great Western nations decline into stinking maelstroms.

      Nowhere are globalist policies so manifest as S. California with its massive mansions on one hand and its tent cities on the other. They actually have a phone app that S. Californians use to avoid the reeking slums created by illegal aliens who have invaded California and which the very liberal politicians refuse to do anything about because they know that the illegal aliens vote for them, while the corrupt liberal elite politicians pretend to care about them. The state of California is going broke supporting the scourge while, in fact, they should be billing the countries from which these people have fled. But globalist elites LOVE illegal migration and long for a “border-free” world. They exploit the poor and seek to make the middle class poor–because poor, dumbed-down people are much easier to control. But, unfortunately for them, the middle classes are beginning to wake up. Will it be in enough time?

      • You have precisely and accurate assessed the dangers of Globalists and their very real threat to the nationalism and sovereignty of our western world democracies. In Canada we are plagued by two, hard core Globalists-Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne.

        • Erin Jones on

          Unfortunately, you are correct. They are both enemies of the middle classes. The middle class is the backbone of democracy. And here are just some of the ways that the globalist elites damage the middle classes.

          Globalists love illegal migrants and long for “border-free” nations (although it defies logic to think that you can even HAVE a nation if you are unable to protect your borders. Illegal migrants bring down the wage levels of the middle class. Owner-workers in small construction businesses in the southern U.S. say that not only do they lose place to the big contractors, who often layoff native U.S. tradesmen and replace them with the cheaper illegals, but they also have to take less for small jobs because iillegals are willing to do it for much less because they do not pay taxes of any kind. The wealthy elites like illegals because they profit off of the lower wages demanded by un-unionized illegals. (The wealthy elites HATE unions with a passion.)
          Illegals do not, for the most part, pay taxes and thus the burden of supplying services to them falls solely on the middle class–especially in places like California and Europe where illegals are a protected class.

          Globalist elites encourage their government lackeys to make one set of rules for the elites and another set for everyone else. This level of corruption will eventually kill the Western democracies. Because illegals are well-accustomed to the corruption and the development of two-tiered society (where there are only two classes of people–the wealthy elites and the poor), they accept that this kind of corruption is a fact of life and they accept the poverty that comes from this type of system, OR, if they object to it, they often turn to a life of crime and bring their ways right along with them into the host countries of the West. Liberal (socialistic or Marxist) politicians try to avoid the responsibility for their decisions in favor of globalist policies with vague platitudes but they likely know the truth of the matter. They are owned by their globalist masters. And they also know that the middle classes are harmed by those policies in spite of their political rhetoric to the contrary.

  6. Some points to seriously consider before voting in June:

    1. Conservative leader Doug Ford can give us a future in Ontario.
    It’s clear to see, the difference in priorities between Ford and Wynne:
    Wynne always approaches things from the perspective of the government being in control, with more debt, higher taxes, and more spending always being the answer. She only trusts money and power when it’s in the hands of politicians. She believes in pure socialism which, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, only works until you run out of other people’s money.

    National Post View: In Kathleen Wynne’s world, auditors are fools — and so are voters

    With the Ontario election about to get officially underway, the province’s Liberals increasingly seem to be campaigning in an alternate universe

    By contrast, Ford has trust that people can succeed and achieve great things when they have the resources to do so. And a big part of having those resources is about taxpayers keeping more of their own money, and businesses being free to grow and create jobs.

    Under Kathleen Wynne, that growth is tougher than ever, as high taxes and high energy prices make it more and more impossible for businesses to succeed.

    That’s why more and more people can see that upcoming election will be a choice between the opportunity for prosperity under Ford, or a further slide into debt, stagnation, and decline under Wynne.

    From Doug Ford….I’m here for the people, to make sure no one gets left behind, to make sure everyone who wants to work has access to a stable job. I’m here to make sure when you pay your taxes your tax dollars are respected, to make sure you won’t be stuck waiting to see a doctor, and to ensure when you send your kids to school they will learn basic math.
    That’s what everyone in Ontario wants, and that’s what we are going to deliver on June 7 – a date that can’t come soon enough.
    http://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-kathleen-wynnes-farewell-budget

    2. The people of Ontario are being robbed blind by the Wynne, and before her the McGuinty government. Your children and their children are in for generational debt. This is what 14 years of liberal corruption and criminality has done to this province all thanks to special interest groups, public sector unions and the 416,647 & 905 area codes. Recent surveys have indicated that ordinary Ontarians even in the abovementioned area codes are turning against the liberals, but since the self serving public sector unions are the largest voting block in the province the defeat of liberalism in Ontario is still not in the bag.

    3. Robyn Urback: Auditor general report confirms what’s wrong with Ontario’s Liberals: everything
    The breadth of mismanagement detailed in the 770 pages makes this report perhaps the most astonishing this province — certainly this government has ever seen.

    Included in the litany of indictments outlined in Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report on Wednesday:

    -The report skewered the Liberal government over its handling of the energy file. Lysyk found that between 2006 and 2014, Ontarians paid $37 billion over the market price for electricity.

    -over delays in home health care

    -over the enduring problems with the province’s 47 children’s aid societies and over many, many other problem-riddled departments under the purview of the Ontario government.

    Indeed, if I were to summarize the findings of Lysyk’s 770-page document, it seems the big issue with the Liberal government is: everything.

    Unbelievable overspending? Yes. Debilitating arrogance? Yes. Toxic disorganization? Yes

    The breadth of mismanagement detailed in those 770 pages makes this report perhaps the most astonishing this province — certainly this government — has ever seen. To give it a meticulous read, one might think it could be the Liberal’s early swan song, but then you take a step back and realize all of those screw-ups — the crippling waste, the apathy to expert advice, the dangerous lack of oversight — are all cramming in to get through the door at the same time. As a result, nothing gets through.

    In the same way that a single death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic — a single scandal is an outrage, but a series of scandals is sloughed off as business as usual, at least for this government. Each mess-up is competing for airtime, so none of them gets their due. Perhaps that’s why this government seems to think itself “invincible.”

    4. Certainly the following puts Justin’s carbon tax and Wynne’s version of the same, exclusively in the tax grab category and goes to more of their towing the corrupt UN line (see UN Agenda 21 and 2030) for their personal benefit. At Canadians’ cost, of course.

    Global warming ‘pause’ may last for 20 more years and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover

    Study after scientific study say warmer temperatures are largely due to natural 300-year cycles

    Actual increase in last 17 years lower than almost every prediction.

    The 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last into the 2030s and the Arctic sea ice has already started to recover, according to new research.

    A paper in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics – by Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr Marcia Wyatt – amounts to a stunning challenge to climate science orthodoxy.

    Not only does it explain the unexpected pause, it suggests that the scientific majority – whose views are represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – have underestimated the role of natural cycles and exaggerated that of greenhouse gases.

    5. The Ontario sex Ed curriculum was co authored by Ben Levin (Wynne lied about his role – but his signature is on the document) who was subsequently charged and convicted of child pornography . During his trial Crown counsel Allison Dellandrea read aloud several extremely graphic chat exchanges the former Ontario deputy minister of education had with undercover officers he believed were submissive mothers interested in having sex with their own children. The 63-year-old married father of three repeatedly and consistently claimed to have had sex with his own daughters, starting at age 12 (though, as he told one of the officers, “I wish we’d started younger.”). Levin — who was a member of Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team — has pleaded guilty to the making of written child pornography, possession of child pornography and counselling to commit sexual assault on a child. He has not been charged with actually carrying out a sexual assault on a child. His curriculum is still expected to be taught in Ontario schools.

    Ford takes aim at the Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum — for students in Grades 1-12 — which covers such topics as sexual orientation and sexting. Introduced in 2015, some parents protested, taking their kids out of school. He rightly comments, “Unlike the Liberals, I know that parents, not government, are our children’s first educators,” Ford said in a statement. “The sex-ed curriculum should be about facts, not teaching Liberal ideology. Much of it is purely Liberal indoctrination. Parents should have the first and final say on what they want to teach their kids past this point.”

    It should be noted that Wynne refused to consult with families suggesting that the disregard for love, marriage, or the family in the sex-ed curriculum was not accidental. But any curriculum that excludes them actually undermines the child’s health. Her curriculum contains explicit age-inappropriate content and her “gender” identity theory, sexual “identities”, and “orientations”. Disturbingly, her flawed theory on “gender expression” is part of the curriculum expected to be taught in Ontario schools. Her curriculum presents sex as a purely recreational activity whose purpose is pleasure apart from love or marriage, both words which are never, not once , mentioned in the sex -education strand of this document, indicative of the philosophical underpinnings of the curriculum itself.

    TORONTO, June 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne Liberals have passed what critics describe as “totalitarian” Bill 89 by a vote of 63 to 23 on the last day before Queen’s Park adjourns for the summer.

    Pro-family advocates warn Bill 89 gives the state more power to seize children from families that oppose the LGBTQI and gender ideology agenda, and allows government agencies to effectively ban couples who disagree with that agenda from fostering or adopting children.

  7. Rob Millman on

    I do apologize for responding to a parenthetic comment contained in an otherwise comprehensive, well-written article. My recollection regarding Mr. Mulroney’s precipitous fall from power owed far more to the skybus scandal than the imposition of the GST (or NAFTA for that matter). We don’t expect our Prime Ministers to be pocketing $250,000 (in cash, no less) from German arms dealers. I realize that I inhabit a hotbed of Trudeau-haters (pere et fils); but to be an apologist for Lyin’ Brian is truly a non-starter.

  8. Erin Jones on

    Yes, BJ–all part of the globalist agenda to undermine the moral fabric of the Western nations. The reason? To so weaken the West that they go meekly into a socialist/communist world government which will be headed by the very same globalist elites–where there is one set of laws for the elites and another set for everyone else.

    Even the officially atheistic, Chinese Communists, know that Christian morality is the bedrock of the strength of the Western nations. A Chinese professor was assigned, by the Communist government a decade or so ago, to investigate the reasons for Western success apart from the normal parameters of natural resources and the industry of the people. His conclusion? That Christian morality was responsible–apart from every other cause and that it magnified the efforts of the people. He concluded that the emphasis on honesty and fair dealing was the basis of trust which resulted in the payoff of more efficient use of resources, along with increased productivity and thus, wealth. Those from the West who have attempted to do business in China have discovered, to their dismay, that Chinese businessmen are horribly corrupt (the Communist government frequently executes the men and women who exhibit the most egregious examples of corruption). Socialism and especially communism lead inevitably to corruption because its very nature is a hierarchical system that places a privileged few at at the top to rule over a well-paid and ever-expanding bureaucracy that rules over everyone else.

  9. John McCaig on

    Hugh is a person who writes and talks extremely well about a variety of subjects, and normally (as he knows) I fully agree with his views. However in this case I must say I could not disagree more. His rationale for voting for 4 more years of the Wynne government simply does not add up. I am not going to repeat some of the things that have been said by so many others, but would simply say this. In my opinion, there are two things that need to be considered in this election.
    1. Economics – It is clear that the Liberals for many years at both levels have believed that the future will take care of itself and they will not be here to worry about it anyhow, so the more they can spend now the more often they will get elected. Deficit financing is a fact of life for almost everyone these days (mortgage, loans, credit cards, etc.) but most of us know we eventually have to either pay it back or declare bankruptcy. Liberals seem not to realize this, or do not care.
    2. Trustworthiness – Do you really trust a party that continually deceives you, lies, breaks the law, and tries to bribe you with your own money? Sure the other parties may do the same, but in Hugh’s words the devil we know WILL do these things while the others MAY do them, and until we elect one of them we don’t know for sure. Since I don’t think the Conservatives (or for that matter the NDP or Greens) would be worse, I would rather give one of them a chance to do better. Unfortunately the PC’s usually get elected after the Liberals have messed it up so badly that in cleaning up the mess the PCs look really bad.

    • Well said, John. Most of us are NOT interested in saddling our children and grandchildren with crippling debt well into the future. Every bit of debt must be serviced and that leaves fewer and fewer dollars to spend on our healthcare system, our education system and needed updating of infrastructure. Ontario has always been a wealthy province but it is becoming much less so under the “tax and spend” Liberals.

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