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CKA Uber
CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:16 pm

Patrick Brown’s plan deserves a serious look from voters: Editorial

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has put forward a serious plan that will deserve serious consideration from Ontario voters. Next spring’s campaign is shaping up as a real contest of ideas.

Star Editorial Board

Good on Patrick Brown and his Progressive Conservatives for spelling out in considerable detail what they intend to do if they win next June’s provincial election.

We (and many others) have been calling on the PCs for months now to let us in on their plans. Six months away from the vote, it’s high time to give voters an idea what sort of alternative they’ll be offering to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.

There were two big surprises in Brown’s announcement over the weekend of his “People’s Guarantee” for the spring campaign.

First, it was remarkably comprehensive — five major commitments and scores of other small-bore promises ranging from a rebate on winter tires to Wi-Fi on GO trains.

Second, it drags the PC party from the right back to the centre of Ontario politics, where elections are won, with promises of help for families struggling with child-care costs, a middle-class tax cut, and major spending on mental health.

There’s no red meat for the party’s social-conservative wing. And there’s no talk of chain gangs or mass firings of government workers, the sort of things that torpedoed Tim Hudak’s campaigns in 2011 and 2014.

The Tories under Brown have clearly learned the lesson that you can’t find a majority of Ontario voters over on the far right. They had to lose four straight elections to the Liberals, but it finally seems to have sunk in.

Of course, there’s plenty of the usual sort of political flim-flammery in Brown’s plan. The so-called “guarantees” are anything but. There would be plenty of room for a future Tory government to fudge the results if necessary and claim it met its key promises. It’s good political marketing, nothing more.

There’s also a clever bit of fiscal manoeuvring at the heart of the PC plan. It highlights a cut in personal income taxes for lower- and middle-income people — a guaranteed vote-getter. At the same time, the Tories would have Ontario join the federal carbon tax, which they estimate would raise $340 million in 2019-20, rising sharply to $2.4 billion by 2021-22.

So a supposedly tax-cutting Tory government would actually be extracting more overall from Ontario’s taxpayers, as government revenues would continue to rise.

Even more counter-intuitively, the penny-pinching PCs would deliberately run up a $2.8-billion deficit in their first year, after the allegedly profligate Liberals ground it down to zero. The world, it seems, is upside down.

Having said all that, though, much of what Brown is offering is admirable.

The promised $1.9 billion in additional spending over 10 years on a comprehensive plan for mental health is badly needed, and just the sort of thing the Wynne Liberals might well have pushed. Ditto adding 100,000 child care spaces, and establishing a dental plan for low-income seniors.

Reducing hydro rates even more will be popular, and using the province’s $350-million dividend from its share in the privatized Hydro One to help do that makes sense, too. (In fact, as the PCs acknowledged, the Star suggested just that idea in an editorial and the Tories borrowed it. You’re welcome.)

The PCs are also on the right track with their proposal to make subways a provincial responsibility and put $5 billion more into building them. That kind of transportation is increasingly a regional issue, and would be better handled by a regional authority. More on that later this week.

Much can happen in the next six months. By June the Liberals will have been in office for 15 years, and it will be difficult to keep that streak going. But the PCs have their own issues (including nasty internal divisions between centrists and far-right-wingers) and could sabotage their own campaign once again.

Still, Brown has put forward a serious plan that will deserve serious consideration from voters. Next spring’s campaign is shaping up as a real contest of ideas. ... orial.html

New long-term spending commitments on downtown Toronto subways, new child care benefit of almost $7k per child, new funding to match Trudeau’s mental health initiative, a PROMISE to run a defecit in their first year AND joining Trudeau’s federal carbon tax???
I gotta say, if these new “left wing” tories are now the most right-wing option then it’s never been a better time to be a progressive in Ontario! Is this what winning the culture war looks like?

Last edited by BeaverFever on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CKA Uber
CKA Uber
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Posts: 11366
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:19 pm

Also so much for the “Red Star” eh? I guess the team that fabricated the Rob Ford crack video and covered up the Bowling Green massacre has the week off.

CKA Elite
CKA Elite
Posts: 3101
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:41 am

Toronto Star seems to be an arm for someone lately, I won't say who...

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