Ontario Election 2014

Get Ready for a June 12 Election

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she has lost confidence in the governing Ontario Liberals and will vote against the 2014 Ontario Budget the government released yesterday.

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 02, 2014

this article has been updated

In a press conference this morning, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she has lost confidence in the governing Ontario Liberals and will vote against the 2014 Ontario Budget the government released yesterday.

In response, Premier Kathleen Wynne asked Lieutenant Governor David Onley to dissolve the legislature and call a general election. The election will take place on Thursday, June 12.

The progressive $130 billion budget was tailored to appeal to the NDP: minimum wage increase, a new tax for the top 2 percent of income earners, increases to child and welfare rates, billions in transit investment without new taxes, tolls or fees, and a new flagship provincial pension plan.

It must have been difficult to turn down the most NDP-esque provincial budget in over 20 years. Indeed, several Ontario labour unions have already come out in support of the budget.

However, Horwath argued that the decision was not about whether the budget was appealing but whether she can trust the government to carry it out. "I have lost confidence in Kathleen Wynne and her ability to deliver."

Horwath added, "I cannot in good conscience support a government that people don't trust any more."

The big question is: what next?

The only honest answer for now is that all bets are off. The 'safe' prediction is that we will end up with just another barely-functional minority government; but as we were just reminded in Quebec, things can change quickly during an election campaign.

No matter what happens, at least the leader whose party forms the next government will be able to claim some kind of mandate to govern.

There is nothing in the Parliamentary system to require an election when a governing party changes leadership - after all, electors vote for their constituency representatives, and the representatives in turn appoint a Premier whose cabinet retains the confidence of the house.

However, decades of influence from American-style presidential/gubernatorial politics has left most Canadian voters with the sense that they are casting a ballot for a leader rather than a representative.

This is Kathleen Wynne's chance to prove she can lead her party to victory. It is Tim Hudak's chance to prove he can appeal to a broad enough set of Ontarians to do the same. It is Andrea Horwath's chance to prove that Ontarians trust the NDP to run the province.

Now strap in and get comfortable, because it's going to be an interesting month.


Update: updated to note that Premier Wynne has asked the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve parliament and call a general election.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

24 Comments

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 02, 2014 at 11:15:50

This voter sees Wynne as a continuation of the same liberal gaffes, but she probably has my vote anyways because as far as I'm concerned she's running unopposed. The liberals are flaccid, corrupt losers and Wynne has failed to change that... but they're also the only party with any coherent vision or plan for Ontario. The NDP seem to have no interest in honest conversation about how to tackle hard decisions, and the Conservatives plan to spend their term butting heads with unions, gutting services, and killing all forward progress on transit and environmental issues, and funnelling any money earned from that train-wreck into business-subsidizing pork projects like the Mid Pen so all their "savings" will come out blank.

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted May 05, 2014 at 15:50:36 in reply to Comment 100805

Totally on the same page as you. I was an NDP supporter, but Andrea has drained that utterly from me. I will be voting Liberal this election, because really what choice do I have?

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted May 03, 2014 at 11:51:07 in reply to Comment 100805

You took the words right out of my mouth. Same.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 14:52:14 in reply to Comment 100805

This is my feeling as well. I don't really the corruption / wasted money scandals happening, but if that's the cost of having a government that has sensible policies (especially on transit, environment), to me its worth it.

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By scrap (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 11:40:23

I think that it the entire political system is tainted, it does not represent the people.

In my view we the people need to have serious talks about what we should do

Instead of looking at issues look at root causes.

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By Rallyup (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 11:45:10

In other words, NDP likes the budget, but doesn't believe Liberals are trustworthy enough to implement it. Most Ontarians may feel the same. But what are the alternatives? PCs are no less corrupt. If anything, I'd be more suspicious of them. People seeking power are corrupt by their very intention to seek power, and they simply pander to ignorant masses to stay in power. The masses need to wake up and reject this nonsense system.

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By RTH said this (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 14:11:59

Ryan McGreal @RyanMcGreal off the CBC page
Ugh, a provincial election in which I don't know which party I can bear to hold my nose and vote for.
10:19 AM - 2 May 2014

So don't vote. Who cares how you vote?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 02, 2014 at 15:06:49 in reply to Comment 100818

I am not RTH, I am merely the editor and one of the contributors. RTH has its own account on twitter @raisethehammer.

In any case, expressing dismay at the choices facing Ontario voters is not the same as abrogating my responsibility to decide which choice is the least bad.

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By oh, we see (anonymous) | Posted May 04, 2014 at 14:17:09 in reply to Comment 100825

prickly prickly

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 14:40:30

It's official: June 12th, 2014

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 15:16:22

Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne met with the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario who accepted her recommendation that Parliament be dissolved for a general election.

The official documents will be presented to his Honour later this afternoon, at which time the House will be officially dissolved.

The writs for the general election will be signed on Wednesday, May 7.

Under the Elections Act, the election would ordinarily take place on Thursday, June 5.

However, the Chief Electoral Officer has identified June 5 as a day of religious significance, and has recommended Thursday, June 12 as the alternate election day.

The recommendation has been accepted and the election for Ontario's 41st Parliament will take place on Thursday, June 12.


ontario.ca/opo/en/2014/05/ontario-election-on-june-12-2014.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p

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By What next (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 16:09:37

What's the procedure for the budget then? Does the next government quickly craft a brand new budget after it is elected or what?

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted May 02, 2014 at 17:01:10

Personally, I think if this passes for strategy on the part of Andrea Horwath, it will likely backfire. Her timid, opportunistic leadership, in which she doesn't take a stand on most issues (eg. minimum wage increase) until she has thoroughly tested the political winds, has probably alienated many people; it certainly has had that effect on me. While you are quite right that it is impossible to predict outcomes, Ryan, I think she will be punished by the voters for her failures and for causing an expensive and unnecessary election.

Hopefully, a new leader who doesn't pander for power at the expense of principle will be selected at the next NDP leadership convention.

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By Anon Again (anonymous) | Posted May 05, 2014 at 13:18:33 in reply to Comment 100830

"Her timid, opportunistic leadership... has probably alienated many people"

It may have done, but it's worth pointing out that there have been nine byelections in this provincial Parliament. In five of those, the party flipped. Four of those were won by the NDP, none lost. So they've done well with the voters recently.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 19:56:09 in reply to Comment 100830

You're right about her waiting too long to take a position, but I do prefer a measured response vs the PC leader's "lalalalalala I'm not listening" just voting against what you say. In regard to the budget, it was a no-win for Horvath. Support it and back overt corruption, tank it and be blamed for "an election no one wants." I hope Horvath can present a viable vision, otherwise I think we're looking at another Lib minority.

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2014-05-02 19:56:21

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By Process (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 17:24:49

Need answers re. process. No party is likely to have a majority gov. Will we not then be stuck in this cycle of dissolving govs and elections? I prefer a benign dictatorship anyday.

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By Politico (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 18:55:28

Horwath cannot be trusted and will politically stab you in the back if she thinks it will benefit her. In contrast, Wynne has a genuineness and gravitas to her which is endearing. She does not come across as a flaky politician like Horwath does.
Horwath and Hudak have gotten into bed together to defeat a progressive budget. Those on the right will never vote for Wynne. But I hope everybody else strategically does. A vote for the NDP is a vote for Dim Hudak.

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By scrap (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 19:14:21

Polictico are you for real?

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By Hudsmak (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 22:23:14

Tim Hudsmak needs to get the smack down in my opinion. He's got nothing on the transit file for peters sake!?! In what parallel universe is this man living?

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By politricking (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2014 at 22:26:32

All our politicians, in all three parties, are corrupt. You can tell just by the expensive clothes they wear, whereas the majority of people they supposedly care about much less represent could ill afford to spend that kind of money on their clothes. Same true for the homes and cars I'm sure!

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By Sounds jealous (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2014 at 07:43:24 in reply to Comment 100840

You sound jealous. Why don't you run then in your worn-out clothes and base everything from your hovel?

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By Seriously (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2014 at 11:22:19

The jealousy argument is a red herring. This is about the honesty and integrity of politicians. How do you take politicians whose lifestyle shows so much abundance, seriously when they pretend to represent those who have not?

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By SRS (registered) | Posted May 05, 2014 at 12:05:42

As a long time NDP and Andrea Horwath supporter I am appalled that she chose not to support this very progressive budget. I have also been disappointed by her stand (or lack of it) on the LRT. As a result I will be voting Liberal!!!!!

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted May 05, 2014 at 13:10:37

"Get Ready for a June 12 Election"

No, I refuse to do so. I fully intend to ignore this supposed "election"--and everyone who talks about it--completely until I sit down to decide my vote. Y'all are welcome to electioneer all you like in the meantime, and go to heck while you're at it.

Comment edited by Tybalt on 2014-05-05 13:10:57

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