With another constituency week in the books, MPPs will return to Queen's Park today for their regularly scheduled legislating. One bit of business this afternoon: the Liberal government's election finance reform bill is due in committee for a clause-by-clause review. Finance Minister Charles Sousa will deliver his fall economic update as well. Oh, and because the legislature resumes sitting today, our question period liveblog will return too. Check it out, and tell your friends. They'll think you're really "cool."
Moving on: The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. Well, in politics, the actual first step is polling the living daylights out of a potential problem and then, when the numbers leave you no other option, admitting you have a problem. Case in point: According to The Canadian Press, an August poll commissioned by and for the Liberal government suggested nearly everybody they asked was crying out for help with their hydro bills. This was just a month before Premier Kathleen Wynne and Co. announced an 8-per-cent rebate on Ontarians' electricity bills. This also followed a June poll that showed people were quite concerned about electricity costs. So, you know, survey twice, cut once.
It's crunch time in Niagara West—Glanbrook and Ottawa-Vanier this week, as the two byelections are set for Thursday. What's hanging in the balance, you ask? Just momentum and optics, dear reader. But in politics, sometimes that's enough to get people wondering if it's time to oust a leader. Quoth a recent post from TVO's Steve Paikin: "Astonishingly, I’ve recently heard from two former provincial Liberal cabinet ministers who served during the McGuinty years and insist if the Liberals lose Ottawa-Vanier, the premier must resign for the good of the party." The current premier's office may not agree with that. Furthermore, the assumption here is Niagara West—Glanbrook will remain in Tory hands, namely, those of 19-year-old Sam Oosterhoff.
A pipe that takes water from a treatment facility to homes in a Northwestern Ontario First Nation has ruptured at four points, reports the Toronto Star, leaving those families without clean drinking water.
The Sudbury Star asked its readers if Ontario Energy Minister and Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault should step down until the 2015 byelection scandal is all sorted out, and you won't believe what happened next. "One gentleman suggested Thibeault could spend his free time ice fishing," the paper says. Technically, that's true of anyone who quits their job, even temporarily.
The Sun also tried to get to the bottom of this whole gender-neutral pronoun brouhaha by asking the Ontario Human Rights Commission what a person's obligations are.
The LCBO, a scrappy startup looking to break into the booze game, has opened a "small space" at a technology innovation hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, according to a story in the Globe. The space is called LCBO Next.
The Ontario Ombudsman has been asked to probe the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board's treatment of mentally-ill employees, reports the Star.
Toronto city councillors are pushing for more representation at Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, according to the Star.
Absent from the debate was Kellie Leitch, whose campaign says her home was broken into over the weekend, according to Postmedia. However, the OPP said they "investigated this incident and found that no Break-and-Enter occurred although the residential alarm did sound." At any rate, Leitch's campaign manager said she would not back down, and added "This is how the left operates and we know that." All right, then.
Rural Ontario's campaign for more access to natural gas continues.
Meet the Peterborough man who campaigned for Donald Trump.
In the opinion pages:
- Martin Regg Cohn says no Ontario political party is truly on the straight and narrow
- Daniel Béland and André Lecours look at de-politicizing the equalization payment process to the provinces
Third-reading debate begins on Bill 37, the Protecting Students Act.
Second-reading debate continues on Bill 39, the Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act.
The Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly will meet to consider Bill 41, An Act to amend various Acts in the interests of patient-centred care. Room 1.
The Standing Committee on General Government will meet for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 2, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to election matters. Room 2.
Premier Wynne to deliver remarks and participate in a fireside chat at the 24thAnnual CCPPP Conference. Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto.
MPP Cheri DiNovo to Present Bill to “Free Toronto from the OMB." Queen's Park.
Premier Wynne to deliver remarks at the OPTrust Global Pension Leadership Summit. King Edward Hotel, 37 King Street East, Toronto.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa will introduce the 2016 Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. Queen's Park.