Reaction to the cancellation of Ontario's basic income pilot project continues to come in, and it's not positive so far. The Star spoke with program participants, including one Lindsay, Ont., woman who says she may become homeless as a result of the abrupt policy change. A PC voter from Thunder Bay chats with CBC about how he'll no longer be able to pursue his one-year MBA, and was "shocked and angered" by the news. Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod conceded that the cancellation represents a broken campaign promise, but blamed the "realities" of governing for making the decision, reports CBC. The minister added that the program "really is a disincentive to get people back on track."
Some experts are attaching the "fake news" label to Ontario News Now, the taxpayer-funded videos designed to burnish the credibility of the government. Speaking with CBC, a journalism professor calls the product "a propaganda machine" that's designed to sidestep journalists who have the credibility to hold the government to account. Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath used similar language, saying Ontario News Now is an example of a "partisan machine of propaganda." Meanwhile, there has been more focus on how PC staffers have clapped out questions for the premier and other ministers, so that it can't be heard on broadcasts that there are additional queries that the politician is avoiding.
In case you missed our stories Wednesday:
- Opposition leaders decry PCs’ ‘fake news’ and ‘propaganda’ channel, as well as tax-funded applauders
- In Brief: An Elections Ontario complaint, a Hydro One purchase, and the carbon tax climb-down
- Question Period Briefing: Wailing on welfare
North Bay's school board has added its voice to the chorus of opposition against the 1998 sex-ed curriculum, reports the Nugget.
The premier's plan to slash Toronto council in half received a decidedly mixed reaction from community leaders in his home base of Etobicoke, reports Toronto.com.
The National Post profiles Robert Lightizer, the lead negotiatior for the U.S. on NAFTA, and an individual who believes America has been taken advantage of on free trade.
The City of Cornwall is suing MPAC for what it alleges were "inaccurate assessments" on the value of three big box stores that comprise 10 per cent of the property tax revenue for the eastern Ontario municipality, reports the Standard-Freeholder. Cornwall grappled with a difficult budget after the big box stores appealed their taxable valuation, and the city says MPAC failed to meet its "duty of care" in its assessment.
The Sudbury Star provides an update on the appeals to the proposed casino and arena in the area.
Molson Coors is developing a subsidiary that will produce non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages, reports Bloomberg, calling it "a real growth opportunity," given the impending Oct. 17 legalization of marijuana.
And in the opinion pages:
- David Reevely comments that the PC government is undermining the most conservative-minded of the Liberals' policies, which doesn't leave much room to replace them with sensible substitutes.
- Luisa D'Amato makes the argument in favour of ranked ballots, which will be considered by Cambridge voters in an October ballot question.
- Bob Hepburn asks where the grown-ups are in Ford's cabinet.
- John Stapleton of the Metcalf Foundation, who is an expert in social assistance policy, writes in a Star op-ed that he is mystified by Lisa MacLeod's characterization of the impending welfare reforms that had been put forward by the Liberal government.
- Edward Keenan writes that cutting Toronto City Council in half runs contrary to the late Rob Ford's impulse to directly serve the people.
- David Nickle says that Jennifer Keesmaat's late entry to the Toronto mayoral race means it will no longer be a cakewalk for incumbent John Tory, but she still has an uphill battle.
- The Hamilton Spectator editorial page says the cancellation of the basic income pilot project is "a further damning judgment on the real Doug Ford."
Bills and Orders
Resuming the debate adjourned on August 1, 2018, on the motion for Second Reading of Bill 4, An Act respecting the preparation of a climate change plan, providing for the wind down of the cap and trade program and repealing the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016.
Ms. Horwath – That, in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should not meddle in municipal or regional elections and should withdraw Bill 5.
Second Reading of Bill 9, An Act to proclaim an awareness day for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Second Reading of Bill 11, An Act to provide for safety measures respecting movable soccer goals.