Business Marketing & News From Canada

Business and marketing news.

Tag: Ontario

Ontario and Quebec keep the Liberals in power and the Conservatives out

Ontario and Quebec keep the Liberals in power and the Conservatives out


The Liberals lost support in every province across Canada in yesterday’s federal election, and it cost them their majority government.

But it wasn’t enough to cost them power.

Justin Trudeau will remain prime minister because voters in Quebec and Ontario didn’t want to give the job to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

The Liberals took a beating from coast to coast. With 33 per cent of the vote, the party lost 6.5 percentage points from the last federal election in 2015. It put the Liberals behind the Conservatives, who jumped 2.5 points to a little more than 34 per cent.

For the first time since 1979, the party that won the most votes didn’t win the most seats — and by a healthy margin.

With 157 seats, the Liberals have a big minority government. But nearly three-quarters of the Liberal caucus will hail from just two provinces, Ontario and Quebec, while two other provinces — Alberta and Saskatchewan — won’t have a single member sitting on the governing benches.

That alone explains much of what happened last night.

Ontario electoral map doesn’t look that different

The Liberal vote in Ontario and Quebec held up pretty well. In Quebec, the Liberals dropped to 34 per cent support, a little more than a percentage point from 2015. In the process, the Liberals lost six seats to the Bloc Québécois, which surged by about 13 percentage points in the province — though not enough to topple the Liberals as the most popular party in Quebec.

In Ontario, the Liberals were down only about three percentage points, still managing to take over 41 per cent of the vote in the province and outpacing the Conservatives by a significant margin. That only cost the Liberals a net loss of one seat.

The key for the Liberals was holding their vote in the decisive Greater Toronto Area. They swept all 25 of Toronto’s seats and even increased their share of the vote slightly. They also came out of the surrounding suburbs with 24 of 29 seats — identical to where they were on election night in 2015.

Losses to the Conservatives in a handful of rural ridings were made up for with a few gains in southwestern Ontario. Electorally, the province doesn’t look much different than it did four years ago.

And that is why the Conservatives came up short.

Conservative gains not where they needed them

With disappointing results in Atlantic Canada — the Conservatives captured just four seats — and underwhelming performances in Quebec, the significant gains the Conservatives made in Western Canada were not nearly enough. The GTA was always the most important place for Scheer to make gains if he was to win this election. It didn’t happen. Instead, the Conservative share of the vote dropped by about five points in the region.

There was something about the Conservative message that didn’t resonate with Ontarians. Everywhere else in the country outside of Quebec the Conservative vote went up. The gains were most significant in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where the party’s share of the vote jumped by double-digits.

But there were only so many new seats to grab in that part of the country. The Conservatives took back the four seats in Alberta they lost to the Liberals in 2015 and swept all of Saskatchewan. Two Liberal seats in the suburbs around Winnipeg also fell to the Conservatives.

Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland handily won her Toronto riding of University-Rosedale Monday night, part of a Liberal sweep of the Greater Toronto Area. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

Those are important gains for the Conservatives, including the defeat of Liberal cabinet ministers Amarjeet Sohi in Edmonton Mill Woods and Ralph Goodale in Regina–Wascana. It was this surge in support in Western Canada — which did not pay off much in terms of seat gains — that is behind the Conservatives’ popular vote win.

Just look at Alberta. Only one of the 33 Conservatives elected in the province failed to get a majority of ballots cast in their riding. Most of them get more than 70 per cent of the vote.

But that just ran up the numbers where the Conservatives already held seats. It was the Liberals’ ability to hold on to their seats in Central and Eastern Canada by narrower margins that made the difference. In all, the Liberals lost 15 seats west of Ontario, more than their combined losses east of the Lakehead.

NDP, Greens struggle to get their vote out

Another factor that contributed to the somewhat unexpected scale of the Liberal win was the performance of the New Democrats and the Greens.

The Greens, who have historically underperformed compared to polling expectations in virtually every election at both the federal and provincial levels, stayed true to that tradition. Their support was slipping in the final days of the campaign and dropped to just 6.5 per cent on election night — a disappointing result considering that the Greens managed to get 6.8 per cent of the vote in the 2008 federal election when they failed to win a single seat.

The party held its two seats on Vancouver Island but wasn’t able to make the hoped-for gains in the region. A win in Fredericton looks more like an exception — the result of the increased popularity of the Green brand in Atlantic Canada following provincial breakthroughs in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, along with a collapse of the NDP vote in these two provinces.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer increased his party’s support but was unable to win new seats in the Greater Toronto Area. (Michael Bell / Canadian Press)

But it was the performance of the New Democrats that was more of a surprise. While the Greens were trending down, the NDP was riding some momentum going into election day. In the end, the NDP performance didn’t match its polling, taking about 16 per cent of the vote nationwide when most polls showed the party in the 18 to 19 per cent range.

This underachievement was most obvious in seats in which the NDP has historically had some strength and should have been more competitive. In Atlantic Canada, the NDP finished a distant third in Acadie-Bathurst and was about 12 points behind the Liberals in Halifax.

Some of the seats targeted by the NDP in central Toronto were won by the Liberals by big margins: 14 percentage points in Toronto–Danforth and 16 points in Parkdale–High Park. Conservative gains in the Toronto suburbs was one thing the Liberals had to be worried about. NDP progress in the downtown core was the other. Neither happened.

Climate of change in Quebec

Quebec maintained its reputation as the most volatile province in recent Canadian elections. Fully 25 of its 78 seats changed hands — nearly as much as the rest of the country combined. 

While a few individual Liberal candidates knocked off some NDP incumbents, on the whole, there were a lot of losses in Quebec. The Liberals dropped six seats, the NDP lost all but one of its seats and the Conservatives fell from 12 Quebec MPs in 2015 to 10. People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier was defeated.

The Bloc returned with a vengeance, just finishing behind the Liberals in the popular vote and taking 32 seats, the party’s best performance since the 2008 election and a result that suggests the Bloc was the top choice of francophones in the province.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his wife, Gurkiran Kaur, greet supporters during an election night party in Burnaby, B.C. The NDP fell short of the support some polls had predicted, ending the night with 16 per cent of the vote. (Darryl Dyck / Canadian Press)

With the exception of the traditional Liberal strongholds of Montreal, Laval and the Outaouais, the Bloc won every region of the province — even knocking off a few Conservative incumbents in the Quebec City region. It was largely at the expense of the New Democrats that the Bloc made its return, with only NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie surviving the cull.

What’s the path to a majority now?

It raises a few questions about the future of every party in the House of Commons.

Where do the New Democrats go from here in Quebec, the province that took them to official opposition party status in 2011 and put them in the running to form a government in 2015?

What do the Greens have to do to make sure their support doesn’t disappear on election day?

And is the Bloc back for good?

The questions for the Conservatives and Liberals are more existential. The future of both parties looks murky when the Liberals have been pushed out of much of Western Canada and francophone Quebec. The Conservatives activated their base once again, but they lack representation in some of Canada’s biggest cities and took a significant step backwards in their outreach to Quebec.

Unless either party can figure out how to reconnect with these electorates, neither will be in the running to form a majority government in the near future. In the short term, it’s all about making the next Parliament function. In the longer term, it is about bridging the divides that are polarizing the country — and potentially making minority governments all the more likely.



Source link

Strategic voting, Doug Ford, and why the Conservatives 'couldn't break through' in Ontario

Strategic voting, Doug Ford, and why the Conservatives ‘couldn’t break through’ in Ontario


Inside a subdued Milton, Ont., pub, Conservative MP Lisa Raitt thanks supporters after losing to a rookie Liberal candidate, former Olympian Adam van Koeverden. The defeat is a significant personal political loss for the veteran politician, but also a symbol of the disappointing finish for her party in Ontario.

“The reality is that is not the result we wanted, unfortunately,” Raitt said.

Nor is it the result the Conservatives had hoped for across the province, where they gained a trickle of seats but fell  short of what they hoped to achieve.

“The Liberals essentially held their own and the Conservatives couldn’t break through,” said Elly Alboim, an associate professor of journalism at Carleton University.

In Milton, a city of just over 100,000 located about 60 kilometres west of Toronto, the Liberals did more than hold their own, recruiting Olympic gold medal champion van Koeverden to try and topple a former cabinet minister, leadership contender, deputy party leader and all around political giant.

Milton is just one of the coveted 905 and Greater Toronto Area ridings, and one the Conservatives needed to keep and build upon in order to form some kind of government whether majority or even minority.

Repeated stops

The province itself is widely viewed as essential to electoral victory, and it became a focal point for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leaders Andrew Scheer, who made repeated stops here.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau repeatedly invoked the name of Doug Ford during the campaign. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

But the fact that the Liberals did bleed some seats in the province and across Canada suggests there was an opportunity for the Conservatives in Ontario, said Myer Siemiatycki, professor emeritus of political science at Ryerson University.

“There were all kinds of seats in 905, in kind of semi-rural, quasi-urban Ontario, that were there to be had for Mr. Scheer. He didn’t get them.

“Even though they picked up some seats in Ontario [it was] not nearly enough and not nearly as many that not that long ago were being projected,” he said.

Toronto itself remained a sea of red, and so did areas where the Conservatives hoped to make inroads, in ridings like Brampton and Mississauga.

So why were the Conservatives unable to make the electoral gains in the province?

When Raitt was asked the question, she said simply: “I have no idea,” and that she would have to go over the results with her staff.

Alboim suggested there’s no law of physics that precludes the Tories from gaining support in Ontario

Ontario did play a critical role in building the Liberal majority in 2015, capturing 80 seats of the 121 in the province and 43 per cent of their entire seat total.

But the Harper Conservatives made great gains in the then Liberal-dominated parts of Ontario in 2011. And in 2018, led by Doug Ford, the Progressive Conservatives won a decisive majority in the province.

‘Natural balance’

The reason for the Conservatives disappointing results may, in part, have to do with tradition, said Queens University political science professor Kathy Brock. Voters in Ontario vote opposite to the government that’s in Ottawa, she said.

“There’s a natural balance that occurs.”

But Alboim said he thinks other factors were in play, like “the NDP collapse” in Ontario and the failure of the Greens to advance, which allowed the Liberals “to cash in.”

The outstanding question of the night is whether strategic voting played a significant role, he said.

While it’s too early to determine, Alboim said he thinks “it’s very likely that enough NDP voters voted Liberal to keep the status quo.”

And that leads to the so-called ‘Doug Ford’ factor, and how much the growing discontent with the premier prompted some Ontarians to deprive political power to a Conservative federal leader.

According to a Vote Compass survey, it just may have played a defining role. Nearly 25,000 respondents were asked whether Ford’s policies in Ontario made you more or less likely to consider voting for the Conservative Party in the upcoming federal election. Fifty-one per cent said they were much less likely, while 12 per cent said somewhat less likely.

“Doug Ford’s support has dropped so precipitously since his election. To align himself to Doug Ford I think probably would have cost Mr. Scheer even more,”  Siemiatycki said.

“As eager as Mr. Trudeau was to speak about Doug Ford, conversely to the same intense degree Andrew Scheer was determined not to mention the name.”

Referendum of Ford

Trudeau turned much of his campaign into a referendum of Ford, with an attempt to link him, and his unpopular cuts, to Scheer.

During one campaign stop in Hamilton, Trudeau invoked the premier’s name 14 times (including twice in French).

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer appeared together on stage at the Conservative national convention in Halifax last August. But the premier was largely absent from the campaign trail. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Ford’s absence on the campaign trail became a bit of a political albatross for Scheer, forcing him to field questions from reporters about whether he was intentionally avoiding the premier.

(Ford himself addressed the issue saying he was busy governing the province and wasn’t going to involve himself in the federal campaign.)

“The Conservatives must have had internal polling showing them it would be a liability for the party,” Siemiatycki said.

WATCH: Andrew Scheer says despite loss, Conservatives are ‘government in waiting’

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he’s looking forward to heading back to Ottawa with a bigger Conservative team while speaking to reporters in Regina, Sask.  1:29

However, as Brock, the Queen’s professor noted, the Liberals didn’t make any big gains in the province, either. Some of that may have had to do with the effects of the SNC-Lavalin affair, which she thinks had an impact on holding and depressing the party’s vote.

But Brock said the Liberals may have also hit too-hard “on the anti-Ford note.”

“I think that took them so far, and it took them places with their traditional voters. But I don’t think it won them the vote in the 905 that they hoped that it would win them.”



Source link

Provincial memo lays out plan to cut 3,475 Ontario teaching positions in 4 years

Provincial memo lays out plan to cut 3,475 Ontario teaching positions in 4 years


A provincial memo obtained by CBC Toronto lays out the Ford government’s plans to cut thousands of full-time teaching positions in Ontario beginning this fall. 

In the 2019-2020 school year, the memo says, there will be 1,558 fewer full-time teachers in Ontario. By the 2022-2023 school year, that number will be 3,475 — about three per cent of Ontario’s current teacher workforce. 

The total savings for removing those full-time positions would be $851 million. 

The memo, which was sent by the Ministry of Education to school board administrators, also clarifies that the positions will be shed through attrition — meaning teachers that quit or retire and are not replaced — as well as changing student enrolment numbers and bumped-up class sizes. 

Class sizes going up 

Concerns about teacher job losses have been swirling since March, when the province revealed its education plan, which includes increases to class sizes for intermediate and high school students. 

The average class size requirement for Grades 9 to 12 will be adjusted to 28, up from the current average of 22.  

The Toronto District School Board had predicted that the larger classes would result in about 1,000 fewer teachers in its schools. 

On Friday, TDSB trustee Robin Pilkey told CBC Toronto by email that the memo doesn’t provide any new information, and that “the number of positions we anticipate being eliminated has not changed.”  

It comes just one day after students across Ontario staged a province-wide protest over the planned changes to the education system. 



Source link

Ontario can't block B.C.-based eyeglass company from selling there, Appeal Court rules

Ontario can’t block B.C.-based eyeglass company from selling there, Appeal Court rules


Ontario regulators have no right to block a company legally operating elsewhere in Canada from selling prescription eyewear to online customers in the province, an Appeal Court ruled on Thursday.

The decision means Ontario consumers can continue to order corrective glasses and contact lenses from British Columbia-based online retailer Essilor, which sells Coastal and Clearly products.

“The mere delivery in Ontario of an order for prescription eyewear that has been processed in compliance with the British Columbia regulatory regime, without more, does not establish a sufficient connection between Essilor’s online sales and the controlled acts proscribed by (Ontario’s laws),” the Appeal Court ruled.

“Where the supplier of the prescription eyewear operates in another province and complies with that province’s health-professions regulatory regime when filling an online order placed by an Ontario customer, the final act of delivering that product to the Ontario purchaser does not amount to the performance of a ‘controlled act’ by the supplier.”

The case arose in December 2016 when regulators in Ontario — the colleges of Optometrists and Opticians — alleged Essilor was acting illegally by accepting orders for prescription eyewear through its websites and shipping the products to patients in Ontario. It wanted the courts to end the practice.

In essence, the colleges argued only licensed professionals in Ontario could dispense prescription eyewear in the province. The colleges offered no evidence anyone was actually harmed by Essilor’s practices.

In January 2018, Superior Court Justice Thomas Lederer sided with the colleges. He ruled the company was dispensing corrective eyewear in Ontario and concluded the province’s rules should apply. Lederer ordered Essilor to stop the sales.

Essilor Group Canada, whose head office is in Quebec but runs its online operation out of B.C., appealed, also winning permission to continue its sales pending the outcome of the case. It argued that fulfilling Ontario orders did not amount to the controlled act of dispensing prescription eyewear.

The subsidiary of France-based international eyewear giant, Essilor International, also argued Lederer wrongly decided that Ontario’s regulations applied to its online sales.

According to court filings, the Canadian prescription eyewear market is estimated to be worth more than $4.5 billion a year. The Appeal Court noted that eyewear is part of a trend toward online retail sales.

“The explosion in the volume and variety of online consumer transactions over the past decade has included the emergence of an online market for the purchase and sale of prescription eye glasses and contact lenses,” the court said. “In some jurisdictions, friction has emerged between the online vendors of such products and the professional health-care bodies that historically have regulated the sale.”

In siding with Essilor, the appellate court found the company was acting lawfully in its home province, which has a similar regulatory framework to Ontario. Nor was it “dispensing” eyewear in Canada’s most populous province by fulfilling orders in B.C. and shipping them across the country.

Leaning on Quebec case law, the court also noted that providing prescription eyewear is a transaction with both health care and commercial aspects.

Barring the online sales would amount to using Ontario’s Regulated Health Professions Act to give the province’s optometrists and opticians a monopoly over the commercial importation of prescription eyewear.

That could only happen if the legislature passed a law to clearly allow such a monopoly — something current regulations do not do, the court said.



Source link

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén