Ontario Election 2014

The Ontario Election: What It Could Mean in Hamilton

Ontarians have elected a Liberal majority to lead the province. What does this mean for Hamilton?

By Joey Coleman
Published June 13, 2014

this article has been updated

Ontarians have elected a Liberal majority to lead the province. What does this mean for Hamilton?

The biggest change will be oversight of City Hall by Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin if the Liberals pass Bill 179 as they promised prior to, and during, the campaign.

On LRT, we'll need to watch who Minister of Transportation and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing are.

If Glen Murray remains Minister of Transportation or Ted McMeekin becomes Municipal Affairs Minister, the funding formula will quickly become clear - instead of the wishy-washy promises of Liberals past. Murray promised - if reappointed - to attend a meeting of City Council.

Welcome Andre Marin, better disinfectant than sunlight

Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin (Handout)
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin
(Handout)

The Liberals promise to reintroduce Bill 179 soon after the election.

With the majority, they can quickly make it law, meaning the Ontario Ombudsman will have jurisdiction over municipalities, universities, school boards, nursing homes and long-term care facilities and police - the MUSH sector. (Hospitals and Children's Aid Societies will be brought under separate oversight similar to the Ontario Ombudsman, with a "patient advocate" for hospitals and Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth overseeing Children's Aid Societies.) Hamiltonians will be able to get redress when the municipality fails in its responsibilities.

If a complaint is filed to his office, for example, Andre Marin could launch an investigation into the culture problems at City Hall, which saw 25.7% of City staff self-reporting in a survey that they have been pressured to compromise their ethics and values, less than half of staff saying their can report wrong-doing without fear of retaliation, and the majority saying code of conduct concerns are not properly addressed by senior management.

The culture at City Hall is so poisonous that a recent arbitration ruling regarding sexual harassment in the Transit division found qualified women were not applying for management out of fear of losing union protection against sexual harassment. (There are no women in management in this division.)

The City's own "investigation" into the matter lacked rigor and did not look at harassment against other women who were advancing up the ladder - one of whom, it was claimed, decided to leave because of the poisoned work environment.

I often focus on Marin's ability to force City Council to open meetings to the public, but the Ombudman's office is most effective with dealing with systematic failings and shortcomings of government culture.

Glen Murray, LRT, and Hamilton

Glen Murray (Shaun Merritt, CC-BY, via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/7vd6dH)
Glen Murray
(Shaun Merritt, CC-BY, via Flickr)

We need to watch where Glen Murray lands in Cabinet. The former Winnipeg Mayor, and current Toronto Centre MPP, is one of the biggest believers in Hamilton's economic growth potential and a huge advocate for the economic development uplift that LRT promises for Hamilton.

If Murray is returned to Minister of Transportation, expect Hamilton to get upfront LRT capital funding. Murray becoming Minister of Municipal Affairs will have the same effect.

However, with a majority government, the Liberals will be expected by Bay Street to rein in spending.

Ontario is facing a credit downgrade, which will increase the interest costs of the provincial debt - decreasing the fiscal flexibility of the government, and funding available for the full capital costs of LRT.

Watch for LRT to be funded with an alternative funding strategy with Hamilton expected to contribute to the capital cost via tax-increment financing, a recovery from future increases to assessment value along the B-Line corridor.

McMeekin, Social Services, and Housing

A concept rendering of a Hamilton LRT line (City of Hamilton / Handout)
Concept rendering of Hamilton LRT line
(City of Hamilton / Handout)

Ted McMeekin returns to Queen's Park by a comfortable margin for what will likely be his final term of public service.

The former Hamilton Mountain City Councillor and Mayor of pre-amalgamation Flamborough has served in public office for decades - it is legacy time for him.

If there is a cabinet shuffle, McMeekin could move from Community and Social Services. Premier Kathleen Wynne may wish to place one of the new Liberal MPPs who defeated long-standing Toronto NDP MPPs in this high profile portfolio.

McMeekin was an early supporter of Wynne in the leadership race, and a key confidant to Wynne prior. An astute observer of municipal government who still attends Hamilton City Council meetings to observe, he can request the municipal affairs and housing portfolio.

Affordable housing is an issue McMeekin spoke about frequently during the campaign, it's a provincial crisis that needs a solution, an issue the Premier says she believes in, and an opportunity for legacy.

For a politician with a Master's Degree in social work, and former executive director of the Burlington Social Planning Council, there isn't a better portfolio in the Cabinet.

McMeekin in Municipal Affairs and Housing, with Murray in Transportation means an acceleration of provincial investment in Hamilton's urban renewal.

Horwath, the Hamilton Centre result, and her future

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath campaign in Bramalea-Gore-Malton in 2011 (NDP photo / CC-BY / https://flic.kr/p/anGdGB)
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath campaign
Bramalea-Gore-Malton in 2011
(NDP photo / CC-BY, via Flickr)

What happens to NDP leader Andrea Horwath, the person who forced the election that led to a Liberal majority government, ending her party's balance of power over provincial policy for the next four years?

Horwath told reporters she doesn't see her leadership of the party at risk.

The NDP marginally increased its total votes this election, and increased its percentage won from 22.7% to 23.8%. There were a close second in many Toronto ridings, but lost two long held seats with long-time steward of the party's left-leaning Rosario Marchese being defeated in Trinity-Spadina and NDP moderate Michael Prue losing in Beaches-East York.

They entered the election with 21 seats and return with 21 seats. They are, however, in rough shape with their Toronto losses.

What does this all mean for the provincial NDP and Horwath's leadership? The answer to that question will come in time.

Horwath lost support in her home riding - undermining her ability to influence City Council and the upcoming municipal election - a rarity for an opposition party leader.

Despite an increase in voter turnout in Hamilton Centre, Horwath's vote count tdropped from 20,586 in 2011 to 18,699. The Liberals increased from 5861 to 8450. Green Party candidate Peter Ormond jumped his total from 1,249 to 3,078.

Peter Ormond

City Hall at Night (Joanna St. Jacques, used with permission)
City Hall at Night
(Joanna St. Jacques, used with permission)

Watching the results released by Elections Ontario, Peter Ormond's support was inconsistent riding-wide. It appears, EO doesn't release poll-by-poll locations in real-time, Ormond enjoys concentrated pockets of support in the Hamilton Centre riding. Depending on where those pockets are, 3078 votes is enough to get elected to City Council.

Ormond's name recognition can make him a viable candidate in Wards 1 to 3 if he chooses to run for Council - something he hasn't done previously.

Let the Municipal Election Begin

With the provincial campaign out of the way, the City's political operatives will now focus upon the municipal race.

Let the race begin and the discussion of Hamilton's future made clear by Liberal majority government in Queen's Park.

This article was originally published on Joey Coleman's website. It is republished here with permission.


Update: update to clarify that Bill 179 excludes hospitals and children's aid societies. You can jump to the changed paragraph.

Joey Coleman covers Hamilton Civic Affairs.

Read more of his work at The Public Record, or follow him on Twitter @JoeyColeman.

51 Comments

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 08:40:40

Great piece. Hope to see more from Joey here.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2014 at 09:44:16

Hopefully the PCs and NDPs will do some seriously soul-searching after this election. Considering the general dissatisfaction with the Liberal scandals, both opposition parties should have made far more headway this time around. If Horwath does not step down, at the very least she needs to reinvent the party and platform around her... NDP being a party that doesn't really stand for anything didn't work.

Even as a fan of the Liberal platform, the liberals need to face some better opposition.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-06-13 09:45:15

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 10:58:48 in reply to Comment 102420

And be prepared for the next election, as she clearly wasn't ready for the one she triggered.

No additional seats from pre-election, now no influence supporting a minority government, seems to me like her time should be done as NDP leader.

Also, I wouldn't typify her as an opposition party leader. That implies that she's the Leader of the Opposition, which she isn't.

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By HamiltonBrian (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 12:44:11 in reply to Comment 102423

"And be prepared for the next election, as she clearly wasn't ready for the one she triggered."

That really was ridiculous. Whomever was advising her needs to be turfed. Really, shouldn't a platform have been ready to go as soon as the decision NOT to support the budget was made?

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By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 13:53:40 in reply to Comment 102423

This seems a bit unfair to me. They gained in the popular vote. They held on to several ridings they had gained in by-elections (much was made leading up to the vote of their advantage in by-elections, and many people discounted their retaining those seats), and gained vote count in other areas where they traditionally do not.

She was not terribly far from having become the official opposition. Soon, she’ll be the most experienced leader in the house, and maybe for a while the only party capable of providing substantial opposition.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:14:22 in reply to Comment 102429

They may have held onto a few by-election ridings, but they also lost long-time NDP strongholds of Trinity-Spadina and Beaches-East York. Small gains which don't exceed the losses shouldn't be spun as success.

Pre-election, the NDP had influence to set the agenda. Now they don't. Try all you want to spin that as a success.

By not voting for the budget, Horwath called the election by proxy and therefore no additional seats should be viewed as a failure. Comments like those from Warren 'Smokey' Thomas blaming the media for not giving Horwath a break, only serve to reinforce the NDP/Horwath campaign was a failure.

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By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:54:40 in reply to Comment 102435

If you look at the voting record of London West and Niagara Falls, you might be disinclined to call those gains “small” for the NDP. They are meaningful. So were Sudbury and Windsor, where they hadn’t been in since the nineties. You’re right that losing Trinity-Spadina is too, but the Liberals were very close there in 2011. Both of those ridings you mention were very close yesterday. It’s certainly a matter of opinion whether that loss outweighs the gains elsewhere. You cannot call the campaign a complete failure by any stretch.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 15:52:54 in reply to Comment 102438

I guess that really depends on what the NDP goals were for the election when they triggered it.

My hope, and reasonable thought, would be their goal was to win the election. They didn't get close to winning, so by most measures failure. Keep in mind they called the election by proxy, so I'm assuming they thought the time was right for significant gains and a win.

Now, if their goal was to make small, incremental gains in popular vote (which doesn't matter much in first past the post situations) as well as in a couple of ridings. Then I guess they should all be high-fiving one another today.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:11:20 in reply to Comment 102429

My point is that they were facing the Liberals at their weakest. With the level of bad PR, the Liberals should have been stomped in this election. The NDP burned valuable political capital calling this election and lost influence over the government since they no longer hold the balance of power.

This election was a failure for the NDP. Imagine if they tried this kind of campaign against a popular government.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:15:17 in reply to Comment 102434

Completely agree!

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By RobF (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 13:10:21 in reply to Comment 102423

That's politics. The NDP got boxed-in by the Liberals with their "election" budget. Now that the election is over, I'd expect the deficit hawks in Wynne's caucus to push for "moderation", i.e., austerity with a human face.

Not saying that NDP strategists shouldn't have anticipated what was coming or at least seemed better prepared to campaign out of the gate. Just noting that the Liberals played their hand rather well. Of course, the NDP campaign also seemed rather light on ideas and long-term vision.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2014 at 11:26:55 in reply to Comment 102423

I didn't mean to imply that Horwath was the Leader of the Official Opposition, just that she's the leader of one of the opposition parties.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-06-13 11:29:25

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:04:30 in reply to Comment 102424

Sorry, that was directed to Joey's article not your comment.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted June 14, 2014 at 00:54:24 in reply to Comment 102432

Thanks Steve,

I see how the wording could be read that way - the point remains the same, Horwath is a party leader in opposition - she shouldn't be losing votes.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 19:14:19 in reply to Comment 102446

No problem, though party leader period would remove any ambiguity/confusion.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2014 at 10:00:28 in reply to Comment 102420

AGREED,

It wasn't that the Liberals won the campaign, but that the other parties completely botched it. It's really unprecedented for the majority of Ontarians to tell pollsters they are seeking a change in government AND for the government to not only be reelected - but to win a large number of seats from the opposition parties.

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By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 13:58:22 in reply to Comment 102421

More than 60 percent of voters chose someone besides the Liberals.

The Tories botched their campaign and gave up seats, but the NDP campaign was far from a complete failure, and the Green party certainly has a lot to be pleased about.

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By scrap (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 12:59:40

So a liberal majority, it is difficult to understand why people think there are differences between the libs and con's. There is no difference, the march to further austerity measures will not stop and it will be those at the bottom that will pay the highest price.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2014 at 13:21:03 in reply to Comment 102426

Are you joking? Do you think the Cons would support LRT anywhere? Do you think the libs will spend over a billion dollars a year in corporate tax breaks? A billion-dollar expressway that nobody wants?

Yes, when crows come home to roost with deficit, the government is going to have to make some very hard budgetary choices, and they're going to butt heads with the unions and all that stuff. That's going to happen regardless of party - there's no escaping it.

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By non rth (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:04:02

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2014 at 17:50:15

While I was as surprised as everyone else by the plurality given to Wynne, for whom I grudgingly voted, I hope this marks the beginning of a return to some civility and moderation in Ontario politics. The fact that so many voters shunned the Hudak message of extreme austerity through severe cuts, coupled by even more corporate tax giveaways, hopefully indicates a growing conviction that the polarization that has characterized both provincial and federal politics for far too long is unacceptable, and that real 'common sense' can still prevail in the political arena.

Comment edited by lorne on 2014-06-13 17:51:28

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By Steve (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 18:11:23 in reply to Comment 102441

I can't help but think about how different the result would have been if the Tories (Hudak) hadn't mentioned the 100,000 job cuts.

They may not have won, but likely would have done much, much better if they'd only talked about creating jobs, whether that be a million jobs or a lesser number.

There's a lesson there somewhere.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted June 16, 2014 at 13:07:28 in reply to Comment 102442

This may be true but I doubt it could have happened. The PC campaign demonstrated to me that they were not in touch with the actual needs of our province. They were able to appeal to their conservative base by mentioning the deficit and conservative economic policy, but they really didn't have good policies about either - the million jobs plan fell apart under scrutiny, and their talk about eliminating the deficit and paying down debt was undermined by their support for cutting corporate taxes unreasonably and spending all kinds of money on a new freeway (which we can somehow afford even though we can't pay for new transit, which offers a potential $6billion+ increase to our economy). They screwed up on communicating their platform because their platform was not actually that great.

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By barry (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 22:01:24

Well thought out and written. Hardly any typos which is a rarity now. The entire piece just read well. Nj. Of course since you seem to echo a few of my own thoughts, I couldnt find too much fault with it.

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By vinny (registered) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 22:08:15

Anyone who thinks that Hamilton will get LRT money or any major investments from the province is naïve, stupid or both. This election proved that the Libs don't need Hamilton votes to win a majority. So, why would they give this city anything? So Andrea, Paul and Monique can claim credit? Won't happen. Until Hamiltonians start voting for the ruling party we will remain a have-not city. Don't believe me? Just watch the money that will be flowing into Burlington.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 09:26:42 in reply to Comment 102445

Maybe it's just me being naively bright eyed and bushy tailed, but I'm glad someone has a majority with which to grab the bull by the horns. And I'm palpably relieved isn't the folks who would end life on earth if they'd make (sorry, save) a buck off it. Some of these festering stalemates need to clear, time to get some work done.

I think the Libs will give Hamilton its LRT, immensely helpful will be if Hamilton leadership quits whining and presents itself with some dignity on the subject. The Mayor is wavering and sabotaging this. What is Wynn supposed to think. There are many other congested cities who will take the money if you won't. Make this upcoming municipal election count, and go and get that LRT, this is your chance. I hope you guys get it.

Burlington already has all day GO and pretty good bus service and a good start to bike lane coverage. I'm really looking forward to electrification, and all the other investment to flow into smart infrastructure.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 15:06:11 in reply to Comment 102448

There are many other congested cities who will take the money if you won't.

Such as? Haven't heard too many cities knocking on the province's door to pay for LRT. And wasn't it the province that came to the city with the funding, not hte city asking the province to bankroll it?

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 15:28:31 in reply to Comment 102456

Mississauga, York, Brampton, Kitchener/Waterloo, Cambridge, are all getting RT expansions or implementations. The Waterloo ION is something Hamilton deserves. The province is funding 2/3 of that one, I believe. Also Ottawa is getting an LRT with $600M coming each from Province and Feds. Again, you are being offered a share of the Big Move. Why wouldn't you avail of it, others are!

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-06-14 15:34:19

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 16:39:22 in reply to Comment 102458

Those are all already on the books. I meant cities who have gone to the province, asked for funding for LRT and haven't received it due to funding going elsewhere - you knew that though. Don't be disingenuous.

I'd also hardly consider Waterloo or Cambridge to have congestion problems, not to the extent we do in the GTHA. Waterloo proper is about 98,000; the "waterloo region" is half a million, but the size of that area is huge. Cambridge, same thing- just under 130,000 in the city proper. Mississauga's rapid transit is almost already complete, and Brampton is essentially Mississauga, just as York is essentially Toronto.

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2014-06-14 16:43:42

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 16:47:28 in reply to Comment 102460

I'm not trying to be disingenuous. I don't know or care who approached who. Spend a share of provincial Big Move assets on LRT, or don't! I was just encouraging you guys to make the most of it. Sheesh.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 23:10:25 in reply to Comment 102461

I don't know or care who approached who.

Then why comment? An uninformed comment is just that - uninformed. Don't try to muddy the waters with your pro-LRT agenda. Thanks.

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2014-06-14 23:10:34

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 06:38:15 in reply to Comment 102466

I am just as allowed to come on this site and encourage Hamilton gets its rapid transit, as much as you are free to come on this site with your "anti-LRT agenda". Not everything good is a commie conspiracy dude, no more than everything bad is. Chill.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 07:03:59 in reply to Comment 102445

Fully agree with you. The longer Hamilton remains NDP the longer we'll have to fight tooth and nail to get what we want and what we need. I don't get why 3 of the 4 ridings in our city voted NDP. What have they done with their years in power? I'm no Liberal, not PC, and am only looking out for the city's best interests.

If anyone can provide some concrete results of what our MPPs or MPs have done for us in the past few years I'd love to see it because it's usually in spite of them we get things done, rather than because of them.

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By reality (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 08:53:14 in reply to Comment 102447

Electing MP's or MPP's from the governing party has never helped this city in the past and I can't see it helping us now. We've even had numerous high profile cabinet ministers that still resulted in us getting nothing but crumbs. We have always gotten lots of promises to retain our support but in the end they give us the bare minimum.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 20:20:05 in reply to Comment 102472

Would definitely disagree with you on that one.

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 10:14:13 in reply to Comment 102447

I disagree. The fact that those two mountain ridings went NDP is a particularly good thing. They are solidly pro-LRT as is Hamilton Centre and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. Now that those Liberal candidates haven't been elected maybe we will have more of a unified voice (at least on the provincial level) to get the B-line LRT built.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 15:02:15 in reply to Comment 102449

How is giving seats to an also-ran party a good thing? They have no say in parliament. None that will influence the ruling party, any way. Kind of like a the sense that a 10 year old child has a say in how mom and dad choose to buy a car... they may "think" they are influencing, but in reality, aren't.

The longer we choose to vote for parties that clearly have no chance of winning the longer we're on the outside looking in. I live in Hamilton Centre, and so my riding was a foregone conclusion, but I still voted for who best represented me, which was not the NDP.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:22:07 in reply to Comment 102455

^I think you're right in the case of a majority, but in a minority parliament it can be effective, because the member can rattle cages without having to vote against the party line. I personally didn't think the Libs, or anyone, would have won a majority. The liberal candidate from Ham East SC did a bad job appealing to Ham East. Stoney Creek is going to vote liberal regardless, so there was no need to grandstand on LRT. Coming out with an anti transit piece is not going to win him any votes in East Hamilton, where people want better transit (I think). That was poor strategy on the part of Luksic. You're right that Ham Centre was a foregone conclusion. I am not sure what the deal is on Ham mountain though.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 20:21:23 in reply to Comment 102475

You've caught my point. Above comment was directed at a majority government. Definitely nothing wrong with voting for the party that holds the balance of power in a minority gov't situation.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 19:55:28 in reply to Comment 102475

The deal was a well-liked NDP incumbent, and another anti-transit Liberal candidate.

It's too bad they wasted Donna Tiqui-Shebib on Hamilton Centre. Hope to see more of her in the future.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted June 16, 2014 at 20:49:45 in reply to Comment 102478

FWIW, Ms. Tiqui-Shebib's showing was the most lacklustre of any of the city's Liberal candidates.

Voter Turnout
ADFW = 60.1% (53,790/89,476)
Niagara West-Glanbrook = 59.3% (56,067/94,508)
Hamilton Mountain = 53.2% (48,790/91,698)
HESC = 48.7% (42,290/86,871)
Hamilton Centre = 45.9% (35,923/78,352)

Liberal Vote Share
ADFW = 44.4%
Hamilton Mountain = 29.6%
HESC = 29.2%
Niagara West-Glanbrook = 28.1%
Hamilton Centre = 23.5%

NDP Vote Share
Hamilton Centre = 52.1%
Hamilton Mountain = 46.9%
HESC = 46.9%
Niagara West-Glanbrook = 22.2%
ADFW = 15.7%

PC Vote Share
Niagara West-Glanbrook = 42.0%
ADFW = 33.7%
Hamilton Mountain = 17.9%
HESC = 17.6%
Hamilton Centre = 14.3%

Green Vote Share
Hamilton Centre = 8.6%
Niagara West-Glanbrook = 5.4%
ADFW = 4.9%
Hamilton Mountain = 4.2%
HESC = 4.1%

*based on theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/elections/ontario-election-live-riding-results/article19115522/

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 14:46:13 in reply to Comment 102449

Now that the Liberals hold a solid majority, the will of Opposition/Third Party members is arguably a trifle. Their votes are not required to pass legislation, their voices will be marginalized in committee and they no longer possess any leverage with regard to the content of budgets. The government will do as it wishes. The notion of Hamilton speaking with a "unified voice" in the Legislature only matters inasmuch as the NDP members are inclined to agree with the member for ADFW.

The possibility of Hamilton Centre being contested in a not-too-distant by-election is what will probably have the greatest impact on Hamilton's LRT prospects. Regardless of whether it will or should actually transpire, were Ms. Horwath to step down as leader, the Liberals would potentially be able to expand their foothold while facing disoriented parties on the other side of the House. This might embolden the Liberals to paint policy in broad strokes.

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By Freshair (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 11:21:50

Statistics Canada reported that the Hamilton area of Ontario has lost over 42,000 steel manufacturing jobs from 2003 until 2013. During that period of time Andrea Howarth and the NDP have relentlessly pursued a policy of anti-industrialism that not only has driven away steel manufacturing jobs but also has reduced opportunities in Ontario's Nickel Belt by impeding their development of strong local homegrown markets for Ring of Fire minerals and driven energy costs higher by continuously road blocking cheap, carbon free nuclear power.

The NDP's constant anti-pipeline, anti-wind, anti-solar, anti-gas plant, anti-nuclear, anti-high speed rail, anti-hydro transmission towers and soon to be announced anti-biomass crusades defies logic.

Logically with more and more consumer goods being manufactured globally and sold locally in Ontario the less need there is for steel products made here, hence then we need to encourage the growth of made in Ontario industrial uses for our steel.

Thankfully Liberal culture is not vindictive because they supported bringing solar and wind power technologies to Ontario. One Megawatt of wind energy requires 450 metric tons of high quality steel and iron products primarily manufactured out of Ontario minerals processed in the Hamilton area. One Megawatt of solar power requires 4,000 metric tons of mainly speciality steels. One Megawatt of carbon free nuclear power requires 50 metric tons of steel to construct. One Megawatt of gas plant power uses 5 metric tons of steel and over 20 more metric tons of steel piping for natural gas transportation.

Thanks to the Liberals 3,500 steel manufacturing jobs have been regained in the Hamilton area thus far with their Green Energy Act and the Liberals will continue to add more positive job growth going forward with upgrading Ontario's infrastructure into the 21st Century.

Why Hamiltonians are falling victim to the Siren's songs from the NDP seems illogical, do they not realize the NDP abandonment of the 42,000 Hamilton area workers that have lost their jobs is more proof the NDP patriarchal "new socialist economy" is harmful to people's right to access living wage employment?

Albeit the NDP try to cast blame on the Liberals for rising energy costs, in reality though the NDP incessant road blocking of building base load nuclear power plants producing levelized cost of electricity rates at 5 cents a kilowatt, is hindering Hamilton steel worker families from putting food on the table because of the lack of a local steel products market.

For the record the gasplants were relocated, the only thing cancelled were their locations, Ontario still gets real power plants with their investments. Thus far Tim Hudak's wife has walked away with $40,900 of taxpayers money for an unspecified litany of documents she forwarded to the Oakville power plant owners whilst they were negotiating with Ontario's Government to find a safer location. When Ontario's justice committee requested that Hudak's wife turn over those documents the NDP refused the request and formed an alliance with the PC to blackout any and all culpability of Mike Harris ex-staffers interfering with the Government's ability to negotiate a business deal with the power generators. The NDP/PC alliance further went on to misrepresent the moving of the gas plants to safer locations as scandal, by allowing the submission and introduction of second hand information written notes by PC party members that were on the payroll of the Oakville power generator as lobbyists at the time and in the case of Tim Hudak's wife as a supposed "media consultant". The NDP also submitted after the fact unconfirmed dated hand written "second hand" notes claiming that unnamed people heard government statements whilst they lurked around outside Ministers offices.

i.m.h.o. The NDP should be driven out of Hamilton until such a time they get real again and start caring about the people instead of their political desires for themselves first before the good of the people.

Honestly, for over a decade now Howarth et al have done nothing but try to stop people in Hamilton from working if you don't believe listen to what they say about not building anything in Ontario or Canada that requires steel and iron products manufactured in Hamilton.

Link to justice committee proving Howarth's NDP joining Hudak's PC to defeat Liberal request for copies of documents Tim Hudak's wife continuously selling government information and billing $40,900 to Ontario tax payers thus far as exposed:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/committee-pro...

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 15:53:49 in reply to Comment 102451

For the record, the Liberals' reasons for cancelling the Oakville plant are inconsistent with the way the narrative progressed.

When the Oakville plant was cancelled, Minister of Energy Brad Duguid was quoted in the Toronto Star saying “Not only will the plant not be built in the GTA, it won't be built anywhere in Ontario." The reason, Ontarians were assured, was not that Kevin Flynn's seat was in jeopardy, but that demand projections for electricity in the area were not as forecast, changes in demand and supply that made it clear "this proposed natural gas plant is no longer required".

thestar.com/news/canada/2010/10/07/worried_liberals_pull_plug_on_oakville_gas_plant.html

But relocated it was. The Liberals cancelled the Oakville plant because the energy wasn't needed, then sited it 240km away at extravagant cost (up to $815 million, according to Ontario's Auditor General) to feed power back to the region that didn't need the energy.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 12:00:45

I agree that the gas plant scandal was exaggeration and spin on the part of opponents. I remember whenever I was in Mississauga and Oakville back then - seeing a multitude of signs on lawns wanting the gas plant relocated. The libs did exactly what those citizens wanted. Those residents did not want the plant near their homes and schools and I'm glad they succeeded. I think the waste probably stemmed from locating those projects there in the first place. In fact, and ironically, even a PC candidate said that a Tim Hudak government would cancel the gas plant.

But yeah, during the campaign all the conservatives ads could talk about was the gas plant scandal, and cast McGuinty's waste as Wynne's fault. In fact, everything that comes out of conservative mouths is mostly negative, all the time.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:12:18 in reply to Comment 102452

Independent perspective on the gas plant scandals:

auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/mississaugapower_en.pdf
auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/oakville_en.pdf

ipc.on.ca/images/Findings/2013-06-05-Ministry-of-Energy.pdf
ipc.on.ca/images/Findings/2013-08-20-Ministry-of-Energy-addendum.pdf

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:44:21 in reply to Comment 102474

FTA:

City of Mississauga, Region of Peel Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto Medical Officer of Health and various citizens and citizens’ groups request that Ministry of the Environment carry out further environmental assessments on situating Greenfield’s plant at proposed site; Ministry eventually denies these requests

City of Mississauga passes amendments to zoning by-laws that do not allow plant to be built at proposed site

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 14, 2014 at 23:21:14 in reply to Comment 102452

I'm curious, what was the argument against the gas plant? Because honestly, if you got a gas plant located on the Stelco lands here in Hamilton, the reaction of the public would probably be "how many jobs will we get?"

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 13:23:53 in reply to Comment 102467

The four-year phase-out of the Lakeview Generating Station was initiated 2001, and the plant was levelled in 2006-2007. Lakeview was the government's site of choice for the Mississauga gas plant, and probably the best solution -- most of the time energy infrastructure is sited proximate to demand -- but there was intense local push-back and the province agreed to relocate the facility.

o.canada.com/news/how-ontario-could-have-avoided-the-180-million-power-plant-boondoggle
news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2008/07/mcguinty-government-rules-out-lakeview-site-for-for-electricity-plant.html

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 07:11:03 in reply to Comment 102467

Isn't a waste-to-energy plant being planned somewhere around there? So, how many jobs will that create? (tongue in cheek). But don't worry, I hear they're using modern technology so magical, that a waste incinerator can be placed downtown :/

To answer your question about the gas plants : initially they were proposed for a good reason. McGuinty shut down a coal power plant. The plan was to replace it with two gas plants. However the residents still had concerns over air quality. They prefered to locate it well away from population, and transmit the power. I recall other issues were cited as well - safety concerns over proximity to residents. But increasing emissions in GTA airshed seems to have been the main one. The last couple of summers we have had a bit of a break, but around then, we were getting some really sick smog days. The residents were so opposed, that they brought in Erin Brockovich to help articulate the opposition. All three governments recognized this and made statements acknowledging how strongly people felt. The libs were split in their own party. Finally caved to pressure and proceeded with cancellation. Another factor was the Green Energy initiatives that started in 2009; some residents were encouraging an alternative solution altogether.

TLDR: Oakville and Mississauga got so sick of smog, they fought hard enough to get new gas plants relocated away from population.

So the scandal seems to stem from McGuinty initiating the gas plants as a coal substitute (good) and then changing the project in response to public petition (also good). But sometimes a govt can do the right thing (always in the eye of the beholder I guess) and still damned if they do and damned if they don't. Just look at discussions on this or any other website as an indicator of that.

Whether there was favoritism, nepotism, embezzlement, I don't know. Perhaps. Many in office do it, which is why transparency is good. I mean, if Ford can roll joints in his office while bringing buddies over to show off to, of course it's going to happen. Wynne did publicly apologize for her predecessor's handling of it, so likely some aspect of it wasn't handled right. But the opposition latching onto this as a scandal was so desperate and dishonest, in a "doth protest too much" way, that opposition parties didn't weaken my desire to vote Lib, they weakened my desire to vote for them. All three of the parties would have cancelled the plants due to extreme local pressure to do so.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-06-15 07:20:01

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By BobInnes (registered) - website | Posted June 19, 2014 at 12:24:41 in reply to Comment 102471

The problem wasn't cancelling the contract. The problem was the obscene payout. McGuilty took the easy route- screw the taxpayer. This pic shows result https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BoB-zERCcAAp... Apologize to your kids, its going to get ugly.

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