Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 19, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 19, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 7, 2018
To say Ontario’s election has been strange doesn’t capture the half of it. Just four months before the vote, the leading party had to dump its leader in a sexual misconduct scandal. The Liberals are so unpopular they’ve already conceded defeat. The next government will be formed by one of two parties that haven’t won an election since the past century. Ontario could be the first province to send millions of voters to the polls, all holding their noses.
The choice is between the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats. Both are running on platforms that don’t add up. Neither will be able to keep its promises. Each appeals to specific voter groups with fixed beliefs that pit one part of the province against the other. The question isn’t which is the best of a bad lot? It’s which will do the least damage to the province, hurt fewer people, and have the least harmful impact over the long term?
Of the two, the PCs have the biggest leadership problem. It’s unlikely any premier has ever been less qualified than Doug Ford. He appears to barely understand how government operates, has only the shallowest grasp of major issues, gives every indication of being badly out of his depth and shows no interest in learning. His approach to campaigning is to shout slogans and talk over challengers. He’s a poor debater, a bad speaker and has trouble explaining himself.
His “platform” is a collection of odd offerings with no apparent linkage. He’ll cut taxes, return “buck-a-beer,” be kinder to small business and put slots back at the racetrack. Perhaps his oddest promise is a pledge to cut gasoline taxes by 10 cents a litre, which, by past experience, might last a few weeks before the oil companies make up the gap and prices return to previous levels. He promised a costed platform, but didn’t provide it. His pledge to find $6 billion in “efficiencies” without firing anyone is unconvincing at best. If he actually tries to follow through on his promises, the swollen debt will get worse, not better.
The NDP’s Andrea Horwath is more experienced, more polished and more coherent. But that may not be an advantage. As her party erased the PC lead, it became clear that beneath her pleasant exterior lies a hard-edged ideologue devoted to left-wing dogma and with a distinct distrust of the private sector. Her daycare plan stresses that “public child-care dollars should go to not-for-profit and public providers,” because public funds “shouldn’t pad the profits of private companies.”
Why in heaven not? Free enterprise built Canada into a prosperous place. We trust private companies to produce and supply the food we eat. Is food not as important as daycare? Are farmers to be distrusted? Horwath’s rigid creed sees any attempt to make a living outside government auspices as suspicious. Her plan to control rents would eliminate the one means landlords have of keeping up with cost increases. By adding to the long list of limits that already restrict landlords, the NDP would ensure the slow deterioration of rental stock as landlords decline to spend money on maintenance they are unable to recoup. Availability would dry up as developers refuse to build structures certain to lose money. Those who have apartments would be able to stay indefinitely, provided they don’t mind peeling walls and smelly halls, but new arrivals would be out of luck. Too bad for you, young people. (Continued: National Post)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday October 26, 2017
April may be the cruellest month to a poet, but October has been anything but kind to the Liberal government — particularly Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
Whether it was allegations of conflict of interest over his continued multimillion-dollar stake in the family business, or his heavily panned efforts at small business tax reform, the Liberals suddenly found themselves fending off suggestions that they weren’t at all the party of the middle class.
That’s where Tuesday’s fall economic update fits in. Announcing that the Canada Child Benefit will be indexed to inflation next July — a full two years ahead of schedule — and the decision to increase the Working Income Tax Benefit are the proverbial shiny objects intended to get Canadians to focus on some good news.
“This is about having trust in Canadians,” Morneau told reporters following the release of the 74-page document called Progress for the Middle Class. “Investing in Canadians was the right thing to do.”
Just in case you missed all the good news, let’s sum it up here.
Economic growth: up! Employment: up! Wages: up! Revenues: up!
At any other time, these strong economic indicators would be the most prominent feature in news coverage.
But this last period hasn’t been just business as usual for the Liberals. The focus has been on how Morneau handled his personal finances, not on his handling of the country’s finances.
At the Liberal cabinet retreat last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that the Liberals didn’t get elected two years ago by going door to door promising to improve Canada’s macroeconomic indicators. It was a good line, and elicited chuckles from his assembled cabinet ministers.
Morneau, as is his practice, refers to all these things as “investing” in Canadians. Investments that will have a positive impact even if, for example, the current round of NAFTA talks fails. Even though consumer spending has already led to historically high levels of household debt. (Source: CBC News)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 30, 2017
Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young is apologizing after a controversial near hire that sent fans and corporate partners into a frenzy.
“We made a large and serious mistake. We want to apologize to our fans, corporate partners and the Canadian Football League. It has been a difficult season and we are searching for answers. This is clearly not one of them,” Young said in a statement on Tuesday.
Art Briles – whose invitation to be a coach here was pulled late last night, was fired as the head coach of Baylor University last May after an investigation discovered the school mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations, including some against football players and that “football personnel chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence.”
CEO Scott Mitchell says the franchise was caught off guard by the level of anger that would follow the hiring of Briles, who’d been at the centre of one of the largest sexual assault scandals in U.S. college history.
“We underestimated the tsunami of negativity that was going to happen,” Mitchell told The Fan590 radio station in Toronto.
Mitchell said he believed Briles deserved a second chance after being fired from Baylor but society and the media decided it wasn’t the time. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 9, 2015
After a month of campaigning, the three-way race for Canada’s Oct. 19 election has narrowed as warning signs emerge for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his bid for a fourth consecutive term.
The incumbent Conservative has endured an explosive court case, talk of a recession and a refugee crisis that have eroded his traditional core platform planks: accountability and economic stewardship. Tom Mulcair of the leftist New Democratic Party and Justin Trudeau of the centrist Liberals, meanwhile, are each working to position themselves as the best alternative to Harper.
Polls have shown the three parties essentially tied — though one, published Monday night by Nanos Research, suggests Harper has sunk to third place. The deadlock may break as Canada emerges from an end-of-summer long weekend, with students returning to classrooms and workers settling back into routine.
“The campaign to date has been largely a phone campaign producing little attention,” said Frank Graves of Ekos Research. “All of this will change post-Labour Day as the real war for votes begins in earnest.”
An Ekos poll published Friday showed Mulcair’s New Democrats in the lead with 30.2 percent support, Harper’s Conservatives at 29.5 percent and Trudeau’s Liberals close behind at 27.7 percent. Monday’s Nanos survey, conducted for CTV and The Globe and Mail, found the NDP ahead with 32.7 percent, followed by the Liberals at 30.8 percent and Harper at 26.2 percent.
The election’s first month included two weeks of testimony in the criminal trial of former Conservative senator Mike Duffy that exposed the inner workings of Harper’s office and a plan to cover up disputed expenses. While explosive, that testimony has largely been forgotten now, Graves said. (Source: Bloomberg)