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TagOntario

Is The Glebe A Tourist Area?

The Glebe Business Improvement Area would like to see its neighbourhood declared a tourist area so that stores and the like can stay open on statutory holidays.

Is the Glebe a tourist area? It’s arguable but not really.

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Ontario Reviews City Election Laws

Cullen

Cullen

Former Ottawa city councillor Alex Cullen has been one of the leaders of the fight for many years to ban corporate and union donations to campaigns of municipal candidates.

While that doesn’t stop personal donations from union members, company officials and relatives and friends of both, it is a step in the right direction.

The Ontario government is reviewing municipal election laws now, so this is your chance to participate.

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Please … Teacher Working Conditions Are Fine

Teachers should be well paid for the important work they do. And they are.

So what bothers me about teachers’ labour situation is working conditions. Teachers complain about working conditions.

They get generous holidays … particularly in the summer when time off is difficult to get in the private sector.

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Ontario Protects Bees

This is a release from the Ontario Premier’s Office:

Starting July 1, 2015, Ontario will be the first jurisdiction in North America to protect bees and other pollinators through new rules to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 per cent by 2017.

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Ranked Ballots Will Flop In Ottawa: Cullen

This is a letter from former Bay ward councillor Alex Cullen:

Dear Editor:
The announcement by the Ontario Government to permit municipal councils to consider instituting  ranked ballot system by the 2018 municipal elections gives the illusion of democratic reform, which will disappoint many.

Ranked Ballots Considered For Municipalities

Wynne

Wynne

This is a release from the office of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne:

Ontario is taking steps towards giving municipalities the option of using ranked ballots in future municipal elections.

As outlined in the 2014 mandate letter, the province is reviewing the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 to explore how ranked ballots could be implemented by municipalities across the province. Ranked ballots allow a voter to rank candidates in order of preference instead of voting for a single candidate. The option to use ranked ballots would give municipalities an alternative to the current municipal voting system.

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Ontario To Improve Poor Winter Road Maintenance

This is a release from the office of Ontario Transportation Minister Stephen Del Duca:

“Earlier today, the Auditor General released her report on winter highway maintenance in Ontario. I would like to thank the Auditor for her thorough and thoughtful review and recommendations.

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Denley Can’t Get His Political Virginity Back

Denley

Denley

So Citizen freelancer Randall Denley decides to take on the Liberal provincial government over selling part of Hydro One and raising beer taxes to build infrastructure.

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Denley was running for the provincial Progressive Conservatives against that Liberal government?

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Ontario Introduces Cap And Trade

This is a release from the Ontario Premier’s Office:

To fight climate change — one of the greatest challenges mankind has faced — Ontario is putting a limit on the main sources of greenhouse gas pollution through a cap and trade system to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of our children and grandchildren.

Climate change is already hurting our environment, causing extreme weather like floods and droughts, and hurting our ability to grow food in some regions.

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Province Pledges $587M To Fight Homelessness

This is a release from the Office of the Premier of Ontario:

Ontario is partnering with municipalities across the province to prevent and address homelessness. 

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Ottawa Debt Rises Shockingly High

cityhallsmallHere on The Bulldog we’ve been warning of the accumulation of debt at the civic level but the locals’ apathy is such that we just can’t gain traction.

Oh well, maybe this will do it.

Bulldog reader Jamie Carson sent this little missive along that shows the serious level of Ottawa debt. You might not mind such a debt if it were been poured into a worthwhile light-rail project rather than the one we have.

The tale of the tape is below:

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Ont. Raises Minimum Wage

This is a release from the Ontario Premier’s Office:

Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11 to $11.25 per hour, effective October 1, 2015. Minimum wage rates for jobs in special categories such as liquor servers, homeworkers, and students are also increasing at the same time.

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Beer Buying Freedom Backed: Poll Results

bulldog pollBulldog readers aren’t supporting Premier Kathleen Wynne’s position on retail alcohol sales.

It’s not that they don’t want liberalized alcohol sales. No Bulldog readers want wide-open beer and wine retailing … at corner stores, supermarkets, the Beer Store and LCBO. Wynne wants such sales but only at supermarkets and the traditional outlets.

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Where Should Wine, Beer Be Sold? Vote

bulldog pollShould the Ontario government be making it legal for large supermarkets to sell wine and beer? Or is the status quo the best bet? Does it matter to you?

If it does, participate in our new Bulldog Poll. Tell Ontario’s politicians how you feel about the way beer and wine are sold in the province.

The poll is below. You can only vote once. Thank you in advance for participating.

If you want to say why you voted as you did or if you have another related opinion, the comment box is below.

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Liberal Wine, Beer Rules A Wash

Maclean’s Anne Kingston examines what’s in store for Ontarians as new rules for selling wine and beer come down the pipe:

Details will be released during the provincial budget. What is known is that hundreds of large supermarkets (read: Loblaw Companies, Wal-Mart, Sobeys) will be able to sell imported and Canadian wine and craft beer in its own section, like deli or snack food, which is a big win for them.

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Big Money Causes Electoral Woes

In Ottawa we’ve been learning a great deal about the influence of campaign donations on elections.

Well not surprisingly, this is not confined to Ottawa. The Toronto Star is seeing it at Queen’s Park:

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The Beer Store: Ah, Campaign Donations

Doesn’t this quote sound vaguely familiar in the municipal sphere?

The Globe is reporting The Beer Store has donated $667,000 to provincial Liberal coffers since 2005:

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NIMBYism Revisited

Here’s another take on NIMBYism, this one from Wolf Illing, sent to The Bulldog  by email:

NIMBYism is often just a random reflex response to much more serious issues associated with rezoning, issues that need a lot more attention than they are given at present.

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Don’t Cut Doctor Fees: Lawyer

Lawyer Bill Hunter is concerned about physicians pay cuts. Hunter addresses the issue with Liberal MPP Marie-France Lalonde:

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Beer Store Practises PR

Martin Regg Cohn of the Toronto Star has been single-handedly taking on the Beer Store oligopoly and is gaining traction at Queen’s Park.

Cohn says currently manoeuvres by the foreign-owned Beer Store to offer craft brewers part ownership of the chain are just public relations:

With its monopolistic brew falling flat, the foreign-owned Beer Store is rebranding — belatedly.

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Ontario Introduces Pension Plan

This is a release from the Ontario Premier’s Office:

The province is taking an important step to strengthen its retirement income system and ensure Ontarians are better able to enjoy their retirement years, with the introduction of legislation that would, if passed, help people save for retirement.

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Province To Start Ont. High-Speed Rail

This is a release from the Ontario Premier’s Office:

Ontario is taking the next step to build a high-speed rail line that will connect Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Toronto, which will improve travel options, reduce travel time and create jobs by getting people moving.

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Ontario Tightens E-Cigarette Rules

This is a release from the Office of the Premier of Ontario:

Ontario is introducing legislation today to protect youth from the dangers of tobacco and the potential harms of electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes.  Also included in the legislation are measures to help families make healthier food choices by giving them caloric information when eating out or purchasing take-away meals.

Today’s introduction of the Making Healthier Choices Act, 2014 supports the government’s commitment to achieve the lowest smoking rate in Canada. If passed, the proposed legislation would:

Ban the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19.

Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in certain places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited.

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Ontario Tightens Smoking Law

This is a release from the Office of the Premier of Ontario:

Ontario is taking action to protect children and youth from the harmful effects of smoking.

Starting January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to:

  • Smoke on bar and restaurant patios
  • Smoke on playgrounds and public sports fields and surfaces
  • Sell tobacco on university and college campuses.

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Change Ottawa’s Campaign Donation Law

ballotOur planning committee and Ottawa City Council must not only be impartial, they must appear to be impartial.

Both bodies appear to have failed on both counts.

Accepting campaign donations from corporations and unions is the reason. Such a practice makes it look as though the fix is in for union members’ wages and decisions affecting corporations.

While The Bulldog cannot prove the fix is in, there are some disturbing tendencies that one has seen over the years at planning committee. Developers, in a long-time ritualistic dance, appear at committee asking for perhaps 30 storeys for a condo complex (important to developers for the higher they go, the more money they make) when the zoning is 12.

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