All stories relating to Andrea Horwath

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Pembina Institute’s message to public-transit voters: pick anyone but the Tories

(Image: Courtesy of the Pembina Institute)

(Image: Courtesy of the Pembina Institute)

The Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, has just released one of its periodic reports on public transit in Toronto, and the takeaway is clear. The institute is saying, essentially, that if you care about transit in Toronto, you should vote for anyone you like in the upcoming provincial election, as long as they’re not Tories.

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Ontario’s election watch approaches red alert

(Image: Horwath: Andrea Horwath/Facebook; Wynne: Loralea Carruthers/Facebook)

(Image: Horwath: Andrea Horwath/Facebook; Wynne: Loralea Carruthers/Facebook)

Queen’s Park has been bracing for a possible springtime election for months, and now we know what might cause it: new fees for public transit. The Star reports that provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath is threatening to topple Kathleen Wynne’s government if the Liberal premier tries to include “new taxes, tolls or fees that hit middle-class families” in Ontario’s next budget. The move is clearly aimed at the Liberal party’s ongoing attempts to implement new “revenue tools” to pay for new public-transit projects in the Greater Toronto Area. Without, at minimum, increasing the gas tax and tapping the HST for a few million a year, it’s likely that Queen’s Park will have difficulty delivering on Metrolinx’s commitment to build, among other things, a new relief subway line for east-end Toronto commuters.

Presumably Horwath would have no trouble bringing Tim Hudak and his provincial Conservatives on-side; they have no love for new taxes, and they want an election. Wynne’s position is especially difficult because her own government apparatus has produced two separate reports in favour of tax hikes and fees for Toronto public transit—one of them from Metrolinx and the other from an official advisory panel. And so Wynne’s choice, apparently, is either to ignore advice and possibly inflame her left-leaning, urban-dwelling base, or to risk going to the polls in a few months. She has already said that she’d choose the latter.

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Rob Ford offers the provincial NDP advice: bring down the government

The troubled relationship between Rob Ford and premier Kathleen Wynne took another southward turn yesterday when the mayor urged the NDP party to bring down the Liberal government. Wynne’s Liberals tabled a $127.6-billion budget on Thursday that the Progressive Conservatives have already vowed to vote against. During his weekly radio show on Sunday, Ford called on the NDP to do the same and trigger a provincial election. “The leader of the NDP party, Andrea Horwath, should just say no,” he advised, explaining that the Liberal gas plant scandal has the public clamouring for an election. Funny how Ford’s latte-sipping, bicycle-riding, gravy-train-riding vitriol conveniently disappeared the second he wanted something from the NDP. [Globe and Mail]

(Images: Rob Ford, Christopher Drost, Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP)

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Politics

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Sunshine List: how much Rob Ford, Paul Godfrey and Chris Spence earned in 2012

Rob Ford earned $173,869 including taxable benefits in 2012

Each year, Queen’s Park releases the sunshine list, a catalogue of all the Ontario public servants who made $100,000 or more—and, because the $100,000 threshold hasn’t changed since the list’s inception in 1996, that exalted group now contains nearly 88,412 members. (Were the benchmark tied to inflation, it would now be over $139,000, cutting the list to about 18,000 people.) Since most people have better things to do this long weekend than sift through tens of thousands of names, we put together this cheat sheet of 2012’s most high-profile recipients of public largesse.

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Some notables earning six-figures (or more!) from Ontario’s annual “sunshine list”

Dalton McGuinty made $208,974 last year (Image: Communitech Photos)

Once again, Ontario’s sunshine list has spotlighted the public servants who made $100,000 or more last year. A list of rich people is always a delight, and this year’s disclosure—released late last week—set the stage for today’s release of what will likely be an austere provincial budget, given Ontario’s troubling $16-billion deficit. The full group of six-figure earners is 79,000-strong, so we’ve compiled a cheat sheet of a few of the most high-profile.

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The Dish

Drinks

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LCBO confirms Ontarians will have to shell out a little extra for certain beers and spirits

Get ready to pay more for your PBR (Image: rob_rob2001)

Sure, we understand that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario sets minimum prices on booze as part of its mandate to promote social responsibility (translation: to stop us from drinking so much that we forget where we live). But sometimes it’s possible to get a little tired of all the tough love. Late last week, mean mommy the provincial liquor monopoly announced it would raise the price of some beer and spirits starting March 1.

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People

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The Onion, that paper your friend’s friend picked up in Milwaukee that one time, now available in Toronto

This week’s edition of The Onion, complete with the debut of The A.V. Club Toronto

Joking aside: in its first export from the United States, satirical newspaper The Onion landed in T.O. this morning. Long popular with Torontonians online, the weekly teamed up with the Toronto Star to bring free print copies to some 600 boxes around the city, with particular concentrations around campuses. (The paper’s arrival might be bad news for homegrown equivalent The Smew, which, perhaps in anticipation, has put up images of its logo around town.) With the exception of entertainment section The A.V. Club and its companion website, both edited by John Semley, readers will find Toronto’s Onion remains decidedly American. Indeed, the lead story from today’s edition is “Congress Takes Group Of Schoolchildren Hostage” (which caused predictable confusion and outrage on Twitter). Torontonians are graced with Canadian advertisements, however, including promotions for noted Canadian humorists Rick Mercer, Jon Lajoie and, er, Andrea Horwath. The paper’s launch was accompanied by a party last night at the Drake Hotel, where revelers were treated to a potted (and mostly fictional) company history delivered by Joe Garden, the features editor. Garden, channelling his inner Dwight Schrute, also highlighted some of The Onion’s notable Canadian stories:  “Perky ‘Canada’ Has Own Government, Laws” and “Toronto Columnist Writes Annual ‘Blue Jays Have A Chance’ Article.”

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Politics

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Reaction Roundup: sailing metaphors, locker room talk and ignoring Toronto. The skinny on what happened at last night’s provincial election debate

Given the amount of chatter generated by Dalton McGuinty’s erratic hand gestures last night, it would seem that the provincial election leader’s debate was the uninspiring affair that most suggested it would be. Aside from a few exciting moments and a couple of strange ones (like Andrea Horwath’s locker room anecdote), the debate was predictable enough to get any viewer properly buzzed—and we don’t mean on the political intrigue. Of course, even if uneventful, the debate could still play an important role in the final stretch of the campaign. With that in mind, we give you our summation of the ink that’s been spilled on the subject, after the jump.

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The Informer

Politics

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Provincial Election Leaders’ Debate: The Drinking Game

Sure, this hasn’t been the most exciting election in recent memory (that honour has to go to last year’s bizarre municipal race). Heck, our public broadcaster has found the whole exercise so dull that it’s chosen to broadcast a hockey game instead of the usual election special on the main network. But tonight at 6:30—we desperately hope—all that will change as Premier Dalton McGuinty, cover boy Tim Hudak and potential king-maker Andrea Horwath go at it for the first time on live television. But if you’re still looking for a spoonful of sugar to help the wonky point-scoring medicine go down, we’ve got you covered. Here, our Leaders’ Debate Drinking Game.

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The Informer

Politics

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Five notes on tonight’s (likely boring) provincial election debate

This snooze of a provincial election will soon be over, but there remains one major piece of business: tonight’s debate (oh, and voting). Of course, recent news might just provide the ammunition for an all-out slugfest. But, really, we’re more likely to see Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath sticking to their talking points with a steadfast resolve, while viewers inevitably watch a real slugfest—or Glee—instead. Then again, debates don’t have to be thrilling in order to influence an election, and the stakes are certainly high. With that mind, here’s the skinny on what’s being said about what tonight could mean for the election race heading into the debate.

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The Informer

Politics

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Adam Giambrone dazzles us with numbers, but stops short of going for the throat

(Image: Tsar Kasim)

In a column in this week’s Now, Adam Giambrone vents some frustrations about the TTC’s plans to pile more passengers onto already-crowded buses. The former TTC chair offers the kind of argument against cuts that you’d expect from an expert on the subject, complete with some good, hard figures. We just wish he’d be a little more explicit about who he’s angry with.

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The Informer

Politics

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The provincial election campaign is so boring we’re actually pining for an all-leaders debate

Earlier today, we linked to a Toronto Sun column by Mike Strobel that argued the provincial election has been a dull affair because of the striking similarities among the four party leaders. And despite the weird graphic that accompanies the column, we have to concede that the Sun has a point. The only drama so far has been a bit of lame sabre rattling.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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The Sun decries dull election by creating terrifying Frankencandidate 

Toronto Sun columnist Mike Strobel claims to have figured out why the provincial election is so undeniably dull: the four main party leaders are simply too similar. More specifically, they even look alike. We won’t argue with Strobel that the leaders do share a certain inoffensive blandness. And we definitely won’t argue that this election campaign has been unbearably boring. What we take issue with is the graphic that accompanies the column: a rendering that blends the faces of the four major party leaders—Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horwath and Mike Schreiner—into a single, creepy visage. Read the entire article and see the scary image [Toronto Sun] »

The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford dips into the provincial politics water—but we were hoping he’d make a bigger splash

(Image: Shaun Merritt)

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Mayor Rob Ford has “waded into the provincial election campaign”—although we think he’s merely dipping a toe in the water, when we wanted to see a cannonball. In a NewsTalk 1010 interview on Thursday, Ford said it was the province’s responsibility to save 2,000 subsidized daycare spaces from the city’s axe.

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The Informer

Politics

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Dull political sabre-rattling follows Ontario Liberals’ dull political attack ad

Busted, Horwath! Actually, not really, but that’s the message the Liberals are apparently trying to convey with what might be one of the lamest attack ads we’ve ever seen. The 41-second YouTube clip—uploaded yesterday by a certain “HazardousHorwath”—begins with footage of Andrea Horwath making the case for her proposed one-metre rule, a law that would mandate a one-metre buffer between cyclists and cars, followed by footage of an NDP vehicle driving kind of close to cyclists (including one that’s riding on the sidewalk). A Liberal spokesperson said the party found the NDP’s hypocrisy “disappointing.” Yowza! An NDP spokesperson fired back, stating, “It’s just proof of how desperate they’re getting.” Really, this is all desperately dull—but it’s also not that surprising for an election that has thus far been a whole lot of boring. With that in mind, a request for the province’s reporters: start digging up the dirt on these leaders, because that’s the kind of stuff that fuels entertaining attack ads. Read the entire story [National Post] »

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