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What issues have flown under the radar this election?

October 3, 2007 | 03:29 PM

With only a week to voting day, the provincial election has encouraged some debate over the issues of faith-based school funding, public-private health care, energy use and even the appropriate application of the term "promise-breaker."

The Liberals and Conservatives unveiled detailed platforms in the weeks before the writ was dropped, while the Greens waited until the first week of the campaign and the NDP dribbled out its six key commitments one-by-one. Despite these often complex visions, which are available on the party websites, election discussions have been largely focused on the Liberal record, education and health.

As a result, some voters feel that issues important to them — such as the environment, transit, property taxes and poverty, even hunting — have been largely ignored throughout the campaign.

What issues do you feel are missing from the campaign trail? How would you like to see them addressed?

« A free vote on faith-based school funding | Main | Did a politician or party sway your vote during the campaign? »

This entry is now Closed. View the comments.

Comments: (31)

Cathy Waszczuk (toronto_ontario) wrote:

What frustrates me the most is the total lack of recognition for post-secondary school students, in light of the frenzy over the faith-based school system issues. What both the Liberal and Progressive Conservative Parties forgot to address, above all, was how to alleviate the financial stress placed on post-secondary school students, while instead choosing to focus on the non-issue of faith-based funding.

When will Ontarians learn to respect that their future will, in fact, lie with the university and college students right now who are paying impossible sums of money based on the negligence of the leading political parties.
Shame on you, Ontario.

Posted October 10, 2007 11:31 PM

Martin (Ottawa) wrote:

Internet connectivity. The politicians will have to intervene on the market, because there's pretty much no competition between the companies and it shows at the speed offerings. Nine years ago, the fastest offering was 3Mbps... what's it today? 6-8Mbps. At the same time, other more progressive nations (such as Sweden, South Korea and Japan) and places (such as San Francisco) are having 100Mbps... and they've had it for years. And guess what... they're paying about the same as we're paying for our 3-8Mbps. Just wish some politician did something about it.

Posted October 10, 2007 11:15 PM

Chris (Toronto) wrote:

The referendum. The coverage was pitiful. Shame on my fellow citizens for being so ignorant. Bravo for the liberal and conservative media for making sure our political power remains where it belongs. That includes the CBC. My view of the CBC has been altered permanently.

Posted October 10, 2007 10:55 PM

Caesar J. B. Squitti (Thunder_Bay) wrote:

1. Doctor shortage a result of the Doctors Union creating a shortage to guarantee doctors incomes.

2. The public health care system is not a true public system, merely publically funded (a half-truth)with most services provided by private enterpreises, although they have normally deceived us about this.

3. Who elects the members to the boards of Hosptials ? They have become private boys clubs for the elite.

4. Legislation dealing with Landlord and Tenant matters is called, "The Tenant Protection Act", another half-truth.

5. School funding for new schools, sees boards closing old schools just to build 'free new schools', while ignoring special classes.

6. Property tax system that is based on property values; no logical reason for this. Penalizes improvements.

7. An electoral system that empowers a non-elected premier over the voters representatives, and where the system does not vote in people with a majority of the vote; no run=off elections.

Posted October 10, 2007 10:45 PM

Paula S (Leamington_) wrote:

Basically everything was preempted by the religious schools funding issues.

The media has to take some of the blame for it for not letting it go and basically ignoring everything else.

Posted October 10, 2007 10:07 PM

Peter (Mississauga_South) wrote:

Funding of faith-based schools is not the main issues in this election. How can a clever smoke screen be presented to skew voters views. When a leader stands up in our schools and says that we are standing up for our (public) schools, and neglecting to mention that Catholic schools are also faith-based.

There are other issues that are important as well. Taxes, Employement (Jobs), Environment, Accountability.

Posted October 10, 2007 09:42 PM

Keya Majoomdar (Oakville) wrote:

I am instinctively a Liberal/left-of-centre voter with a healthy dose of apathy towards politicians of all hues.

But, John Tory and the PC party's stand on faith-based funding for schools was such a blatant attempt at wooing the votes of new ethnic Canadians that it has turned me off Blue possibly forever!

And their about-turn on the same issue just as soon as opinions swung away from them shows them to the cheap opportunists they really are!!

Posted October 10, 2007 09:33 PM

Keith Jolie (Toronto) wrote:

The entire election campaign was an utter waste of taxpayers' money. Not one issue of any import was discussed.

We can blame the media, but really, the candidates showed no leadership. A leader shows vision, and describes what is possible, and when that is compelling - it becomes a headline.

When it's not compelling the media is left with funding for schools as "the big election issue"

Posted October 10, 2007 09:27 PM

Joseph Puopolo (Toronto) wrote:

I think the largest issue that has gone under the radar is public transportation. This issue impacts so many other are, whether it be the environoment, economy and our province's infrastructure. Mass/Public transportation needs to be a top issue as it speaks to so many real issues people face on a daily basis.

Posted October 10, 2007 09:26 PM

Bruce Litteljohn (Bracebridge_ON) wrote:

How did pressing environmental concerns suddenly become "yesterday's news"?

What nonsense to let the faith-based schools debate take pride of place. As Tory and everyone else should have known, it was a "no show" from the silly start. But the media hyped it to the skies and has a lot to do with the virtual disappearance of much more pressing issues.

Way to go media. What a buch of gormless sheep you are.

Posted October 10, 2007 09:07 PM

Steve (Stratford) wrote:

The ENVIRONMENT--- very dissapointing that it wasn't even a election issue. Ontario-- in particular southern Ontario-- has the worst air quality in the country--- I guess Ontarians are just willing to live with more smog days, more respiratory problems & have just accepted the fact that on some days, we just shouldn't breathe the air !!

Posted October 10, 2007 08:10 PM

Joshua Buist (Ajax) wrote:

The liberal government realized a tax increase was necessary, as this was the fiscally responsible thing to do. The previous conservative government did not disclose there was a $5.8 billion shortfall until after they left office.

As much as people want to criticize the liberals, it seems many Conservatives would have been good candidates for the faith based schools, and a lesson in Christian ideals would have been a nice refresher. I challenge anyone to explain how to not raise taxes, while at the same time not slash health care/education, etc. when left with a $5.8 billion dollar deficit you didn't know was there.

Maybe if the Conservative government hadn't sold off the 407, the government would have additional revenues, and we would all have more money in our pockets. We fail to realize that the conservatives sold off the 407, despite everyone telling them not to, after realizing they had cut taxes so much, that they were facing more than an $8 billion deficit. Thanks Mike, great fiscal responsiblity.

Posted October 9, 2007 11:21 PM

Susan (Guelph) wrote:

I would say the issue of responsible dog ownership and the implementation of the "pit bull" ban has flown under the radar.

It would have been great to see how McGuinty could defend this useless ban and the tax dollars that continue to be wasted.

Wake up people! Dogs are still biting. Dogs are still killing people in Ontario, (2 non pit bull dogs.


Only responsible owners are following the ridiculous law in fear of losing their family pets.

Posted October 9, 2007 01:38 PM

D. Shields (Hamilton) wrote:

Mostly no real issues were addressed this election.

Bill 132/DOLA gave us 'Guilty Until Proven Innocent' with no actual way to prove your innocence in court, & unheard of powers of search & seizure without a warrant on 'hear say'.

The Auditor General stated that the Liberal Government had 'broken the law', yet this wasn't raised as an election issue, nor was the Lib. Government taking the parents of an autistic child to court after the Gov. broke their promises to them. No one mention the foot dragging on both compensation for victims of crimes (application denied when a complainant forgot to dot an "I" in his name.) The state of cancer patients drugs, support, & funding was also forgotten. The Liberals were let off so many hooks by so many people during this election.

I was all set to vote for John Tory, when he shot himself in the foot over full funding of all religious schools. No, John!..How about one school system, like Newfoundland/Labrador has & help deserving young people out with University or College tuition? That's funding put to good use & it's completely 'Fair' to everyone.

Check my wallet John. I can't fully fund schools for everyone & send my own kid to University, & keep a roof of any description over my head. Which brings me to...
Downloading of Provincial services, the crippling cost of municipal taxes, & Market Value Assessment never got mentioned either. The P.C.'s did it with amalgamation & other legislation under Harris & Eves, & the Liberals promised to fix it. They Didn't!

Posted October 6, 2007 10:33 PM

Mike Catling (Cameron) wrote:

No party has discussed the stranglehold the Ontario Medical Association has in Ontario. A doctor who is trained in another province cannot practice here without a lot of rigmarole and red tape. Since when was Ontario the hotbed of medicine? Also, the Ontario taxpayer subsidizes medical tuition to the hilt but asks nothing of the doctors when they graduate. Many leave for the U.S. This is a crime since many Ontario communities have no family doctor. The OMA is looking after its own interests not the public's.

Posted October 6, 2007 10:59 AM

Kevin Osborne (Toronto) wrote:

The issue of poverty has not been addressed as a major priority. McGuinty broke his promise to stop the claw back of the National Child Benefit Supplement. With the Ontario Child Benefit even when it is fully implemented low income families will be getting about $400 less per child each year. In a family of three that's a loss of $1,200 a year in income. I fail to see how that is an attack against poverty.

Posted October 5, 2007 09:18 PM

James Liddiard (Barrie) wrote:

Yes one very crucial one that my son has been fighting to get told for months now.

The absolute collapse of the Ontario Health Care system. I've suffered a stroke in previous years and I can count myself extremely fortunate that the medical care I received was top notch, not to mention my families complete support.

That's not the case with my son! He contracted strep in the nose, called cellutis. He wasnt able to obtain proper medical treatment as the doctor's offices, walk in clinics were all under siege at the time he was trying to get help. The hospital wasn't a great option because they had an outbreak of c-dificile.

By the time my son managed to get help he was in dire straights. What's worse the medication prescribed left him with a severe medical affliction. Trying to get to see an ear nose, throat specialist took until June, 2006 when his initial infection was in January.

Five years ago I received very good medical care, I can't say the same for my son.

Posted October 5, 2007 06:49 PM

Julie (Kitchener_Ontario) wrote:

In 2005, the McGuinty government grandstanded with a Bill to "protect the safety of Ontario people". Bill 132 is an Act to amend the Dog Owners Liability Act that is intended to increase public safety in relation to dogs. Yet, instead of putting the onus on responsible dog ownership, it has targeted breeds of dogs and more importantly, dogs that "look" like certain breeds of dogs. Specifically, the "Pit Bull type dog".

The result of this bill has resulted in horror stories across the province where children and the elderly are receiving visits from ACO’s and Police Officers to seize their family pets because they “look like Pit Bulls”. One elderly woman’s dog was a registered Black Labrador retriever!

The trauma she endured from the incident sent her to hospital with a heart attack and stomach ulcers she developed from the stress, her doctor told her. Apparently, a neighbour reported their dog because he was upset at them because a neighbouring hedge was trimmed too low.

Only 10% of the dogs in Ontario are registered and can have their lineage proven. That means 90% of dog owners in Ontario can go through this horror with the law written as it is today. This law needs to be reviewed and amended to properly punish people who are the menace, rather than an animal because it “looks a certain way”. I understand the Liberals still fully defend the Bill as it stands.

Posted October 5, 2007 12:34 PM

William Burtch (Toronto_Ontario) wrote:

The most pressing issue this election has been the faith based schools. Dalton is the one that is pushing this because he is affraid of people looking at his own track record of run down public school.

Posted October 5, 2007 11:44 AM

Sheryl S (St_Catharines_ON) wrote:

Stanley H. of Toronto askes "why is there so little information about the referendum? I've seen very little so far, yet elections ontario is supposed to put on a whole "public education campaign".

Well Stanley, most of the population have access to the internet either at home or through the public libraries. We in St Catharines have been bombarded by Election Ontario literature. Did you consider it junk mail and heave it or do you not have the availability of the internet? No public library in the area to go to and research?

Voting in Canada is not a right but a priviledge. If one is unwilling to take a few hours of his time to become knowledgable on the issues perhaps he should stay home and let the rest of us that take an interest decide for him.

Posted October 4, 2007 11:26 PM

Aaron Vincent (Lindsay) wrote:

As Murray said, the faith based school issue has distracted everyone from more pressing issues. The number one issue that nobody is addressing is the closure and loss of manufacturing jobs in this province.

Every day we learn of more companies pulling out of Ontario and moving abroad where it is cheaper for the large companies to operate. General Motors in Oshawa and Windsor, Hershey's in Smith Falls, a section of General Electric in Peterborough, Fleetwood here in Lindsay and
the list goes on.

McGuinty claims that his Liberals have created more jobs than have been lost, but most people would rather work at a job that pays reasonably than these call centers that pop up all over the place paying their employees $10 an hour.

Sadly, with the rising Canadian dollar (actually, it is a falling American dollar, but that's another story), this trend will continue unless some kind of guidelines and subsidies are set to prevent these companies from leaving. That is my number one issue in this election, but no party is talking about that, so I plan on voting for an independent party.

Posted October 4, 2007 10:33 PM

Michaelm (Ontario) wrote:

I find that Social Democratic issues are being ignored in the campaign. Its time all the leaders payed attention to the issues of the average person instead of the wealthy. My wish is that Belinda Stronach would turn to provincial, she would be a good leader for the Liberals, or even the NDP. Then and only will be get the Social Democratic issues missing from the campaign to the forefront of Ontario politics.

Posted October 4, 2007 08:15 PM

Len Anderson (Thunder_Bay) wrote:

I have never missed voting. In the past I have often voted Conservative but as a former teacher in the public school system I am against funding for all religious schools. My choice,therefore is to vote for the Green Party which is in favour of only one funded education system.

Posted October 4, 2007 04:39 PM

sean mcgoldrick (oakville) wrote:

There is absolutely no commentary from party leaders on the horrific levels of death and destruction on our roads, particularly those involving trucking companies. There is a relationship between these accidents and a general lack of sufficient and consistent highway policing. In addition on a related matter I see no discussion on cell phone usage and the banning of same when driving. Many juristrictions (for example Britain and many U.S. states) have recognized this as an important issue and have banned the use of cell phones while driving. Why are our elected representatives soft peddling on these issues and instead developing issues such as faith based education which are not a priority at this time.

Posted October 4, 2007 02:08 PM

Stanley H. (Toronto) wrote:

Politicians love to promise all sorts of lofty programs and spending initiatives

But why is there so little emphasis on the actual voting practices of MPPs and what they actually did in power? Why are the voting patterns of MPPs in the legislature not scritinized more closely?

There's actually a website that publishes this information.

Also, why is there so little information about the referendum? I've seen very little so far, yet elections ontario is supposed to put on a whole "public education campaign".

Posted October 4, 2007 01:45 PM

Marc Kobayashi (Markham_ON) wrote:

Many say that Waste Disposal is a municipal issue, but if we are to genuinely handle this issue, we need to do so at a provincial level.

Large municipalities pay to ship their garbage to other municipalities and often do not feel the consequences of producing so much garbage (out of sight - out of mind). Initial cost to develop clean incineration, or biomass energy is often too expensive. In this respect, landfill duping is just too cheap & too easy.

Recycling is great, but inconsistent from municipality to municipality. People often work in different municipalities from where the live, and often get confused about what is or is not recyclable resulting in unusable contaminated recyclables, and recyclables going into landfills.

More Provincial vision and involvement please.

Posted October 4, 2007 12:20 PM

Ian robertson (Dryden_ON) wrote:

Having just returned to live in Ontario after 23 years in BC and then overseas, not much has changed. Successive governments appear only to have introduced more bureaucracy (ie paperwork) into daily life, while education, health and transportation continue to flounder.

The problem is common to political parties worldwide - no real leaders, no vision, no individuals with the skills and charisma to move the electorate ahead.

Posted October 4, 2007 09:46 AM

eric (Oshawa) wrote:

Why has no candidate mentioned the 407 hwy.? So many of us waited for years for that hwy. and the conservatives sold it out from under us. Look at the congestion of the 401 and other 400 series hwy's. and if we don;t own it why call it a 400 series hwy or "The King's Highway" It is now nothing more than a rich man's hwy. and not for the working people which are used and abused in this province as it is. The largest employer in Ontario is the government,one has to wonder how much their 407 bill is.

Posted October 3, 2007 11:13 PM

JA (Toronto) wrote:

The most pressing concern in Ontario is not faith-based schooling.

ENERGY should be the absolute priority in this election. Liberals and Conservatives are proposing the immediate construction of nuclear reactors.

Nuclear has consistently shown it is UNRELIABLE, DANGEROUS, and EXPENSIVE.

THOUSANDS of TONNES of nuclear waste are stored ON SITE at every nuclear power plant in the province! There is no method of disposal for nuclear waste!

Ontarians are in absolutely desperate need of energy conservation programs first and foremost. More energy drawn from reliable sources immediately, such as solar and wind. Shut down the coal power plants.

This issue will determine whether Ontario is able to rebound from its current slouch. Under Liberals and Tories, the outlook is very bleak.

Posted October 3, 2007 07:25 PM

David (London) wrote:

Doesn't anybody remember what Dalton McGuinty said at the outset of the 2003 Provincial Election. Well if memory serves me correct, he wasn't going to raise our taxes!! It's funny how the electorate have been blindsided by that, and yet 43% would vote for him. Just doesn't add up in my books!!

Posted October 3, 2007 05:23 PM

Murray (Brampton) wrote:

Unfortunately every issue other than faith-based schools has been missing from the campaign.

This has played into McGuinty's hands because it deflects attention away from the real issues, and from Liberal dishonesty.

Posted October 3, 2007 04:44 PM

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