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ontario

Ontario voters avoided the threat of a triple-whammy conservative blowhard government – Ford in Toronto, Harper in Ottawa, and Hudak challenging at the provincial level – by rewarding incumbent Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty with a third term in office. But with only 53 seats, down from 72 in the previous government, the Liberals will be one seat shy of a majority, and will need support from the NDP – now holding the balance of power – to enact legislation.

I’m only a casual observer of the ins and outs of Ontario politics. Unlike the minefield of the Quebec political landscape, Ontarians are more traditionally divided along left-right lines. For the most part, I think McGuinty has been a decent-to-good leader, and I’m relieved that Ontario dodged the Hudak bullet. But this was far from the resurgence of the Liberal banner that people at the federal level were hoping for.

It’s worth noting that the turnout for this election hit a record low – just the latest example of a disturbing trend showcasing widespread disillusionment with the political process.

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It’s Labour Day Weekend, and we all know what that means. That’s right, they’re everywhere: Ontario drivers have invaded our highways, side streets and alleyways. The “Je Me Souviens” uniformity has been broken up by a sea of “Yours to Discover”.

Some are bringing their kids to school and helping them get settled in the residence. Others are just visiting friends or relatives, or simply taking a weekend vacation. Whatever their reasons for being here, though, they have one thing in common: They don’t know how to drive in Quebec.

Even though their license plates are nearly the same colour as ours, they’re easy to spot: They’re the ones going 100kph in the fast lane; they even slow to 70 on the Met, thinking for some strange reason that the speed limits mean something here. They stop at crosswalks. They use their turn signals. They make 3-second stops at stop signs. They stubbornly insist on driving at their speed even when all the traffic around them is whizzing by and giving them a honk-and-finger tabarnac.

In short, they’re a major menace and they’re bound to cause numerous accidents. Watch out for them.

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Eating my words?

01.17.2006

Mario Dumont is one thing. But I would’ve never predicted that La Presse would endorse the Tories in a Federal election. La Presse is one of Montreal’s major newspapers and is widely considered the French federalist voice in Montreal (as opposed to Le Devoir, which leans separatist) and it had previously endorsed the Liberals almost […]

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Back in black

10.20.2005

I’m back after another brief business trip, this one to lovely Windsor, Ontario. Well, okay, maybe “lovely” is a bit of a stretch… but in fairness, I didn’t see that much of the city. Like most business trips, this was an airport-hotel-meeting-hotel-airport kind of circuit. The big Windsor sightseeing will have to wait till next […]

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LCBO might strike

07.26.2005

While the SAQ was on strike last fall and winter, Quebecers flocked en masse across the Ontario border to stock up on liquor at the LCBO. Ontarians were fond of mocking us for this, and we in turn were jealous of their excellent selections, lower prices and seemingly better-run outlets. Now, it looks like a […]

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Ontario teens: school or jail?

11.07.2004

Ontario may make it illegal to drop out of high school: The Ontario government plans to introduce legislation that will require students to stay in school until they reach the age of 18, said the province’s minister of education Saturday. If the rules aren’t followed, students would be forced back to their desks or sent […]

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Women against Sharia

06.11.2004

Muslim women’s groups are outraged at a Canadian court ruling allowing “Canadianized Sharia” in Ontario: Then the province of Ontario quietly approved its use. Under the 1991 Arbitration Act, sharia-based marriage, divorce and family tribunals run by the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice are expected to begin later this year. The move has so horrified […]

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Ontario… B.C. … and now Quebec

03.19.2004

The Quebec Court of Appeal has ruled that barring gays from marriage is discriminatory, upholding a lower court ruling and effectively paving the way to gay marriage in Quebec: The Quebec court case pitted some religious groups against Michael Hendricks and Rene Leboeuf, who want to marry after being together for 30 years. The religious […]

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Just butt out!

01.22.2004

It’s National Non-Smoking Week this week, and across Canada, longtime smokers are trying to kick the habit… including two of my coworkers. Can you say stressful? Still, I say kudos to those who manage to quit, and good luck to those who are trying. I’ve never had an ounce of willpower in my life so […]

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Double cohort

01.17.2003

This is a lousy year to graduate high school in Ontario. The Ontario government, in its wisdom, is eliminating the Grade 13 “OAC” program this year. That means that there’s a whole year of students graduating from grade 13, and another whole year of them graduating from grade 12 . . . and they’re all […]

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