May 3, 2018 - Vol. 7 No. 1
June 7 General Election
• Basic Information
• Workers Lead Discussion on the
Direction They Want for Ontario
• Laura Chesnik -- Independent Candidate in
Speaking Out in
• Northeastern Ontario Demands Restoration of
Passenger Rail Service
• Irrationality in Air Transport in Northern
June 7 General Election
The Ontario general election is scheduled to be held on
June 7, according to Ontario's Election
fixes the date as "the first Thursday in June in the fourth
calendar year following polling day in the most recent general
election." The day after the writ is dropped, the 28-day campaign
begins, with no campaigning permitted on election day
itself. Therefore, for a June 7 election, the government must issue the
writ on May 9 to officially launch the election. Nominations for
candidates close May 17 at 2:00 pm. Electors can
vote by special ballot at the returning office in their riding from the
day after the writ
is dropped until 6:00 pm on election day. Voters may also cast their
ballot at the advance poll locations noted on their
Voter Information Card.
Elections Ontario lists 21
registered political parties as of its
latest update on April 13. This election will be held under electoral
laws that have been significantly changed since the last
election. Amongst other things, the new rules limit individual
political donations as well as donations from unions and corporations;
significantly increase the public financing of certain
privileged political parties, including through the introduction of a
per-vote subsidy; strengthen the regime of control over what are
defined as third parties; and introduce new measures
which facilitate the micro-targeting of the electorate by marketing
agencies hired by political parties and the political parties
There are currently 107 seats in the Ontario
55 seats; PCs, 28 seats; NDP, 18 seats; Independent, 2; vacant, 4.
(MPPs Jack MacLaren and former PC leader Patrick
Brown were both kicked out of the PC Party caucus and sit as
There will be 17 new ridings in the June 7 election,
for a total of
124. This necessarily changes the composition of many existing ridings.
In the previous election a majority required
54 seats, which the Liberals attained at that time by winning 59 seats.
Achieving a majority on June 7 will require 63 seats.
The increased number and reorganization of ridings is
legislation passed by the Liberal government to align provincial
ridings with changes made to federal ridings in Ontario,
currently totalling 122, as well as a provincial review that
recommended a reorganization and increase in the number of ridings in
Northern Ontario. The latter led to the creation of two
more ridings: Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk-James Bay, for a total of
When it created the two additional Northern Ontario
government indicated that the population of the new Kiiwetinoong riding
"will be 68 per cent Indigenous" and that the
new riding of Mushkegowuk-James Bay "will be 60 per cent Francophone
and 27 per cent Indigenous."
Workers Lead Discussion on the Direction
They Want for Ontario
Ontario workers begin regular meetings to discuss the role they can
play in Ontario elections, Hamilton, January 21, 2018.
In this election, working people are leading an effort
forums, panel discussions, open mics and other activities where they
themselves speak about their concerns and how they
think solutions can be implemented for problems they face.
Steelworkers, injured workers, teachers and education workers are
amongst those taking the lead to bring forward issues they consider to
matter by discussing their rich experience in fighting for their rights.
The electoral process as it exists today is basically
designed to stop any discussion whatsoever from taking place. The
"major" parties and their candidates peddle party platforms designed
not to solve problems but to get them elected. Today these platforms
are designed by public relations and marketing companies, many times
foreign, which push ways to serve the aims of powerful private
interests. The interests the platforms serve and what they really mean
is not known or discussed.
Further, who sets the agendas for discussion during the
election is also beyond the people's control. These so-called major
parties, abetted by media editorials, pundits and pollsters declare
what people want and who supports
what. Some of these parties even run
advertisements disguised as news stories.
Across the province workers
from various sectors of the economy and
people from different walks of life are coming forward, having
that they are finished with pleading for
the so-called major parties to pay attention to their concerns and
address them if
they form the government. They are raising serious concerns themselves
about how they are completely left out of the
political domain, not only between elections, but during elections as
The pay-the-rich schemes, sell-out of our resources and
integration of the economy with the U.S. war economy as well as
privatizing health care and education, are being raised as matters of
serious concern. Other issues include refusal of the monopolies to
negotiate in good faith; the outright robbery of pensions facilitated
by the courts and insolvency legislation (Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act);
"legal"; the plight of injured workers; the refusal to
recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples to their land and resources
and misuse of resources to enrich mainly foreign interests and feed the
U.S. imperialist war machine; the crisis in the health care system and
in the treatment of welfare recipients, the elderly and people with
special needs; the housing crisis and overall anti-social offensive
whereby people are made to fend for themselves while governments are
engaged in blatant corruption and the media foments scandal after
scandal to embroil the people in gossip. This diverts attention from
the fact that the people are blocked from representing themselves in
elections. Instead, the electoral system keeps them at the mercy of
privileged parties which form governments in order to pay the rich in
different ways. All of it deprives the people of an outlook which
permits the problems to be resolved in their favour.
In this situation it is very positive that the working
people are finding ways to represent themselves. Here are photos of
some of the meetings which have been held in Ontario in the last few
weeks and information on more which are upcoming.
Hamilton, April 22, 2018
Toronto discussion with Peter Page, Ontario Network of
Injured Workers' Groups
and Migrante Ontario, April 28, 2018.
Discussion on health care in Windsor, April 17, 2018 (R. Emerson)
Annual May Day Workers' Roundtable in Windsor, April 29, 2018
Upcoming Discussions and Meetings
Sudbury Labour Town Hall on the Ontario Election
Thursday, May 8 -- 6:00 pm
United Steelworkers Hall and Conference Centre, 66 Brady Street
Organized by the Sudbury and District
Speakout on Matters of
Concern in Ontario
Thursday, May 17 -- 5:00 pm
Painswick Branch, Barrie
Library -- 48 Dean Ave.
Hosted by the
Barrie District Injured Workers' Group
How to Ensure the Voice of Workers Is Heard in the Ontario Election
Round Table Meeting
Sunday, May 27 -- 1:00-4:00 pm
547 Victoria Avenue, N9A
Hosted by OSSTF District
9 Greater Essex
Justice for Injured Workers Bike Ride
McIntyre Powder Research
Friday, May 25
-- 1:00-4:00 pm
Pearson Civic Centre Theatre
Friday, May 25 -- 7:00-9:00 pm
Pearson Civic Centre Theatre
Saturday, May 26 -- 7:00 am-3:00 pm
Ride from Elliot Lake
Miners' Memorial Park on Highway 108 North
to Massey and District
Arena, 455 Government St.
Other Workplace Fatality
click for PDF
Organized by Ontario Network of Injured
information on all Justice Bike Ride
events click here.
Laura Chesnik -- Independent Candidate
Laura Chesnik will be an independent candidate in the June 7 provincial
election in the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh. She has informed her peers
and felllow citizens in Windsor that she is running so that the people
of Ontario can put MPPs in the Legislature who actually represent
what people need and are fighting for. She represents what teachers and
education workers have been fighting for and is known for that.
"Our fight for our rights comes head to head with government dictate in
defence of private interests," Laura says. "It's time we end this
situation and affirm the right of all Ontarians to a high quality
public education. This can be done by affirming the rights of teachers,
education workers and students who are directly affected by the lack of
required funding and privatization."
"Teachers have been fighting
to have a say over their working conditions for some time now. We faced
the McGuinty government's dictate to
impose contracts, to strip billions out of education and use this to
pay the deficit and other handouts to companies. Across the province
teachers and education workers rose to say No! and
we took this fight up as a fight of society itself. 'If you work in
Ontario, this is your fight!' was one of the slogans. 'Negotiate don't
dictate!' 'Teachers' working conditions are students'
learning conditions' were others. Our fight is to provide society with
a pro-social aim. When we defend our rights, we defend the rights of
all, which is what all working people in fact
"We join with industrial workers, hospital workers,
injured workers, all working people and we think this is who should be
in Queen's Park, not party governments that defend private interests.
People don’t think the electoral system expresses their own experience
and demands and then, come elections, we are supposed to give up our
own experience, our fight for our demands and beg for a line on a party
platform. If we do get some token mention, we are to hope that it will
be implemented. We are supposed to spend the next four years lobbying
MPPs to fight for us.
"I have nothing against any individual MPP. It just so
happens that they have no political power to do anything and
decision-making is not in their hands either. The decisions are made by
those in control of their party and their PR marketing gurus as part of
the cutthroat competition of parties vying for power. None of this
empowers the people including the individual MPP.
"Given the destruction that
is being wrought on social programs and
manufacturing, the sellout of our resources and intensified war
preparations, this disempowerment and
unrepresentative political system are big problems. Today no government
today has the consent of the governed.
"The time has come to elect Independents to the
who represent and are one with the struggles their collectives wage and
who can be trusted to unite with others in
the struggle to defend and guarantee the rights of all.
"Independents of course do
not have the resources
privileged parties that are given state funds. But if I have the
backing of my peers and the working people of
Windsor-Tecumseh and others in Ontario who are looking for an
alternative to party rule, we make a difference. For this to happen, I
call on everyone to take a stand. Let us stop dividing
our ranks between this or that party based on a vicious competition for
power, politics of scandal, scare tactics and dirty tricks.
"By calling on you to make me your MPP I am inviting
you to join in challenging this state of affairs so we set a new course
where working people speak for themselves. When they uphold the rights
of their own collectives, they uphold the same for all others.
"Anyone who can help bring about this alternative that
empowers the people, not the political parties that represent
pay-the-rich programs, is more than welcome to join in!
"I hope you decide to join this campaign! Teachers
always make a difference and together we can set our own agenda, and
speak for ourselves. We have participated in previous elections to
express our opposition to what governments in power are doing. In the
last election, Windsor was the only city in the province to defeat a
Liberal cabinet minister and record a protest vote in that way.
Teachers played a crucial role in this. For that we should be proud but
let us take this campaign a step further. We can do it! Empower
Yourself Now! is my campaign slogan. Check out my website after the
writ is dropped: empoweryourselfnow.ca.
"Thank you very much!"
Speaking Out in Northern Ontario
Northeastern Ontario Demands Restoration of Passenger
NorthEastern Ontario Rail Network summit in Sault Ste Marie, April 19,
Working people in Ontario are continuing to discuss
that are of concern to them in order to intervene in the upcoming
provincial elections to advance their interests. In
northeastern Ontario, the NorthEastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN)
held a summit in Sault Ste. Marie on April 19 to focus on their demand
for the restoration of passenger rail service
in northeastern Ontario and the social, environmental and economic
benefits that this would bring to the region. Two dozen speakers and
120 attendees participated.
Map of Northern Railway Loop
(click to enlarge)
With the elimination of passenger rail services from
Moosonee along the Ontario Northland Railway five years ago,
northeastern Ontario is essentially without passenger rail
service. Limited passenger rail exists along the CN and CP main lines
but rail service in northeastern Ontario is geared to the
transportation of resources out of the region and to
intercontinental freight services. The need of the people of
northeastern Ontario to travel throughout the region has not been
recognized by the rail companies or the Ontario
NEORN is proposing the restoration of the Ontario
services between Toronto and Moosonee and the establishment of a rail
loop through northeastern Ontario on
existing tracks connecting the cities, towns and Indigenous
communities of the Northeast (see map). The summit was the first event
of its kind, but there will be more leading up to the
provincial election, Lucille Frith, NEORN co-chair said. "We are going
to be going on the road with this as soon as the writ is dropped. We
will be taking a mini version of this to town
hall meetings throughout northeastern Ontario."
Firth says there is an imbalance of provincial tax
to public transportation, since southern Ontario has an integrated
transportation with high-speed trains, subways and
buses. "There's a little disparity there ... I feel that the people of
(northern) Ontario deserve some equal treatment ... We're not asking
for high speed rail like they are in the south. We
would just like to have rail once a day, once every other day,
depending on where the communities are ... We need our communities
connected even more so than in the south."
Building on the momentum at the summit and prior to the
election, NEORN will be holding meetings in many of the communities
along the NEORN loop. The dates will be
announced soon. NEORN is also asking anyone who knows of a political
event in the rail loop to let them know. NEORN followers will attend to
present the urgent need for restored
passenger train service in northeastern Ontario.
NorthEastern Ontario Rail Network summit April 19,
Irrationality in Air Transport in Northern
It costs more to travel by air from Sudbury to
Timmins, a distance
of 220 kms, than from Sudbury to Washington, DC, a distance of 910 kms.
The trip to Washington costs $183
one-way while the trip to Timmins costs $193. It is cheaper to fly to
New York City than to Sault Ste. Marie. This is irrational. It is
because the solution to air transportation needs of the
north is not determined by those needs but the desire of air
transportation monopolies to maximize their profit. Thus, to fly to
Timmins from Sudbury, one first has to fly to a hub in
Toronto and there transfer to a flight to Timmins. Direct flights
between cities in Northern Ontario are few.
Information on Air Flights Between Sudbury and Cities
in Northern Ontario and the U.S.
Cost per kilometer
New York, NY
Thunder Bay, ON
ISSUES | HOME
Read Ontario Political Forum