David Reevely examines core issues
You probably won’t see their elections signs — they may not even have a candidate in many of the province’s 124 ridings — but Ontario is rich in fringe, or, shall we say, lower-prominence parties. Some are earnest. Some seem frivolous. Some have oneissue on their platform, while others seek a complete revamp of the social system.
Registering a political party is free, but the party must first reserve the name with Elections Ontario, then appoint a chief financial officer and auditor. Once registered, the party is eligible to receive contributions and issue tax receipts, finance political activities, have campaign expenses reimbursed and set up riding associations and candidates. Here’s a brief look at all 28 parties that had registered for the election by Thursday’s deadline:
CANADIAN ECONOMIC PARTY
Canadian Economic Party: The CEP registered with Elections Ontario on Thursday, the final day to do so. It has two candidates in Toronto and a website the leads to a dead link.
CANADIANS CHOICE PARTY
Fielding five candidates, the CCP bills itself as an alternative to the “Gang of Three” and recruited candidates from “independent thinkers, politically savvy activist and doers, who are passionate to remove an aggressive and untrustworthy Liberal government in Ontario.” Its leader is Bahman Yazdanfar. CCP candidate James Sears, who faces hate crime charges for his controversial Your Ward News newsletter in Toronto, is running in Ottawa Centre.
CULTURAL ACTION PARTY OF CANADA
The CAP, with three candidates including one in Carleton, calls itself a populist movement and says the state has usurped citizens’ “God given rights.” According to its website, CAP “stands for constitutionalism, the rule of law, due process, free markets and individual liberties, including freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly. As importantly, we stand for the sanctity of the family, the very building block of society.”
COMMUNIST PARTY OF CANADA (ONTARIO)
The Communists say they offer a “people’s alternative” and vow to curb corporate power, while increasing jobs, raising wages and reforming taxes while promising a “massive expansion of public service.” Its strategy is “to build a People’s Coalition of class and social forces willing to unite in a militant struggle for a common program to curb corporate power.” The communist party has a slate of 12 candidates, including ones in Ottawa Centre and Ottawa South.
The party will work to abolish itself — and all political parties — in favour of a legislature of independent MPPs that it says will provide “better, truer representation of ridings in the legislature; strengthening all MPPs’ voices.” The party supports “all measures of populism” such as referendums and recall votes. Consensus has 10 candidates registered, none in the Ottawa area.
FREEDOM PARTY OF ONTARIO
The Freedom Party is against the carbon tax, supports free speech, rejects “forced speech” and will “adapt” to climate change rather than try to fight it. It would scrap the Green Energy Act and the Liberal plan for cannabis sales. It sums up its philosophy as “commitments to reality, reason, self, and consent” and says all government decisions should be based on “facts and claims that are supported, ultimately, by physical evidence.” It has 14 candidates, including one in Ottawa-Vanier.
Its leader is Paul Figueiras, but the party doesn’t have a website or online presence. It has two candidates in Toronto.
GREEN PARTY OF ONTARIO
The Greens have never elected an MPP in Ontario, but nevertheless are a force in the election. Leader Mike Schreiner has led the party since 2009. The party’s three pillars — jobs, people, planet — are supported by its goals of a cleaner environment, and it says its policies are fully costed out. “We must defend the places we love on this planet,” the Greens say. “There is no Planet B.” Green party candidates are registered in almost all Ottawa and Eastern Ontario ridings.
You don’t need to belong to a registered political party to run for the legislature. Thirty-two candidates listed either as “independent” or “no affiliation” will be on the ballot June 7, including one in Carleton.
MULTICULTURAL PARTY OF ONTARIO
The party’s leader is Wasyl Luczkiw, but it does not have a website or online presence. It has two candidates in the Niagara area.
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF ONTARIO
Leader Andrea Horwath is fighting her third election at the party’s helm. Ontario has had one NDP premier, Bob Rae, who won 74 seats and a stunning majority in 1990. Since then the party has struggled, running third in the next six elections and never winning more than the 21 seats it took in 2014.
NONE OF THE ABOVE DIRECT DEMOCRACY PARTY
NOTA says it’s committed to the Three Rs — Referendum, Recall and real electoral and legislative Reforms. It wants MPPs who aren’t bound to their party, but rather by the concerns of their electorate. It has 42 candidates, including ones in six Ottawa and area ridings.
NORTHERN ONTARIO PARTY (NOP)
NOP has an agenda aimed at improving life and the economy of Northern Ontario. It calls for an end to the closing of northern schools and wants new schools built that can double as community centres, libraries and fulfil other community needs. It wants a 10-year tax break for new industries in the region. It’s pushing for Northern Ontario hydro power to replace southern Ontario nuclear plants. It has 10 candidates in northern ridings.
Ontario Alliance is a new party “made up of regular everyday folk like you, tired of wasteful government spending, disillusioned by regional disparity and sick and tired of the ever growing provincial debt.” It’s opposed to the carbon tax, the current school sex education plan, and promises a balanced budget with debt and deficit reduction and “rightsizing government.” It has four candidates, none in the Ottawa area.
ONTARIO LIBERAL PARTY
The party has ruled Ontario since 2003 with four straight election wins, three of them by majority. Leader Kathleen Wynne takes the party into her second election, but is personally unpopular and the party is currently running in third place in the polls. The Liberals are touting free childcare programs, a high-speed rail link across central and southern Ontario and have plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 as of Jan. 1, 2019. It has also launched attacks on Conservative Leader Doug Ford.
ONTARIO LIBERTARIAN PARTY
With a vision of “prospering in peaceful freedom through private property protection” the Libertarians are running more than 100 candidates and will be on the ballot in all Ottawa-area ridings. The party promises a path to prosperity by “reducing the emphasis and reliance on exclusively government delivered programs and services” while giving people “unfettered” access to privately delivered services “without artificial rationing and government control.”
ONTARIO MODERATE PARTY
The Moderates bill themselves as a “party of the political centre” — unsurprisingly — and push for civil liberties, economic liberalism and environmental sustainability. It sees technical innovation, such as hydrogen hybrid cars and residential rooftop wind turbines as an engine for the Ontario economy. The party will field 16 candidates, none in the Ottawa area.
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL CONFEDERATION OF REGIONS PARTY
The party has two registered candidates, including president Murray Reid. It claims the existing big three parties are corrupt and takes a strong stance against bilingualism.
ONTARIO SOCIAL REFORM PARTY
SRP has two candidates in the Toronto’s 905 area. No other information was available.
PARTY FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Founded in 2007, the Party for People with Special Needs advocates for people with a disability and their families. The party, which has candidates in five Toronto ridings, asserts that “when we help a people with disabilities, we are helping everyone.” Its goal is to apply pressure on major parties to listen to people with disabilities and understand their issues.
PARTY OF OBJECTIVE TRUTH
POT has two candidates, including one in Nepean. It registered on the final day and has a website that is “under construction.” No other details were available.
STOP CLIMATE CHANGE PARTY
Registering on the final day, the party has two candidates in the Peterborough area. No other details were available.
PAUPER PARTY OF ONTARIO
Leader John “The Engineer” Turmel’s name should be familiar. Since 1979, he’s run in more than 90 elections at all levels of government. An Ottawa native, Turmel is listed in Guinness World Record for most elections contested. He has never won, but is looking to end that streak in Brantford-Brant.
Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne visits cancer care nurses at the Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket last week.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford holds a rally to speak about Hydro One in Toronto on Tuesday.
JACK MACLAREN Trillium Party MPP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills
MIKE SCHREINER Green Party leader
JOHN TURMEL Pauper Party of Canada