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***HELP US REGISTER CONSENSUS CANADA AS A NEW FEDERAL PARTY WITH THE SAME AIM OF GETTING RID OF POLITICAL PARTIES...FROM OTTAWA!***

Visit  www.consensuscanada.ca


“Ontarians want their MPPs to listen to them, they want them to represent their riding's views at Queen's Park, not the party's views back to the riding.  Enter Consensus Ontario...!”

Brad Harness, Executive Director, 

Consensus Ontario

LET'S HOPE ONTARIO LEARNS THIS TIME

FROM COVID-19

26 March 2020

Boy, a lot can happen in the span of three weeks.  COVID-19 has affected everything in Ontario from getting out of bed in the morning, to if and where and how we work, learn at school, receive health care, do our necessary shopping, how we travel, and even our social interactions.


The measures announced by the federal and provincial governments and echoed by local governments is - as far as any of us know - the best way to contain this latest virus and let it run its course.


Remember that this is the third virus outbreak since 2000 (the others being SARS and H1N1 a.k.a. Swine Flu).  Lately I have been wondering just how much we learned from these other two earlier pandemics, and how much we will remember about COVID-19 once it is finally eradicated.

Let's be serious and logical about the future: In something like 7-10 years time, another virus will arrive here...SO LET'S BE BETTER PREPARED.


Certainly we have learned that travel causes such viruses to spread globally and in large countries much faster than they would normally do, leaping across oceans and mountain ranges, spreading rapidly through unprepared countries. Limiting or suspending non-essential travel is a good first step.


We have learned that we can never have enough of the emergency supplies of things like surgical gloves, face masks, certain medical supplies for hospitals and especially equipment like ventilators. The Ontario Ministry of Health should have at least one complete mobile surgical hospital ready to deploy when needed anywhere in the province.


We have learned that social distancing is a solid way to not spread this virus locally.  We have also learned that if contact between people is minimized through business and event closures, closings of public spaces, and cancelling public gatherings, we can apply the brakes to the spread, even if we cannot stop it fully.


We have learned that selfishness raises it's ugly head during such times, with hoarding and unreasonable over-consumption of items at grocery and drug stores.  These weak-willed people will always be in our society, so government needs to act sooner (next time) to limit purchases (Rationing) to enable sufficient supplies for everyone.


Selfishness also has been evidenced by those who knowingly mixed with others when they knew - or strongly suspected - that they would test positive for the COVID-19 virus.  These people should not be allowed to board flights, trains, or buses to travel without a medical test of some type such as forehead temperature checking. If that raises a red flag, they shouldn't be allowed to travel and they would be entitled to a refund of their ticket.


The fact that many people might test positive and yet not display symptoms shows the need for some form of testing technologyResearch & Development into many health conditions and risks is money well spent by the Ministry of Health.  Rather than employ a large work force of well-paid bureaucrats, spend some of those funds on R&D.  It is the only way to stay ahead of the next great health risk for Ontarians, and it will result in less money spent in the future.


It also shows the need for annual doctor visits, and for limiting somewhat which countries we should be allowed to travel to on a whim.  Regular family doctor checkups will at least increase the likelihood of detecting health risks sooner.  Some places pose greater health risks to us, and we need to be advised, warned, and told you are on your own if you choose to go there.  Government waivers to not require us to bring them home free of charge are sensible and would be supported by the majority (consensus) opinion.


If there is a single "positive" from COVID-19 and the big shutdown of Ontario, it is that I have never seen more people outside, getting fresh air and exercise, sunshine (Vitamin D) than I am seeing now.  As one who always does this daily I can say few of our fellow Ontarians get anywhere near enough exercise, eat healthily, and relieve stress caused by a nasty combination of workaday worries and laziness.  Those people share that lifestyle with their children and they too grow into unhealthy adults, at risk from the next health threat.  


As a "carrot" to all Ontarians, Government needs to reward those who take the decision and spend daily time doing what is good for them.  Three times weekly with some real esercise, and everyday at least a walk or bike ride, tennis, golf, baseball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, you name it.  

Offering Ontarians to keep the smoke shops, LCBO and the pot shops open during COVID is not much of an incentive for a healthier future.  Rather, Preventative Medicine is what the Ministry of Health should be all about.


Brad Harness

Executive Director,

CONSENSUS ONTARIO





PROPOSED OXFORD COUNTY DUMP SHOULD 

GO TO FORMER TORONTO AIRBASE

6 March 2020

Last week Toronto newspapers reported on a proposal to redevelop 600 acres of the former Canadian Forces Base Downsview, more recently home to Bombardier’s aircraft plant in the city.  The development is an initiative by two federal pension funds to make lots of money by creating communities, houses, condos and office buildings. This was not intended for affordable housing, and is meant to maximize profit for the pension funds involved.


Three hours west, along Hwy. 401, the Township of Zorra and County of Oxford along with the Town of Ingersoll are dealing with an ongoing redevelopment project of sorts, that being to take an exhausted quarry along Hwy.401 and convert it into a huge garbage dump. The proponents - Walker Environmental - has been moving through the various stages of unveiling the project, conducting studies, open houses, and environmental assessments, as well as receiving public input. It will handle decades of garbage, and locals - elected and unelected - worry that the dump will end up contaminating their ground water which they rely on for well water for human and animal use.


Walker insists the quarry will have a 12-foot tall containment lining, along with plumbing to remove any liquids. The quarry happens to be situated next to the Thames River, into which a lot of ground water drains.

Naturally the dump can be seen as an economic development opportunity, creating jobs in Oxford. Yet workers are hard to find now.

Quite a lot of the planned usage of this proposed dump is from the City of Toronto.  It will remove the need to ship waste across the border into Michigan. In the past the Greenway Landfill in Elgin county was purchased by the City of Toronto to give it absolute control of the large facility which provides plenty of space for city waste.

The issues in this are ones we saw under the Liberal Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty governments: The province removing planning approval from local counties and townships for controversial projects that businesses want to proceed with.  The county and the municipalities involved in no way want this project, and were never asked to approve it.

The Doug Ford PC Government is fairing no better than the Liberals before them, retaining the approval authority at the provincial level. That is simply wrong.


Furthermore, what about the province telling all municipalities - including the City of Toronto - that from now on they must deal with their own waste within their own borders, as do cities like Halifax, NS?

This would mean Toronto needs a space the size of the Oxford dump or the Greenway Landfill combined that can handle Toronto’s waste for the next 50 years or more. Is there such open land for such a project?

Of course there is: The 600 acres of the former Downsview airforce base is perfect, well located and serviced by highways. That is the next best use for that land.


Brad Harness

Executive Director,

CONSENSUS ONTARIO

THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO IMPROVE OUR ENVIRONMENT

6 February 2020

Government exists to do things that we citizens cannot do as efficiently by ourselves. Providing services like education, health care, defence, and so on. The federal government has the lead responsibility on the environment in this country. Some of it’s key initiatives, notably the carbon tax, simply won’t make much of a difference to environmental quality.


Our Carbon Tax would need to be higher - much higher! - and none of it should need to be rebated to us, if we really expect people to start acting smarter as friends of the environment.


I happen to be one of those people who always has taken into account fuel economy when I purchase a vehicle. Many people don’t. They buy a flashy vehicle that stirs them emotionally. It is time to start using our brains a bit more folks.


The practical things to improve our environment that the federal government could implement are many. 


Building: Reduce the use of carbon-based fuels: This can be achieved in several ways. First, improving home heating efficiency means using less fuel. Window and door retrofit programmes, improved insulation in buildings and homes. Switching homes from natural gas to electric heat where financially viable, or geothermal heat pumps, and build homes to take advantage of the suns natural heating effect on properly designed/oriented homes and buildings. These changes could be made to new build homes and structures.


Gas Guzzler Vehicle Tax: Adding extra taxes to the vehicles people choose to buy makes these already expensive vehicles even more so. Another option would be to add a Fuel Economy Tax on vehicles with, say, fuel economy of 9.0L/100km or more.


Electricity: Reducing the use of electricity by constructing homes and buildings with more windows and skylights. Timers could be mandatory in all new builds so that when people leave rooms and leave the lights and electricity running, it would shut off at some pre-set point. All new buildings should generate their own electricity using solar shingles - thus adding no new demands on the electrical grid. These things could be made to happen through changes to the provincial building codes.


Transit: Why not reward people for using public transit? It means they are supporting the system with their money and also keeping their personal vehicle off the roads, thus reducing traffic, reducing road wear and tear (and therefore reducing the need for road maintenance) and they are increasing road safety.


Where people choose to live: How about rewarding people who live close to their workplace? They’d be driving - and polluting - less.

Vehicles: How about rewarding people who purchase fuel-efficient gasoline or diesel vehicles? How about rewarding purchasers of electric vehicles?


Carrot Policies Better Than Stick Policies: To add a Carbon tax to the price of fuel at the pumps, just to give it all back - and more! - will never change anybody’s behaviour in terms of driving too much, driving fast and consuming more fuel than necessary, and driving gas-guzzlers, such as pickup trucks and sports cars.  


My choice would be that instead of using the Stick with people, let’s use the Carrot: Rewards are a more positive way of modifying behaviour, as Pavlov discovered long ago.


All of these ideas are better than what the Federal Liberal Government has laid out to improve our environment.


Brad Harness

Executive Director,

CONSENSUS ONTARIO





LOCAL - NOT PROVINCE-WIDE - CONTRACTING BETTER FOR OUR SCHOOLS

6 February 2020

   Teacher’s strike: Whatcha gonna do? It seems that every few years out they go, hitting the picket lines. The easy solution is this: A referendum asking voters if they will pay higher taxes to pump more money into the education system (keep in mind 85% of school board budgets are wages, salaries and benefits). If voters agree, then alright. And if they disagree, then alright, too.


   We can always say “It’s for the children” if that makes the participants feel better about the disruption school worker strikes cause to the students’ educations, to families, and to government finances.


Keep in mind the provincial government does not have more money, in fact, it already overspends by about $9-billion per year. So if we all agree to pump more money into the system, it has to come from somewhere, right? Hence, higher taxes.


   This reality is true for every single person employed by the taxpayer at all levels of government and their agencies in Canada. I feel that sometimes public sector workers - including teachers - miss this reality.

   If we were to start an education system from scratch, we’d probably keep it as small, simple, and localized as possible to ensure affordability and accountability. Ontario’s earliest schools happened into existence in this fashion before they were pulled under an ever-expansive larger system, into boards, and then the buck was kicked up the chain to the province to sort out province-wide contracts with workers unions. This has led to major labour and political struggles. Were we to create that local school from scratch, each school would have its money from local taxes. That would be the school’s total budget available for all costs, including salaries of teachers and school staff. The number of employees would sensibly be kept to a minimum to ensure affordability into the future. 


   This would mean that each employee’s position would have a pay cheque attached to it for the upcoming year. It would be open to applications from those interested in filling it. Applicants would be interviewed and a hiring committee of parents and the principal would make their selections, offering teaching and non-teaching positions to the chosen few. Those applicants do not need to accept the job if they don’t like the pay, the benefits, the hours, the after class hours, the vacation days, the curriculum, the class size, and so on. 


   There are always others willing to fill these spots and accept the terms offered. Unlike doctors, there is no shortage of teachers seeking work.


Brad Harness

Executive Director,

CONSENSUS ONTARIO



MORE EXAMPLES OF PUBLIC POLICY DECISIONS FALLING VICTIM TO PARTIES FISHING FOR VOTES

11 October 2019

What a difference a year makes!

Doug Ford has managed to lose whatever hope he may have generated - during the election to get rid of Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals - and fell to third place behind the NDP and Liberals. Now he is tied with the NDP after his education minister managed to prevent a province-wide school strike by CUPE. No doubt that was at the insistence of the federal Conservatives to not rock the boat during the election campaign. Isn't party politics silly?


The Ontario Liberals have done nothing to rebound in the polls other than pick an interim leader who remains quiet. Their leadership race will revv up after the federal vote is concluded.


The NDP as expected backed CUPE over the strike. Much of that centered around job cuts and sick days for CUPE workers, among whom the Education Minister says absenteeism is a growing problem for schools. The NDP seeking votes supports the unions even if the problem is legitamate and needs to be addressed. 


The PCs leave it alone and give in to all the unions demands - so as to recover in the public opinion polls and also so as not to hurt Andrew Scheer's chances in Ontario. So that absenteeism problem along with the need to reduce personnel costs in the education system both remain unsolved, courtesy of party politics.


Just another example of why party-less politics is a far better way for the future of Ontario & Canada.

Brad Harness

Executive Director,

CONSENSUS ONTARIO



CABINET SHUFFLE SAME-OLD GAME OF PARTISAN-POLITICS RATHER THAN GIVING VOTERS WHAT THEY WANT: PROPER REPRESENTATION

14 June 2019

Each party in power gets to the point where they need to form government…and then reshuffle the deck.

The reshuffling this month by the Doug Ford PC’s is all about responding to a quick and sharp drop of the PC Party in public opinion polls. That is what partisan politics does to politicians – it makes them worry about re-election.

But that is precisely what is wrong with party politics. It wraps up many important issues and priorities into take-it-or-leave-it big packages of policies. Rarely do voters like all the policies a party has to offer. Often they get frustrated by the inability to get politicians and parties to listen to their concerns.

And if it’s their elected representative who is really just representing the party’s interests to the riding’s voters, how is that a good example of democratic representation?

Under Consensus Government, all MPPs are equal and not tied to any party. Their sacred duty is to represent their ridings interests. Consensus Government itself is composed of cabinet ministers and a premier chosen – by consensus – of their fellow MPPs at Queen’s Park. This Government governs only so long as they maintain the confidence of their fellow MPPs. If they lose that confidence, they are replaced and governing proceeds anew. A far better system, than a party-based system where every move, every consideration and promise is merely a vote-buying effort. That is not how democratic representation and government is supposed to be. Ask those around you which system they would prefer: I wager the majority will pick Consensus Government over today’s partisan politics!

Brad Harness

Executive Director, 

CONSENSUS ONTARIO



CONSENSUS ONTARIO BOARD OPTS TO START BUILDING TOWARDS 2022 ELECTION & BY-ELECTIONS


Consensus Ontario's Board of Directors held it's first post-election meeting in Barrie on 23 June to review our individual campaign experiences and lessons learned.  It was well-attended and provided a great opportunity to reconnect organizers and candidates, and to chart the course for the next year, and the next four years, when the 2022 general election will take place.   


It was decided that Consensus Ontario will field a minimum of 62 candidates in that 2022 election. We now have time for well-crafted organizing, voter education, and fund-raising campaigns to assist us in our outreach work around the province. 


I invite all voters who are curious about Consensus Ontario and Consensus Government to read our webpage entitled 'How Consensus Government Would Work', as well as to contact us to ask questions, get answers,  and hopefully join your local Consensus Team in your riding.


Brad Harness

Executive Director, CONSENSUS ONTARIO

The Big Reveal

Unhappy with Ontario politics?  

Then 2017/18 is your lucky year...

CONSENSUS ONTARIO'S FIRST PROVINCIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN IS COMPLETE

 

The very significant 2018 Ontario general election has come to an end and we have a new PC majority government headed by Doug Ford. The Official Opposition is the diametrically opposed NDP caucus led by Andrea Horvath. It will be four years of potentially extreme right-wing views being rammed through the Ontario Legislature, with nothing to stop it but the opposite views of the Socialists. The Liberals, who played to the left this year, are now a small rump of a party that has lost its leader and its research money becomes just another minor party on Ontario.


As leader of Consensus Ontario I am very proud of what our small team of dedicated believers have been able to achieve in such a short period of time: Registering the party, recruiting and fielding candidates who ran excellent initial campaigns in their ridings, and putting together a party platform, campaign materials, and so on...on a shoe-strong budget. We received some excellent media coverage and will work to further the public's awareness of who we are. We were able to place 9th overall in the province among a field of 28 parties. Not bad for a first try, eh? We edged out the much older Freedom Party of Ontario in votes received.


We all have wonderful tales of curious, surprised and thoroughly happy voters we spoke with on the campaign trail who simply love the idea bringing Consensus Government to Ontario. They know voters did not have much to choose between in this election: Bad...or worse?

Consensus Ontario's Board of Directors will be meeting in Barrie on 23 June to review our individual campaign experiences and lessons learned, and to chart the course for the next year, and the next four years, when the 2022 general election will take place. Consensus Ontario will field 62 candidates in that election. We now have time for a serious organizing and fund-raising campaigns to assist us in our outreach work around the province.


The response we have received has been one of curiousity, hope, and support. Six out of 10 voters at the door say they love CONSENSUS ONTARIO's push to get rid of all parties in Ontario and replacing them with only Independent MPPs, properly representing the majority view in your riding, issue by issue...this system is called Consensus Government, and it is not new to Canada, being in use in our northern territories for over 100 years now.


Our policy positions have been crafted to meet the random voter priorities that we identified in 2016 and 2017 as we surveyed random voters in random ridings around the province. Please read our Election Platform page. For more indepth policy details, please visit the Our Policy and Policy Discussions pages on this website.


I, along with the rest of our candidates and party members, welcome your participation in our new party, the party to end all parties, so please join and get active in your riding... donate to our party, too, to help fund this worthwhile change in Ontario politics.


Thanks to all who voted for our candidates and spoke so nicely to our candidates at their front doors.


Brad Harness

Executive Director, CONSENSUS ONTARIO

Riding by riding surveys get at your real priorities

ONTARIO - The riding survey work began in May 2016.  The survey includes asking random, ordinary voters - who live in the riding - which of the province’s 43 responsibilities they care about. In this way, the surveyor is able to rank the voter’s priorities. The survey takes about 10-15 minutes and the goal is to produce a ranked list of the Top 15 priorities for that voter in that riding.


Additional voters in the same riding are surveyed, of course, and then a Riding Priority List is compiled. That riding list is then used later by the party to craft its province-wide Provincial Priorities List, which compiles  the riding priorities lists from the other ridings in Ontario.

This survey work is an annual event for Consensus Ontario, and is considered vital, as it is at the very heart of true representation, ensuring government does those things voters care about and really want done.

Consensus Ontario policies

***BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE "OUR POLICY" PAGE ON THIS WEBSITE***

ONTARIO - The Provincial Priorities List created through the riding by riding surveys each year is an important tool for Consensus Ontario. It is what determines where party and candidate/MPP’s efforts must be focused.  The Riding Priority List is what determines how a Consensus Ontario MPP will vote on each issue - truly representing the majority view in their riding.


As it is an annual survey, it is fully expected that the priorities of Ontario voters may - and likely will - change over time. That is why it is done each year, to ensure we are plugged into what is important to Ontarians. Parties that are out of step with voters can expect to be judged harshly at election time...and rightly so!


Government exists to do those things with voters cannot efficiently and economically do for themselves. That does not mean doing everything for voters, but rather, just certain specific things where government could do it better and more cost-effectively.  Hence, the survey work to identify those priorities people want their provincial government to be involved with.


Once those priorities are identified, then it is time to create the policies which Consensus Ontario believes are the best way to implement each priority and make it a reality for voters.  Party riding delegates form working groups that are tasked with developing detailed policy for each priority identified by you, the voter.


Based on the initial riding survey work, priorities for voters so far seem to focus on the expected issues of electricity, health care, education, transportation, and housing. Policies to address these priorities will  include a standardized electricity rate in lieu of time of day charges; an increase in preventative health care to reduce health care costs in the mid- to long-term; a revision of the school curriculum to focus on identified short-comings, a back-to-basics curriculum, and a breaking up of large school boards; an emphasis on ways to improve highway traffic and safety and improve the commuter experience - including transit systems and high-speed rail for both passengers and freight; and measures to make housing more affordable to both middle and low-income Ontarians.

See What People Are Saying:

"Consensus Ontario is an idea whose time has come!"

Calling All Ontarians Who Long For Real Change!

We are open to new members and new candidates.  Persons interested in this bold & fresh idea for Ontario politics & government - and who would like to run as the Consensus Ontario candidate in their riding in the 2022 election - should contact us using the form below.

Consensus Ontario will be successful only through the outreach efforts by our candidates in your ridings right across Ontario.  Those efforts are now underway.  Join today to help Build A Better Ontario.

Contact Us

You have nothing to lose:  Contact us today  and ask whatever questions are on your mind.  Share your comments with us.  Better still, join us as a member of Consensus Ontario.    


To become a member, SIMPLY email us with the names and addresses of those who wish to become members of Consensus Ontario.  You can also post us that same information in the snail mail and send it to:


CONSENSUS ONTARIO Association

MEMBERSHIPS

446 Base Line Road East,

London, Ontario

N6C 2P6

***Be sure to include your full mailing address as well as the names of all of the voters in your household 16 years of age and older whom you wish to be registered as Consensus Ontario members.

New members/households will receive a welcome letter and membership card (s). 


Membership entitles you to:

a. Run as the Consensus Ontario candidate at election time;

b. participate in our annual priority surveys;

c. do volunteer work for the association to organize;

d. nominate your riding's Consensus Ontario candidate;

e. help develop our policy from priorities identified; and,

f. receive our association newsletter each season.



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