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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

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

6 December 2019

   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


FILLING JUDGE VACANCIES WILL

DELIVER JUSTICE FOR ALL 

26 November 2019

I believe it is safe to say that all of us would prefer to have no involvement in the court system ourselves. But we do expect there be a court system, that it be fair and that it upholds whatever laws are currently in place - otherwise why have such laws?

Ontario’s legal system is changing somewhat on New Year’s Day. Announced last month, Ontario Small Claims Court is being tweaked again, allowing for matters worth $35,000 or less being something which can be taken to small claims court. It also allows people to seek justice by using cheap legal representation (paralegals, law students, or self-representation). It is hoped this will allow disputes of this dollar amount to be settled more quickly rather than taking years as is now often the case.

The Ontario Attorney-General Doug Downey, the cabinet minister responsible for the province’s legal system, announced this month that he wants to change the way judges are appointed in Ontario.

The court system in all provinces is split in two, with a higher level for more serious matters controlled by the federal government (who appoint those judges), while the lower level is for less serious matters and is controlled by each provincial government(who appoint those judges). Judges run the proceedings, ensuring the laws are upheld, and deal with any questions of unfairness in their cases they are trying.

Downey told a legal conference in Toronto that the province appoints judges and justices of the peace, saying the process is subjective, fraught with delays and leaves too many qualified lawyers out of the running.

However, those - including the fellow who designed the currently used appointment system back in the 1980s - worry that the PC Government’s push for changes has more to do with getting more conservative judges on the bench rather than about providing an array of judges which better reflect the gender, racial and cultural makeup of Ontario.

Downey does not like the fact that the judicial appointments advisory committee - which screens applicants who want to be judges - ends up recommending only two names, and that all of the work screening the other names is wasted. He would like more names brought to him than just two so he has some room to maneouvre with his appointment choices. He also says the appointment process - paper-based an very slow - needs modernization.

What is imperative is that there are enough judges working in our court system so that every person charged and on trial is given their day in court, and that it is done in a timely manner.

Charges dropped due to unreasonable delay is not doing our justice system any good, and there have been calls to fill vacant judgeships in order to clear up judicial backlogues. Perhaps the advisory committee can make recommendations more often, to fill more vacancies?


Brad Harness

Executive Director,

CONSENSUS ONTARIO



ONTARIO'S SAD FINANCIAL SITUATION

CAN ONLY BE FIXED ONE WAY

7 November 2019

    Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement - a.k.a. mini-budget - was released at Queen’s Park yesterday.

    What we have learned is that the PC government of Doug Ford has rapidly rolled back much of their agenda, and according to their Finance Minister Rod Phillips, has increased spending over last year’s Liberal amounts. There is an additional $1.3-billion in spending, much to fund backtracks on policy changes and cuts that caused the government major trouble in 2019.

The PCs claim that Ontario’s Auditor General declined to agree with the Liberals last three budgets, as they were not considered accurate reflections of the province’s finances. They also says that the Auditor General has signed off on the PC’s 2019 fall mini-budget.

    The PC’s overstated the provincial deficit during last June’s election. That was their authority to charge ahead with cuts here and there, cuts which after much upset among various sectors of Ontario society have since been cancelled.

    Now the next day, the Quebec government released it’s Fall Economic Statement, too, and announced more money for families as well as a $1.4-billion budget surplus. Their economic statement advances by two years a promised increase in family allowances, giving nearly 679,000 Quebec families an average of $779 more a year beginning in January. Quebec is also cancelling extra payments wealthier families had to pay for subsidized daycare spots, making the change retroactive to New Year’s Day 2019. All parents, regardless of income, will pay $8.25 per child per day for daycare. This represents an average savings of $1,100 a year for 140,000 families.

    Quebec is also repaying its provincial debt, something Ontario can only dream of doing. Ontario spends $13-billion on interest on its huge provincial debt every year.  Why is Ontario struggling so much with its finances?

    Any financial planner worth their salt will tell you the very first step in improving your finances is to figure out what you are spending, on what, why, and consider whether you need to continue with each expense or not. The Chretien Liberals federally had Finance Minister Paul Martin spend 18 months conducting a very thorough item by item, employee by employee review of federal spending in the early 1990s. It resulted in smarter spending and a reduction of about 10% in federal spending which the review was able to show was not really needed any more. Dropped were older programmes that had simply been carried on by staffers who kept requesting money and employees to deliver questionable programmes.

    This sort of thorough review is the way to get Ontario back onto the long road to financial health. It should be started now and report back in 18 months. In the mean time, government spending can be capped at 2019 levels for the next two years so as not to worsen things.


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

ONTARIANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING 

AROUND THE PROVINCE

14 May 2019

      Fly, take a ferry, drive, walk, bike, take a bus, streetcar or a taxi - an Uber even - or travel on a train or the subway and you will hear your fellow Ontarians sharing their views about Transportation.  For the majority it is a discussion about commuting between home and work on a daily basis.  What is the fastest way? What is the most comfortable way? What is the most efficient way? What is the most affordable way to get around living here in Ontario?

     Urbanites have more choices.  Rural residents considerably fewer.  Are we trying to get from town A to Village B?  Are we trying to get from the suburbs into the downtown core?   

  Clearly, regional transportation systems allow us to leave the car at home for some or all of the trip.  Integration of local transit systems into a seamless provincial network makes sense to a lot of people, especially in the Greater Toronto Area.

   For those living in places like London, Kingston, Ottawa or Sudbury, it is about highways.  The province must maintain top-quality highways to serve the millions of Ontarians who live in places such as these.  Even in smaller centres like Brockville, Pembroke, Sarnia, Welland, Milton and Sault Ste. Marie, reliable and safe highways get people and goods where they need to go.

   Yes, it would be nice for everyone to get rid of personal vehicles and use public transit but that is simply unrealistic.  What we can do is offer incentives to use transit, incentives to use vehicles that pollute less, incentives for people to live closer to their place of work so that they place less strain on provincial transportation systems.

   As for highway speeds, raising these to 120km/hr makes sense as most traffic on the province's 400-series highways travel at least at 120 km/hr most of the time (in good weather).  On smaller provincial highways (such as Hwy.7 between London and Stratford) having an 80 km/hr limit and a solid line simply encourages drivers to pass in order to go faster. Lets up the limit and reduce the need to pass, especially in unsafe areas of the smaller highways.  

    Having police stop drivers for exceeding a lower speed limit by small amounts is poor use of expensive police time.  Police should tackle unsafe drivers - we all agree with that!  This means impaired by alcohol or drugs, and it also means drivers going 50km/hr over the posted limit, as well as drivers weaving in and out of traffic.

   Finally, lets take a serious look at high-speed rail and how it can be implemented without requiring additional farmland to put together a route. Ideally such rail lines should run along existing 400-series highways.  And they should incorporate passengers as well as freight to ensure financial viability.  This would mean building stations for both in key destination cities.  The more transport trucks we can get off our 400-series highways the less pollution and the safer the roads will be.   Fewer drivers will be needed (there is a significant driver shortage already and that will only get worse in the future) and their surfaces and subsurface structure will last longer and need fewer repairs and less future widenings.   

 

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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