Tuesday, April 6, 2010

February Ontario Provincial Poll

My apologies for missing this Nanos poll from the beginning of February, but better late than never.This poll shows that the race between the Ontario provincial Liberals are maintaining a small lead over the Progressive Conservatives. The gap is only 3.5 points (41.4% to 37.9%), less than the margin of error. But this is also what we've been seeing since November 2009.

The last Ontario poll I have is an Ipsos-Reid poll, taken in mid-December. In that poll, the Liberals led the Progressive Conservatives 38% to 34%. The previous Nanos poll, taken in November, showed a gap of only two points, 37% to 35%. So, clearly, the two parties are neck and neck and have been for months - but still Dalton McGuinty is ahead.

The New Democrats seem to be struggling. They had 17% in that November 2009 Nanos poll, were at 15% in that December Ipsos-Reid poll, and are now at 12.8%. The federal NDP is not going badly in the province, so this could be statistical noise.

Unless something catastrophic happens in the provincial legislative assembly, there is still 19 months until the next campaign in the province. Maintaining this small lead for that period of time may be enough - McGuinty would likely have an advantage over campaign-rookie Tim Hudak.


  1. In essence it will all depend on the provincial economy. If it grows over the next 12-18 months then McSquinty will probably get back in.

    Stays poor and there will be a tougher fight at the polls.

  2. I don't hear too much about Horwath in the papers, but I do hear a lot about Mike Harris 2.0. Perhaps NDP voters are rallying with the LPO in fear?

  3. Éric: Unless McGuinty decides to go to an early election, there is still 19 months until the next campaign in the province.

    He can't do that. He's not Stephen Harper. The next Ontario provincial election day will be on or no more than a week before Thursday, October 13, 2011, as specified by the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005.

    [The more detailed version: the legislation allows the date to be shifted to avoid religious holidays. The first day of Sukkot starts the evening before the 13th and Yom Kippur is October 8th. Therefore, the date may be adjusted to the earliest possible date of Thursday, October 6th. Tuesday October 11th is also a possibility, but it's the first day after Thanksgiving weekend. The Christian, Muslim and Buddhist calendars are clear in early October 2011. The Hindu festival of Dussehra may or may not be on October 6th and the Hindu community as well as the politicians may or may not care.]

    Dalton McGuinty could theoretically use his majority to repeal the fixed-date legislation and hold a snap election earlier. Other major considerations aside, he doesn't do that kind of thing. I don't like him but I do respect him.

  4. kevinsutton,

    That's a possibility. It happened in 2003 and 1999, so much so that the NDP had to specifically campaign against it in 2007.

    However, I think the fact is that, well, McGuinty just isn't that bad of a Premier. Despite everyone's wailings, including my own, he's really not done too much harm. He's got a competent cabinet, he's got good initiatives, and he can get stuff done. Charismatic? Definitely not. But under his premiership, quite a lot has happened, and most of it good.

    Tim Hudak? Andrea Horwath? They don't have a chance. Neither are known and neither are accomplished. Neither know what the heck they want to do. Neither can really rally the troops. I remember that during a rally in Hamilton, one of the NDP speakers slipped up and called Horwath "Hampton," as in, Howard Hampton, the old NDP leader. This is in Hamilton too!

    No, it'll be a third McGuinty government, guaranteed.

  5. John,

    Thanks, corrected.

  6. Volkov I've supported McGuinty since he became leader. I can't see myself voting for him this time.

    Here's what he's done to change my mind:

    Mishandled the land dispute at Caladonia. Now giving Ipperwash PP to the natives.

    Green iniatives costing Ontario taxpayers billions. Latest example is the deal with Samsung. We should be buying reliable clean hydro power from PQ and MB and building the grid to get the power to SO. Also we have hydro-electic possibilities of our own in the north. Why not develop those?

    The HST.

    The lack of action on the provincial deficit. Dalton Days would have been a good idea. If needed use the not withstanding clause. Cut all non essential spending. We can't build up the debt the Liberals predict.

    There are other small things as well.

    I may choose not to vote but I'm really unhappy with McGuinty!

  7. Earl,

    Fair enough, but really, compare that to what he has done. With education he's done quite a lot, with the deals with the teachers unions, the pre-K daycare, the curriculum initiatives, the upgrades to schools, etc. He's done well with finances, and I thought the budget was quite well done except for the entire HST thing, which I'm still on the fence about, though the Chamber of Commerce keeps telling me to support it.

    I mean, he's had faults, to be sure. He's not the best Premier in the history of premiers.. but he isn't bad. He could be worse. And when he does leave, either by losing an election or by resigning, I suspect he'll leave a good legacy behind.

  8. Volkov you seriously think McGuinty has done well with the finances ?

    Leave aside any spending scandals or boondoggles.

    When is the next projected balanced budget ? He's planning to take longer then the feds to return to black isn't he ?

    That's a pretty big debt load to build up and a long, long time to return to balance.

    My worry would be that a second dip could take place near the end of that time range. Basically permanent deficits.

    Next year's budget should take more aggressive steps to reign in spending and shorten that time frame.

    Although if an election is coming such a politically unpopular move seems likely.

  9. McGuinty using a spending 'freeze' to reduce the deficit same as Harper is doing. The Prov. Liberals are also trying to lower drug costs further for both the government and private buyers by leaning on the industry and pharmacists.

    I'm divided on McGuinty. I guess I'll vote for him as I think he's better than his opponents, but there are about as many things I don't like about his government as there are things I do like.

    Ontario the province is in a twilight state right now. The auto industry may be recovering faster than expected right now, but manufacturing as a whole in this continent still seems to have a poor future. So I really don't know what anyone intends to do about that.

  10. Volkov I know he's done a lot in restoring the damage that Harris did. I don't like Hudak who is I'm told Harris II and is married to Deb Hutton who ran Harris for several years.

    Never the less I might have to suffer through four years of Hudak to get get some rigor back in government. This green plan is driving me nuts. The mess with the natives is just wrong. Why should they be given a PP that they have no treaty claim too. Finally I'm really concerned with the amount of debt the he is planning on piling up! Really concerned.!!!!

    To be honest although I really don't like the HST I could live with it. I could have accepted that that the Douglas subdivision in Caledonia was an isolated incident. I can not abide the green waste and this deal with Samsung. Also the deal with Ford to pour hundreds of millions into an engine plant in Windsor to build - get this - V8 engines for Mustangs. Most of the auto manufacturing that is being done in Ontario is now specialty vehicles - the Camero, SUVS, and Vans. Only the new Buick Regal which has a 4 cylinder engine is a vehicle that is likely to stand the test of time.

    So although I like McGuinty personally, I've found enough of his actions and policies abhorrent that I don't see going out and voting for him.

  11. Kevin I guess my response to this would be so what?

    "McGuinty using a spending 'freeze' to reduce the deficit same as Harper is doing."

    The goal is a balanced budget in a reasonable time frame. Both fiscal realities are different. Therefore it stands to reason the policy response may be different too.

    A spending freeze works for Harper. It clearly does not work for McGuinty because he's taking longer than Harper to balance the budget.

    Cuts will be needed.

    Or perhaps selling off some crown assets.

    There will probably be more action next spring. HST is enough excitement for one budget.

    Next spring once all the stimulus spending is off the books we'll really know who is and is not serious about fiscal responsibility.

  12. Says a lot that despite the incompetence and bungling of the Liberals, the PCs under the current crop they have still can't get a convincing win.

  13. I rather like the Samsung deal. It jump-starts a new industry in Ontario, one that may allow us to corner the market for our part of North America. A lot of nearby jurisdictions will want to deploy wind power, and this move means Ontario will have manufacturing plants ready to go.

    Trying to grow our own wind power companies would be as dumb as the 1950s moves to try to create our own auto manufacturers. The taxes foreign companies pay are just as good, and worldwide sharing of knowledge benefits everyone.

    Frankly, this a great step for increasing employment and getting back to surplus budgets.

  14. Earl: The mess with the natives is just wrong. Why should they be given [Ipperwash Provincial Park] that they have no treaty claim too.

    One could also ask why the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation's Camp Ipperwash was taken away from them for two thirds of a century, despite their continuous requests to have it returned as promised.

    Some background: the Stoney Point Reserve was originally aboriginal property. An area of 56 hectares were purchased by the Ontario Government in 1932 and became Ipperwash Provincial Park in 1936.

    The 895 hectares of Camp Ipperwash was expropriated in 1942 under the War Measures Act with the assurance that it would be returned after the war ended. In 1945 the Kettle and Stoney Point band asked for it back. The feds had other ideas. The culmination of this frustration was the Ipperwash Crisis of 1995 in which Acting Sergeant Ken Deane of the Ontario Provincial Police shot and killed Dudley George, an unarmed protestor. In the subsequent inquiry, the then-Attorney General testified that Premier Mike Harris shouted, "I want the fucking Indians out of the park" (meaning Camp Ipperwash). Reasoned negotiation did not appear to be uppermost in his mind before the killing. The police clearly went in looking for trouble.

    After that, cooler heads prevailed. Camp Ipperwash is being returned to its rightful owners in a rather slow process. The sands conceal an unknown quantity of unexploded ordnance and possibly fragile ecosystems. The feds are working with the band to transfer control in a physically and environmentally safe manner.

    At the instigation of Dalton McGuinty, the province is in the process of handing over the original Ipperwash Provincial Park as well. This is indeed going beyond the letter of the law.

    Is handing over 56 park hectares reasonable compensation for 60 years of violating a hand-back agreement and salting 895 Camp Ipperwash hectares with things that didn't go bang? That's a matter over which reasonable people may differ. I'm willing to go along with Dalton on this one myself. He's trying to undo the poisoning of the Mad Mike years and the fallout from the death of Dudley George. That's no small task.

  15. leonsp

    "I rather like the Samsung deal. It jump-starts a new industry in Ontario,"

    The problem with wind are two fold. One it isn't as reliable as other forms and two it is noisy and dangerous for birds.

    So yes it is a good thrust but let's not put all our eggs in this one basket. We should be, and to a certain extent are, doing solar as well. We have firms here that can make solar panels and a couple of specialist companies so lets not forget that.

  16. "The problem with wind are two fold. One it isn't as reliable as other forms and two it is noisy and dangerous for birds."

    Dangerous for birds? I laugh every time I hear this argument against relatively clean wind power.

    Yes, let's keep relying on coal and killing everyone - including birds - slowly.

    Also, I love how these supposed bird lovers come out of the woodwork when wind power is mentioned, but are mum when it comes to bird deaths related to the mining of oil:

    "The Syncrude tailings pond in northern Alberta — where hundreds of ducks died after landing on the bitumen-covered body of water — violates a federal law designed to protect migratory birds, an Environment Canada officer told an Alberta court Tuesday.

    Kristopher Dirks also said that until this case, no charges have been pursued against Syncrude Canada Ltd., for the handful of reported waterfowl deaths that occurred on its tailings ponds every year for the past 20 years.


    Initially, 500 waterfowl were estimated to have died on the pond that contains industrial waste from the oilsands. But the death tally mounted and Dirks testified that one month after the incident, Syncrude staff contacted him for help to deal with the more than 800 dead birds that were piling up in the company’s freezers."


  17. SK
    "Dangerous for birds? I laugh every time I hear this argument against relatively clean wind power.

    Yes but in this integrated biosphere we live in do you really want to remove a key component ??

    The real thing about wind is the noise factor. People do NOT want wind farms near them. That's a known factor even in Europe where they are more common.

  18. The $437 Million subsidy provided by the Ontario government in the Samsung deal will result in exactly 1440 permanent jobs in manufacturing facilities to be constructed for Samsung. The government also expects that another 700 jobs will be created at parts plants not owned by the consortium.

    The 1440 jobs will be created at a subsidy of $303,000 per job. If the other 700 jobs materialize the subsidy will drop to $204,000 per permanent job. The Ontario government estimates that up to 16,000 jobs will created during the construction of the factories and wind and solar farms. Most of those jobs are obviously temporary. The problem with wind power is that it can not be relied upon and secondary generating capacity has to be available for wind power to work. Since Ontario claims its coal fired plants will be shuttered by 2014 this will mean that expensive gas powered plants will need to be on standby. In effect the taxpayers of Ontario will be paying twice for the same generating capacity.

    Finally the 100 mw of solar power will take prime farmland out of production creating the conundrum of how much fossil fuel energy will be required to transport lost food production so that "green" energy can be produced.

    This is a boondoggle of the first measure!



  19. SK the wind power you're supporting in Ontario kills more birds than you can imagine.

    Because wind power is spotty Ontario has to rely on coal and gas fired plants as secondary sources.

    Aren't those the exact same sources wind power was supposed to replace ?

    Maybe building an energy grid around a resource that periodically stops producing is kinda silly, no ?

    Nuclear and hydro provide a far more stable output then wind and solar.

    They can actually truly replace gas and coal.

    Anyone who supports wind and solar by definition is supporting bird killing gas and coal.

  20. "Nuclear and hydro provide a far more stable output then wind and solar. "

    Nuclear has that one major drawback, what do you do with the waste?? We still haven't come up with a safe storage system, remembering the half-life on some of this waste is in the thousands of years.

    Hydro is the one place we haven't put nearly enough emphasis. There are literally thousands of small dams and waterfalls in this province and nobody wants to use them. Meanwhile there is a firm in Almonte making a nice business out of producing small scale power plants for third world countries that run on really low heads and are reliable and cheap.

  21. Peter totally agree with your point about small hydro electric plants. Indeed many of them like the one at Lake Eugenia were deliberately allowed to rot away. Bad idea and one that continues to be ignored.

    There are big possibilities as well in our North just as Quebec has built major power plants in the James Bay region.

  22. Shadow: SK the wind power you're supporting in Ontario kills more birds than you can imagine.

    Would you care to quantify that with a reliable reference, or better yet, set of references?

    Maybe building an energy grid around a resource that periodically stops producing is kinda silly, no ?

    No. Not if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions by running the peaker plants (i.e., the backup units) for the minimum possible time.

  23. Peter they're building new plants in Europe that run off nuclear waste.

    Bill Gates has gotten interested in the industry. As technology advances they're able to extract more and more power and create less waste.

    And by definition that waste is less radioactive/harmful and in small quantities.

  24. John I can't quantify that but it logically follows.

    If SK is worried about birds dying of emmisions from coal and gas fired plants then he should know that wind power requires them to run.

    "No. Not if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions by running the peaker plants (i.e., the backup units) for the minimum possible time."

    Why run them at all ? Why not completely stop gas and coal and replace it with hydro and nuclear ?

    Look at this and then tell me wind power is great:


    You may enjoy this blog:



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