/Look alive, Ontario

Look alive, Ontario

By Sue Tiffin

“So, who do you think is going to come in second in the election?” is a question I recently heard and one that might have been on your mind during this provincial election campaign, too. 

Projections have forecast a majority for Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives as the most likely outcome of this week’s provincial election though some tight races throughout the province could see the Liberal or NDP candidate – or the Green, in Parry Sound-Muskoka – take the riding.  

June 2 will mark the end of a somewhat lackadaisical election campaign, one in which PC candidates were criticized for not even showing up to all-candidates debates – more than 20 did not participate in 34 local debates according to media reports, including Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock candidate Laurie Scott  – and NDP and Liberals faced heat for not collaborating to unseat Ford.

Advocates and organizers, however, have continued fighting. We’ve heard that this election is dire for those who care about the current state and future of healthcare, education, the level of funding to the Ontario Disability Support Program, the affordability crisis, climate change, available housing, and as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act deadline for the province to be fully accessible by 2025 approaches. If something there doesn’t affect you or someone you love, it will one day – perhaps in the next four years, and is worth showing up for with your vote. 

Pandemic fatigue, or emotional, intellectual and physical exhaustion after the strain of the past two years might have left some voters from caring about this election cycle, instead focusing on the day-to-day struggle of living and just getting by – but a vote in support of those who have made comprehensive pledges and specific goals in finding solutions for those issues will help in the long-run. 

And Ontario is voting – preliminary figures released by Elections Ontario on Monday show that more than one million Ontario residents, about 10 per cent of eligible voters, have cast ballots during the 10-day advance voting period. In 2018, about seven per cent of eligible voters did the same during a five-day advance voting period. The deadline to vote by mail has passed but those who want to vote early can do so locally in-person up until 6 p.m. on June 1. 

It does take some planning and an effort to make the time to vote, no matter how you do it, but here’s hoping more Ontarians than ever will find the energy to do so.  

For more information about casting a ballot on June 2, visit https://www.elections.on.ca/en.html.

In case you missed it: The Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce membership identified five questions to be asked of the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock provincial election candidates ahead of the June 2 election. Responses to those questions from six of the candidates can be found here, at mindentimes.ca