Ontario Liberals have earned re-election

In the upcoming provincial election on Oct. 6, voters will decide whether to place a rubber stamp on the last eight years of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s term or take a chance on a new untested leader of one of the three opposition parties.
Impressed by a strong and proven commitment to post-secondary education and a platform that addresses the long-term interests of the province, The Cord endorses the Ontario Liberal party and local Liberal candidate Eric Davis in Kitchener-Waterloo; McGuinty has earned a third term.

The proposal to cut Ontario tuition by 30 per cent will provide welcome assistance to the province’s students as they seek to finance their education in increasingly difficult economic times. The New Democratic party (NDP) has offered a commendable proposal to freeze tuition for two years. This is a worthy policy but questions arise as to what the NDP’s plans are for post-secondary education after the freeze ends. A $1,600-tuition cut, as the Liberals propose, offers immediate relief.

The Progressive Conservative (PC) policy on post-secondary education is underwhelming. With the elimination of scholarships for foreign students forming the central plank of PC policy, the party seems to be seeking a wedge issue to use with voters instead of providing everyday solutions for Ontario’s students.

As the current PC member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Kitchener-Waterloo, Elizabeth Witmer’s 21 years of service are commendable. However, her tenure as minister of health and minister of education during the years of the Mike Harris and Ernie Eves governments puts a blemish on her record. Ontarians are not ready to return to an era where those key policy portfolios were characterized by detrimental spending cuts.

Kitchener-Waterloo Green party candidate J.D. McGuire has demonstrated an unbecoming lack of knowledge about his party’s platform and in his political views in general. Unable to answer questions at various all-candidates meetings, McGuire is not a viable option for MPP and detracts from any potential benefit of the Green party’s ideas and policies.

It will be difficult to oust a sitting MPP with such an engrained foothold on the riding. Yet, if students turn out and cast their ballots for Davis and the Liberals, a progressive alternative that looks to improve our collective future, we can send a message that we are a generation that believes in the benefits of government, and that we appreciate a party that pays attention to our needs.

Aside from post-secondary policy, the McGuinty Liberals offer a well thought-out and optimistic vision of our province’s future. On health care, the Liberals have committed to continuing the success of the last eight years while introducing new measures such as home care.

With an inspiring commitment to improving our energy policy and our province’s environment, the Liberals have committed unprecedented support to electric vehicles and have expanded GO train service to key parts of the province, including Kitchener.

Our political system unfortunately features the drawback of casting a vote for a local candidate instead of the provincial party. Local Liberal Davis is perhaps not as seasoned as Elizabeth Witmer, with substantially less experience in public life.

He does not share the same eloquence and demonstrative passion for social justice as NDP candidate Isabel Cisterna. He does, however, belong to the party with the best policies for this election, and he shares the Liberals’ commitment to securing a sound and vibrant future for Ontario.

In this election, the Liberals are the only party offering a tangible solution for students and a platform that showcases a viable future for Ontario.

The Cord Editorial Board

How the Cord arrived at the endorsement :
The Cord’s decision to endorse the Liberal party in the provincial election was based on debate and discussion at the Sept. 28 Editorial Board meeting. Each party’s platform was discussed in detail, with Cord staff offering competing viewpoints on the merits and drawbacks of each. A formal vote was held amongst all attending members and ten voted in favour of endorsing the Ontario Liberal party, one voted in favour of endorsing the Ontario NDP and two voted to abstain.