This snowy morning's headlines: ranked ballots may be coming to Ontario, Kathleen Wynne promises to meet with the other party leaders about political fundraising, a dramatic shift is underway for Mississauga's transit system, and The Weeknd takes the Junos by storm.
The Toronto Star has reported that Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ted McKeekin, will make public today legislation to allow municipalities to offer ranked ballots for council elections. The legislation will allow for the new ballots by 2018. Proponents say ranked ballots offer a more democratic approach to voting than the first-past-the-post system currently favoured in Canadian elections at all levels, because the process takes into account a voter’s preference for several candidates and how the voter prioritizes them. Toronto City Council in 2013 reversed an earlier decision to ask the provincial government permission for this very thing.
Premier Kathleen Wynne has agreed to meet with both opposition party leaders for their input on rules surrounding political fundraising, which has raised eyebrows and attracted intense scrutiny this week. Both Patrick Brown of the Progressive Conservatives and Andrea Horwath of the NDP have heaped scorn on the Liberal Party, and said they don’t trust the Liberals to reform the rules on their own. Wynne has committed to allowing both Brown and Horwath time, after they meet, to discuss within their parties and come back to the premier with suggestions for new rules on the subject of donations and fundraising.
Mississauga is undertaking a radical restructuring of its transit system in order to become competitive with cars in the near future. What is currently a slow-moving, meandering system that takes a huge chunk of time to move riders across the city will, beginning April 11, shift from something that “looks like somebody dropped a bunch of spaghetti on the table,” according to transit director Geoff Marinoff, to a more streamlined grid system. That will allow buses to complete routes faster, responding to another concern of potential transit customers. Oakville’s recent transit transformation is a point of aspiration for the Mississauga group: after retooling routes to run along major city arteries rather than just cater to GO stations, the system saw 32 consecutive months of ridership growth.
The Weeknd took home five Junos Sunday evening, including for album and single of the year. He was up against Drake, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Jean Leloup for Album of the Year. Brampton native Alessia Cara won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award.