Ontario is located in Canada and it is the second biggest province in the country, as it’s larger than 1 million square kilometers it’s difficult to imagine how big it actually is, but this one province in Canada is larger than the countries of France and Spain combined. It is also the most populated area of Canada thanks to the manageable climate there, over 35% of the Canadian population resides here. It is also in a great location as it borders the US and has many of Canada’s most famous attractions like the CN Tower. It is also a progressive city that is often referred to as being ahead of its time when it comes to its politics, there have been some big changes in politics in Ontario lately so if you’re interested to keep on reading to find out what these changes are.
The Ford government is currently in power and therefore in control of what happens in Ontario. The next election in Ontario is scheduled to take place in 2022 and it is likely before the campaigning for this election begins there will be many changes in the rules around campaigning. The legislation that will put these changes in place is being tabled soon and there are as many as 19 possible amendments to Ontario’s Elections Act. One section of the amendments is in relation to financing in politics, currently, the maximum annual donation any political party can receive is $1650 CAD but this amendment would double this to allow maximum yearly donations of $3,300 CAD. The other big finance amendment is that the Ford Government has promised to scrap the tax-payer funded subsidy which costs $13 million and is divided up among the parties based on a number of votes, but now, due to the financial impacts of the coronavirus, they want to extend the subsidy to 2024 instead. Other main changes include giving the chief electoral officer powers to fine citizens for any minor infractions on election laws and doubling the number of advance polling days from 5 to 10.
Ontario had been pretty relaxed on medical marijuana laws, having legalized it 2 decades ago back in 2001. This was progressive at the time and very forward-thinking, many people from abroad were trying to use one of the sites in Ontario where you can buy weed online as medical marijuana was not yet legal where they lived. In 2018 Ontario took the next step and legalized marijuana for recreational use too. Some of the legislation around this has the potential to change this year, luckily it won’t be re-criminalized the changes are much smaller. The 2 main changes are that they may increase the limit of cannabis-infused drinks an individual is allowed to possess as it is currently only at 2.1 liters and allowing producers to add a paragraph on information to help consumers make the right choice, like on bottles of wine for example.
This is an issue that governments worldwide are starting to realize the severity of. Ontario’s government has made promises in relation to climate change before but their aims have not been radical enough and they’ve failed to meet many of their targets. As the citizens of Ontario are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change this is putting pressure on the government to act. Some of the climate change promises we can see from the Ontario government in 2021 include the promise to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and a viable plan on how to achieve this including tax breaks for environmentally friendly companies.