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NEWS: Critical vote in Kitchener-Waterloo today

The Toronto Star reports, “The route to a majority for Premier Dalton McGuinty runs through Kitchener—Waterloo in a high-stakes Thursday byelection being watched closely around the province.” CBC adds, “McGuinty triggered the Kitchener-Waterloo byelection by convincing veteran Progressive Conservative Elizabeth Witmer to give up her seat to become chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The riding is a traditional Tory stronghold — Witmer held it for 22 years — but the NDP has made gains in the area following McGuinty’s move to legislate a wage freeze for teachers. Voters in Kitchener-Waterloo appear to have been turned off by McGuinty’s attempts to get a majority, said Barry Kay, a political science professor at Wilfred Laurier University.”

Last week, the Council of Canadians sent this message to our members, “(Minority governments) are more democratic and cooperative, and tend to produce better and more balanced legislation than majorities. (McGuinty losing his majority in the last provincial election stopped) the most retrograde elements of the Drummond Report and last spring’s budget from passing. The Council is non-partisan and is not affiliated with any political party, nor do we endorse candidates. …We are encouraging voters in these by-elections to vote against a McGuinty majority and for maintaining a minority government at the Ontario legislature. If you have friends or relatives who are also eligible voters in the ridings of Kitchener-Waterloo or Vaughan, please take a moment to encourage them to get out and vote too.”

A recent Forum Research poll places NDP candidate Catherine Fife at 42 per cent, Tory Tracey Weiler and Liberal Eric Davis both at 26 per cent, and Green Stacey Danckert at 6 per cent.