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Ontario under Eves

The Globe and Mail, September 04, 2003

The Tories under Eves

March 23, 2002: Ernie Eves elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. The Tories have been in power under Mike Harris since 1995.

April 19: Ontario court ruling stops the sale of Hydro One to private investors. Mr. Harris had announced the sale in 2001.

April 25: Mr. Eves says that he will go ahead with sale of Hydro One.

May 1: The price of power, capped at 4.3 cents a kilowatt for 10 years, rises.

May 7: Mr. Eves says all options on table for Hydro One's future.

May 9: Throne Speech promises money for education, hospitals.

June 5: Government fires board of directors at Hydro One, including president and CEO Eleanor Clitheroe, after reports of lavish spending.

June 12: Mr. Eves cancels plans to sell all of Hydro One, saying government will retain control and sell up to 49 per cent of its interest.

June 17: Budget delays cuts in personal and corporate taxes, contrary to Tories' Taxpayer Protection Act.

Aug. 17 and 27: Education Minister Elizabeth Witmer announces supervisors will take over the Ottawa-Carleton, Toronto and Hamilton-Wentworth school boards.

Oct. 2: Liberals reveal that tourism minister Cam Jackson billed taxpayers more than $104,000 in sometimes questionable expenses over two years. Mr. Jackson resigns from cabinet.

Nov. 11: Mr. Eves ends experiment with competitive electricity market after consumers revolt over higher prices; caps price at 4.3 cents a kilowatt hour.

Dec. 10: Report on education funding tells government to increase spending on schools by at least $1.8-billion.

Dec. 19: Coroner's jury looking into August, 2001, death of a pregnant woman banned from receiving welfare says government's regulations are too harsh.

Jan. 20, 2003: Mr. Eves announces government will not sell any shares of Hydro One.

March 20: Mr. Eves announces tax credits for parents with children in private schools.

March 26: Mr. Eves declares province-wide health emergency as officials deal with onslaught of severe acute respiratory syndrome.




March 27: Education Minister Janet Ecker produces budget -- at an auto-parts plant -- promising tax breaks for seniors, but critics point to unrealistic assumptions for revenue.

April 29: Mr. Eves announces $128-million SARS recovery plan.

April 30: Throne Speech promises tax cuts, end to mandatory retirement at 65, and training of more doctors and nurses.

May 7: Dominion Bond Rating Service says province is running a deficit of at least $1.9-billion.

May 16: Tory election platform promises tax breaks for mortgage holders, a ban on teachers' strikes and removal of the homeless from streets and parks.

June 5: The Globe and Mail reveals that environment minister Chris Stockwell charged up to $10,000 for a family vacation in Paris to agency under his direction, Ontario Power Generation.

July 25: Integrity Commission criticizes holiday spending. Mr. Stockwell leaves politics.

Aug. 8: Reports say delivering the budget at the auto-parts plant cost taxpayers $206,000.

Aug. 11: The Globe reports Tory cabinet has authorized $800-million in cuts to government spending.

Aug. 14: Blackout. Ontario loses all its electricity. Mr. Eves declares state of emergency.

Aug. 22: State of emergency ends. Tory campaign team orders up the election buses.



Aug. 25: Consumers warned not to eat meat from an Aylmer packing plant under provincial investigation for several weeks.

Aug. 29: Integrity Commissioner finds Cam Jackson's expense claims "reasonable and appropriate."

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