To Mr. Bertram and any other Conservative voter now questioning that voting choice due to the unilateral decision to locate a jail in Kemptville: What did you expect? This is a Conservative government led by a Ford.
Everyone knew that Premier Ford would immediately start to dismantle environmental protections in Ontario under the guise of business promotion, and this he has done with little or no public consultation. He weakened policies intended to curb urban sprawl and to promote well-planned efficient land use.
He undermined long-term planning based on accurate population and employment projections.
He’s making changes to favour the aggregate and development industries, and to weaken policies intended to direct growth away from natural areas and farmland.
He limited the ability of Conservation Authorities to protect the environment.
He exempted the forest industry from any need to observe species-at-risk legislation, or to do any environmental assessments, and is allowing the harvest of old-growth trees, despite a lack of data on how many of these trees remain.
Now he’s launching another attack on Conservation Authorities and burying it in a budget bill, thereby exempting it from the Environmental Bill of Rights and ensuring no public consultation.
Why should a decision on the location of a jail be any different?
Now there’s another reason to never vote Conservative: Along with “A Conservative government won’t protect the environment and won’t do anything about climate change”, now there’s “A Conservative government won’t engage in meaningful public consultation”.
If you want another reason why Ford chose Kemptville for the jail, maybe it’s because he knows that, no matter what he does or says, it’s a safe seat, as many people here will continue to vote Conservative.
He’s probably right.
Stew Hamill, Merrickville