Interesting to read Steve Clark’s explanations regarding the disingenuousness of this provincial government. Let me begin with Hydro rates. He says they haven’t gone up, and that all they are doing is being honest. Fair enough. You may not be paying directly for this subsidy, but they have done nothing about bringing down the high cost of hydro, and have added $231 million to the bill by cancelling wind and solar contracts. So just where do you think this money is coming from to pay for this subsidy? This is a Conservative government, so it obviously is going to come from service cuts. That’s all they know how to do.
As for the suspension of our Environmental Bill of Rights so that this government can cut “red tape,” the “red tape” is there for a reason, to prevent the unbridled destruction of things that many of us care about. This latest cutting of “red tape” has meant the paving over of 3 wetlands in Vaughan, (wetlands are needed for flood control, but then, Ford cut the Conservation Authorities flood control budgets, so obviously, wetlands, and the flooding that they help control, don’t matter to this government), and of farmland in Markham, and those are just what I know of. This is why our democracy has been suspended, because the “red tape” could have prevented the construction industry from paving over wildlife habit, and land where we grow the food that feeds us. I have to ask just why other, less sensitive areas, couldn’t have been used.
Could it be that the construction industry is a big financial supporter of the Conservative Party, so this is all about money? Theirs. I have just noticed a report that Canadian businesses, on average, stopped paying taxes for the year on the morning of January 7, 2020. Absurd, particularly as we keep electing governments that allow them to get away with this. And please don’t trot off that tired adage that we have to give corporations tax breaks for them to create jobs. It has never happened. For the most part, their tax breaks go straight into offshore tax havens.
I couldn’t help but notice that Steve Clark’s response to my letter left out any comments on his government’s attempts to hide the cost of repairing the nuclear reactors at the Bruce Power station. Why we are still looking at nuclear when we can buy cheap hydro power from Quebec, and when the cost of solar and wind options has dropped dramatically, defies logic. There is also a plan to increase the use of gas fired electricity by 300% by 2025, meaning that the destructive practice of fracking will only get worse. This is why we need the watchdogs that we have, and why the Ford government is doing its best to get rid of them, so that the public doesn’t know what this government is doing behind their backs. For all the rhetoric that comes from the Ford government, their policies are nothing more than giving free reign to the wealthy, at the expense of the rest of us. It never has been a government for the people, because it has never included the poor, the disabled, or the disadvantaged, or, for that matter, the rest of us who don’t qualify as “wealthy”.
It beats me why Ford currently has a 69% approval rating. It is amazing how many people think that he is doing a good job, just because they see him on TV almost every day. It just goes to prove that you can fool most of the people most of the time. When you consider that he cut health care budgets and nursing home inspections, told everyone, on March 12th, at the start of the pandemic, to “go and have fun” on March break, had insufficient PPE to protect our frontline workers, insufficient ventilators, testing, and contact tracing, it proves that people simply aren’t paying attention. Then on top of all this, Ford adds insult to injury by suspending our right to challenge his policies. We have also seen similar actions in Alberta with Ford’s buddy Jason Kenney doing the same thing. I guess that it is a Conservative thing.
Current political wisdom says that only 5% of the people are paying attention at any given time, and it isn’t always the same 5%. Small wonder that politicians get away with the things they do. Of course, if we had proportional representation as a way to elect governments, then we wouldn’t have the abuse that we are currently seeing. You can see something similar to that going on in Ottawa right now with a minority government, where no one party can do whatever they want. Then again, that’s why the two main parties in this country don’t want proportional representation.
Colin Creasey, Kemptville.