The Ford Government has introduced new designs for vehicle licence plates in Ontario that have raised both confusion and some ridicule within the population. The current motto, “Yours to Discover”, will be replaced on commercial vehicles by “Open for Business”, while private cars will have “A Place to Grow”. The plates themselves will be made of a different material, and the government thinks it will save taxpayers “millions of dollars”.

In keeping with its marketing plan of using “Ontario’s Government for the People” on everything, the announcement of the new design and mottos stated that it “reflects a renewed commitment to put people first in everything it does”. Local M.P.P. and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, commented on the new plates:

“The renewed licence plate and driver’s licence are a reflection of how we are renewing our entire approach to government. We are embracing change because we recognize that the old, established way the government functions no longer works for Ontarians.”

Starting February 1, 2020, all licence plates issued will be of the new plate design and Ontarians will also be able to voluntarily purchase a new licence plate featuring one of two “optimistic” slogans.

Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, stated that the government is “putting people back at the centre of every decision, making Ontario a business-friendly and pro-jobs province and protecting what matters most so we can ensure Ontario is a place to grow. A place to grow your family, a place to grow your business and a place to grow your community.”

This will, of course, fit in nicely with the Leeds & Grenville motto: “Where Lifestyle Grows Good Business”, and makes as much sense. This is the aim of the Ford government, which, according to their official press release, makes the new motto “a clear and succinct articulation of a simple unifying principle: the Ontario government is ‘Working for You’.”

Ontario issues approximately 3.6 million licence plates per year total, including approximately 2.4 million passenger and 580,000 commercial plates. The province’s licence plate was last redesigned in 1982. The government’s announcement noted that “Ontario’s current plates are beaded and oversized compared to the North American standard for size. The new Ontario plate will use high definition sheeting that is stronger, brighter and longer lasting than the current Ontario licence plate and is proven technology used across other North American jurisdictions”.

There have been complaints that Doug Ford’s campaign slogan should now become one of the official mottos of Ontario, and Twitter recently had some alternatives proposed by the public. These included: “Ontario: too many damn squirrels”, “Lakes, lakes, lakes”, and “Washrooms for customer use only”. There were a number of other suggestions that referred to OPP Chiefs. One enterprising techie has prepared a template where anyone can design their own plate. Visit:


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