A blind eye turned to the north
There has been a lot of hand wringing at the provincial level regarding Ontario’s deficit.
The answer as always, is to cut programs and services while pretending that those cuts in programs and services won’t really affect you.
At the same time, Ontarians are being treated to an unappetizing view of just how much a party will spend to save five seats and its thinner than thin majority. No problem spending money for that, is there?
I think what most of us would like to know is what is happening to boost Ontario’s economy? What has happened to some of the initiatives that were supposed to bring growth and development? I vote for an open, non-partisan discussion about green technology. No mud slinging, no political points to be scored.
Just facts please. How much power are all of those solar panels and wind mills generating?
What kind of impact if any, has there been on overall power generation in Ontario?
How many plants in Ontario are creating solar panels and wind turbines?
How many people are currently employed in eco-friendly businesses?
If this industry has had mixed success or more than its share of failure, what needs to be done to increase its effectiveness, efficiency in order for Ontario citizens to reap the rewards? Is this even possible Where are our scientist partners, universities and research facilities in helping make this industry less of a sinkhole for tax dollars while at the same time creating value both for the environment and for citizens?
As usual, northern Ontario is carrying more than its share of the deficit cutting burden. In the usual panic-stricken race to cut costs, brains frequently get thrown out the window.
The north is an easy target, low population, few seats in the legislature so only a cranky few northerners will care if the province shuts down all of the transportation and communications assets operated by the Ontario Northern Transportation Commission (ONTC) and more than 1,000 high-paying skilled jobs are imperilled while at the same time affecting close to $75 million in payroll.
But of course, it’s okay to throw millions into saving five seats in Mississauga.
Yup. Apparently no one in southern Ontario appears to consider that development in the north can only lead to a more vibrant economy in the south. Too complicated for the Queen’s Park brain trust....and I mean all of them, not just our current government.
If the province was truly interested in building a vibrant economy in the north, some of the dunderheads in parliament might consider boosting small business by allowing them access to commercial mortgages rather than limiting them to short term more expensive borrowing.
This is an idea that has been floated to the province for the last 30 years or so but seems to hit the concrete wall of Toronto politicians who are once again more interested in subways and punishing teachers.
Fiscal responsibility is not just about slashing budgets, it’s about building an economy, providing jobs and looking towards a more hopeful future.
When governments turn a blind eye to the basics in order to remain in power, they deserve the public’s scorn.