Ontario Liberal Stubbornness

Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Finance Minister Charles Sousa

By: Laura Steiner

There’s a willfully blind stubbornness infecting the Liberal government these days.  The symptoms include a rash of scandals, an occasional refusal to talk to the press, and an obsessive refusal to acknowledge the effects policies have on the people they represent.

Over the last few weeks all of these symptoms have been on display, but none more so than the third.  I witnessed the third characteristic as I covered the Autism protests and captured on video Premier Wynne’s interaction with the demonstrators.  All she could do  was repeat party lines.  I talked to one set of parents who had twins waiting for therapy, only to be told they’re off the list.  The father asked how the government could take a child’s voice away from them.

They claim they consulted municipalities about the Greenbelt legislation.  If they did, then why did  Halton Regional Council supported a resolution requesting consultation at its May 18 meeting?  This will affect

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, waves prior to delivering the Ontario 2016 budget at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Premier Kathleen Wynne is at left. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa

substantial portions of Halton Hills, and Milton.  How will this affect Milton as a “place to grow?” how will this affect housing prices? It’s already a pipe dream for many to own their own home.  The good thing here is the higher density housing along transit lines.

 

Climate Change policy complete with its cap & trade component  became law today, passed with a majority.  And still a refusal to admit how expensive it will make life for Ontarians.  If you’re counting- another $5/month to heat your home, plus another 4.3 cents/ litre on gas at the pumps.  A 4-year climate change strategy covering 217-2021 will cost another $7 billion was leaked to the Globe & Mail.  It includes plans to reduce reliance on natural gas, and calls for buildings constructed after 2030 to be heated from sources other than fossil fuels.  I think by now Ontarians get it: at some point in our lives we could be paying more for climate change.  Admitting the policy is more expensive might make the bitter medicine go down better.

Returning to the local scene now.  The Service Ontario location at Highpoint Drive and 25 highway is one of nine set to close in October.  This is already causing an uproar on social media.   It raises a lot of questions.  Why go straight to closure? Why not move it to a smaller premises closer to where people live? It’s a case where the provincial government places their budgetary needs over those of the people it represents.  Milton has a population of over 100,000 people, that should justify at least one more location.   The other location on Main St. has little parking in front of it.  The lot on Mill St is on a hill making it pretty difficult for people with mobility issues.  This is a decision without thought to the details.

Sadly that’s how policy decisions are made these days in Ontario: without thought.  And a willful stubbornness that ignores the consequences of their decisions on the people they represent.