Letter to the editor – Bill 66

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Dear Editor

This letter is regarding a response that I received from our MPP, Steve Clark, regarding my concerns about Bill 66, and its effects on the Greenbelt. In it, I was assured that everything would be fine, but when I see what the slash and burn economic policies that are practiced by the Ford administration are, I am somewhat skeptical of the assurances he gave.

Bill 66 doesn’t only affect the potential opening up of the Greenbelt to development; it also affects a total of at least 18 other pieces of legislation. Schedule 10 says that there are provisions in the following Acts that do not apply to an “Open for Business” by-law. They are the Clean Water Act, the Greenbelt Act, the Lake Simcoe Act, the Great Lakes Act, and the Oak Ridges Moraine Act. I’m having some difficulty understanding how this is “supporting the Greenbelt”

The Greenbelt cleans the air we breathe plus the water that we drink, prevents flooding, and provides environmental services estimated at $2.6 billion. The last time that a Conservative government relaxed the regulations on water quality just to save money, it resulted in costing 7 people in Walkerton their lives. Based on the foregoing, I have absolutely no confidence in that this government will be nothing more than a rubber stamp for those municipal politicians who can be “persuaded” by, or are friends of, the development industry.

Ford has done exactly what I expected him to do. His “efficiencies” meant nothing more than cutting social and environmental programs, which Conservatives obviously don’t believe are necessary. His policies show that he cares neither for this planet, nor for the disadvantaged among us.

The Ford government has cancelled hundreds of clean energy projects, costing an estimated 6000 jobs, eliminated cap and trade without a climate change policy, denied compensation for those companies with emission credits, eliminated 3 independent officers of the Legislature through Bill 57, those who provided oversight for the environment, vulnerable children, and French language services, (that last one cost the government one of the few people that any showed integrity by quitting), cut funding to two college expansion projects, cut funding to the College of Midwives, shut down the Ontario Basic Income Project, set back sex education in our schools by a century; the list just keeps on going. “For the People”? I think not.

Then, of course, there is the constant political interference with the business community that Ford has been warned will drive away investment in Ontario. It has now come back to bite the Ford government in the form of US regulators cancelling a $6.7 billion deal with Avista, because of concern regarding leaving a major utility being vulnerable to political interference. This alone has cost Ontario $103 million.

Lastly, there is the political patronage, where Ford is providing well paying jobs to his buddies, and if the qualifications are too high, just lowers them to the point where his buddies can apply. He is totally brazen about this, and the Conservative Party does nothing.

This all strikes me as a government that is ideologically driven and morally bankrupt. Ford got to where he is through a flawed process. I guess that we shouldn’t expect much from a Party who couldn’t even organize a leadership convention without it descending into chaos, and that chaos has continued with this government. No coherent program, and all decisions made purely on ideology, and with the focus on money. No way to run the largest economy in Canada.

This government does not have a mandate from the people when 3 out of every 4 voters did not vote for them. The Conservatives only received 40% of the vote. When you factor in those that didn’t vote, that works out to 24% support, yet Ford acts like he has a mandate. He doesn’t.

If we had a proportional representation system electoral system, rather than first past the post, things would have been different. It simply isn’t right that any party with 40% of the vote getting 100% of the power.

Colin Creasey,
Kemptville,

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