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A Travesty of Democracy

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

The decision by White Pines Development (wpd – in lower case, as to appear typographically unobtrusive) to proceed with the destruction of our South Shore is a giant flip of the finger to the democratic process in Ontario. If nothing else, it shows beyond doubt that the Wynne government and wpd care nothing for the only process through which we are allowed to express our concerns.

Never in my years of following politics have I seen such a reckless disregard for the legal process, and the will and needs of the people.
It should be illegal. And probably is. But democracy in Ontario is dead, and no-one cares but those of us left to carry the casket.

At the time of writing, I don’t know if the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County has successfully arranged a ‘stay’ on wpd’s activities. But my issue is with the greater picture.
I don’t care which side of the wind turbine battle you’re on – you have to agree that stomping over the will of the community, and the law itself, is just plain wrong in a Canada which still claims to be a ‘Just Society’.

So what went wrong with democracy? I put it on Kathleen Wynne’s shoulders, since McGuinty’s shoulders are nowhere to be seen. They may be tanning in the Bahamas.
The big question in my mind is: Why doesn’t the Ontario government see that their energy program is a fiasco? Throw all of the reasoned arguments out the door – from both sides. Wynne has built a $308 billion provincial debt that won’t be handled by my great-grandchildren!
Remember when this whole thing started, and everyone was looking at the sky, and wondering what kind of world we would be leaving our children?

Well, here’s where we stand right now. Ontario has a $308 billion debt. The population of Ontario is 13.6 million people. So what do each of us owe?
I did the math, and I couldn’t believe it, so I ‘Messengered’ John Samuel, my high-school friend in London, England, who is a math brain, and can handle the enormous number of zeros involved.
You may want to pour yourself a stiff drink. Every man, woman and child in Ontario owes – when the figures are rounded off – roughly $20,000 to pay off the debt. And this does not take into consideration the gathering interest on the existing debt.
Now I know, if you don’t run a small business like I do, you have this kind of chump change in your pocket, wrapped in an elastic band. But, to flash back: “What about the children?”

In my day, I scrounged for 25¢ for a comic book. If my Mom had said: “Steve, it’s time you start paying your way in Ontario. I’m going to need $20K by the end of the week …” I have to say I’d be hard pressed to cough it up. The number of berry boxes I’d have to fill up at 5¢ a box is … well, I’m not even going to bother John to figure that out.
If your brain is as messed up as mine (and I think it is), I picture every newborn child in Ontario. I used to be an embryo, though my recollection of those fun times is kind of fuzzy. But imagine how intimidating it would be to be born into Wynne’s Ontario!
“Congratulations, Mrs. Cole! It’s a boy, and he owes the Ontario government $20,000. You can pay on the way out, because the only staff left here in the hospital are LHIN people scrounging for loose coins in the sofa.”

The good news is: Regardless of the fact that wpd has decided to stomp over birds and bats and turtles, and plant life, and the ruling of the ERT, and the sensibilities of County people – and the conscience of anyone who might care about ecology, fragile ecosystems, human health, property values and the future of the earth – in the next election, I think Wynne is going down.

It’s not that the people of Metro Ontario give a sweet crap about Rural Ontario, bats, birds, turtles or land, but they will care about the enormous debt and mishandling of our province. Money they understand.
And, slowly but surely, our view of what government should do is changing. This is what killed Harper, and will also kill Wynne. You can call it a socialist Nanny State, or a fascist regime, but ‘the people’ are getting tired of spending most of their time dealing with – and reacting to – government edicts and legislation and, yes, financial incompetence, all of which pour out of the skies like manna from heaven.

Oddly enough, this is why Donald Trump is gaining ground in the U.S.
It’s not just because he is subtly or sometimes blatantly racist. It isn’t just because he wants to bomb the crap out of foreign countries he does not know about or care about. It isn’t just because he wants to build a wall around America and make everyone else pay for it.
No. It’s because he has tapped into, fed into, and inflamed the concept that the American government is run by elitist, politically-schooled fat cats, who answer to lobby groups and big money from big corporations.
And, in that, he is not wrong. Which leads us back to Wynne.
This is a style which is due to change. Not that she’s anywhere near Trump proportions … but still, at some point, people need their voices back. And a government that doesn’t listen – and which breaks its own laws, designed to protect people, property and species – must eventually fall.

In the meantime, the only answer I can see is to continue having babies at an enormous rate, to spread our ridiculous debt out over more people.
I will do what I can, but I’m not as young as I used to be. But “Ladies! (wink, wink) how would you like to reduce your portion of Ontario’s debt?” This could work for me.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    Here’s another good reason not to privatize the electricity market. Here’s the long game finally out in the open for all to see. Wind companies will continue to demand subsidies once a project reaches its end of life or it will dismantle it an not “repower” the site. Taxpayers will be stuck with these outrageous prices for ever.

    “TransAlta is very interested in repowering this site.
    We’re anxiously waiting to see what incentives might come from our new government. . . . Alberta is an open market and the wholesale price when it’s windy is quite low, so there’s just not the return on investment in today’s situation. So, if there is an incentive, we’d jump all over that.”

  2. Borys says:

    Here is a link that includes and an article from Ontario Farmer, March 15, 2016.
    Although not the same theme as this blog is presenting, I felt the article an important read.
    Besides businesses that I alluded to in my earlier comment in this blog thread, perhaps our farmers should also take notice and speak out.

    “I have had an ear ache, and tinnitis ever since they first flicked the switch,” she said.

    The children’s symptoms range from headaches to ear aches, and one of the youngest has had daily nosebleeds.
    “I want to go where there’s no projects,” said Pentland, but it’s not so simple to move a farm.

  3. Sandar says:

    Why are the Senators who broke the law with filing their expenses not being charged like everyday people? They are being forgiven.

    … wt* is with that!

  4. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Our interests have been ignored by disinterested, inconsiderate bureaucracies or worse shrewdly sacrificed by politicians for political gain.The financial and natural resources we entrusted to the provincial government which we thought were to be scrupulously administered were squandered on ill-conceived schemes or more grievously to appease the self-interests of segments of the electorate and corporations that in some cases were contrary to the betterment of our County and the province as a whole. The businesses and services we developed to serve our local needs as well as employ our people which were supposed to be enhanced are now considered expendable

  5. Borys says:

    But we can stop iwts being placed in the wrong place and for the wrong reason.
    This can only be done if we are all vocal.
    This includes much of the business community that remains silent for fear of losing a bit of business.
    They will lose more if the County gets covered with wind turbines(in the wrong place and for the wrong reason.
    At minimum, the business community should discretely donate to the Save The South Shore Fund.
    Very easy to do.
    Just go to and donate.
    In fact all those, who have not yet donated, should.

  6. Gary says:

    How do you undo amalgamations and the deregulation of energy?

  7. MI says:

    I don’t leave a lot of comments on this forum. I understand that everyone has an opinion whether I agree with it or not. The ONE thing I cannot handle is the deflection of responsibilities, particularly at any government level. Please, enough of political history. It is always the responsibility of a current government to do the right thing. If mistakes were made, correct them. There is no excuse for Wynne and her government to be treating rural Ontario as they have been. Shame on all of them for not trying to make things right.

  8. Gary says:

    Agreed whole heartedly Chris. You should also not forget where it began. The energy mess does not just belong to one political party.

  9. Chris Keen says:

    @Gary – you cannot blame Harris for every fiscal disaster that has befallen Ontario forever. McWynnty’s governments bear SOLE responsibility for the failed “Green” Energy “plan” and the undemocratic process by which it has been implemented.

  10. Hoss says:

    All finely put,as usual,and as expected from a seasoned veteran of the written word. The blatant disregard for voters (people, constituents, humans, the majority, sentient beings, etc)is an example of how far our political system has strayed from it’s purpose. It is a business model defined by longevity not function.We as a nation, province, county, municipality have not necessarily bought into it but have done little if anything to stop it.The will to stop the complacency is grass roots weak.
    How can we face nature, small business, local talent, historical realities, any of the small community ideals in the face and say we did our best.
    The force of politics is the ability to look at a crowd and say, They back ME in everything I do, I can now do anything, I am not wrong, the people are here for ME, I do not need to even ask. Oh, and let,s not forget the behind the scene handlers ( paid by taxes) who have no concern (read respect) for what is happening beyond the business model. ( see previous comments) Yes I am bitter and disillusioned and what bothers me most, I too am feeding the business model because I can not see an end. Shame on me. Steve the honest comment is the one about not being concerned about what side one is on, it is the disregard for fair process, the law. I have at times been a party to our judicial system. I look at the people who are repeat offenders and they remind me of the politicians. No respect, no responsibility, no concern, as if it is happening around them not through them. So what has all this to do with wpd. Nothing, really. It is a rant against politics and politicians. One Last comment: When one gets elected how soon after does one reach the point where you forget the voters but expect them to remember you. Is it proportional to the level one reaches.
    Kinda of an out of sight out of mind thing! Is it proportional to the imagined power of the leader.
    Oldmanonthemtn-great quotes. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Gary says:

    Steve, you like to throw it all at Wynne and the Liberals. You fail in your article to report or acknowledge the fellow Mr.Harris who shot the starters gun. Amalgamation he created have cost our County greatly. His downloads as in County Rd. 49 have cost us deeply. His hospital amalgs and cuts set the stage. Oh, and who deregulated electricity?

  12. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Some thoughts on our current provincial government:
    “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” and
    “Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.” George Bernard Shaw
    “On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does. ”
    Will Rogers
    “The ‘democracy gap’ in our politics and elections spells a deep sense of powerlessness by people who drop out, do not vote, or listlessly vote for the ‘least worst’ every four years and then wonder why after every cycle the ‘least worst’ gets worse.”
    Ralph Nader
    “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
    George Washington

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