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Irony in a Strange Ol’ World


Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

Since County Council is still too new to have learned how to bugger things up yet, I thought I might address some larger issues.
Canada and Canadians are unusual in the world. We tend to be very happy, and some of the world’s greatest comedians have that oddball Canadian way of looking at things. Apparently we talk funny, according to reports from other English-speaking countries, but I’ve talked to Americans and Brits who would need a translator if they visited Canada.
We’re a great country, especially when you take a quick look at the rest of the world, where you might wake up in the morning with a brand new government. Unfortunately, Ontarians continue to wake up with the same provincial government every day, every single day, every day for what seems like decades.
I always hope that we can be a better country than we are today but, sadly, Canadians love the Status Quo and will take just about anything before they realize there are things that are very, very wrong with this country, and we could fix them if only we would speak up.
Most people over the age of 70 still believe we live in the world of Diefenbaker and Pearson. But we don’t.
Government is no longer about governing. It’s about business.
Over the Christmas season, I have noticed some irony in the way governments run.
First, I heard a report that the feds and the province are wiping their collective brows and shedding some tears because the price of crude oil fell.
While we were rejoicing that the price of gas was now less than the price of Coca-Cola, the governments were bemoaning the loss of millions – yes, millions – in tax revenue.
There’s some sort of irony in there: What is good for the people is bad for the government. And vice versa. Hmmm. Certainly not like the Old Days of government.
I felt so bad when I heard this report, that I gave an extra $5 to my pump jockey in Tyendinaga, who promised me sincerely he would pass it along to the federal government, since the two groups have always had such a good rapport.
On the heels of that, I read that the expected revenues from water supply to the town of Picton are way under expectations. All that money, intended to pay the ridiculous cost of the project, created a rather concerning shortfall when it came to budget time.
The irony here is: Either the consumption predictions were way off from the start, or those damn Picton people are conserving water to keep their bills down.
In other words, consumption is encouraged (take several hot baths a day), which sort of goes against the current trend to consume less.
And, oh, yes! Even more irony! Who launched the campaign to conserve water and electricity? The provincial government! Oh my God! I’m going to need a flow chart to see whether I’m supposed to consume or conserve!
And I’m not done yet. This brings us back to the enormous boondoggle of industrial wind turbines. Creation of excess energy is based on consumption, not conservation.
County people get this. I get a 20-minute tirade if I leave the bathroom light on. Even if I’m using the room.
I am also chastized if I dump my dirty laundry in the basket on Monday, because washing is done during non-peak times (although apparently the smart-meter system doesn’t care anyway). So I need to wear the same clothes all week, until Friday night. You may have noticed.
Energy, and its creation, is certainly an issue, especially while awaiting the final verdict on Ostrander Point.
I do read the columns of the pro-wind County Sustainability Group. I still feel killing wildlife and bulldozing and paving land is a bad way to save our own land and life. But one column took my attention, directed toward the oil companies themselves.
For all the talk of pro- and anti-wind, it’s not our game or, thanks to the gag order from Queen’s Park, our choice. The real problem is the peachy relationship Ontario has with the oil companies. It’s not even about power generation, it’s about the power of corporate lobby groups.
There is enough money flying around there to make your annual income/pension look like a penny on a sidewalk, which you wouldn’t waste the effort to snatch up.
Sometimes I feel like the canary in the cage, but those who love the Status Quo don’t seem to see we are on a very bad path when the government rules us, without proper recourse to determine our future.
The province has already violated its own Endangered Species Act, though this is under appeal; they have removed our ability to choose the use of our own land. Issues of health, property values, economic development and tourism should be the concerns of our County council – people we can talk to, who will listen.
It’s worthy of note that if I moved in to Crown Land at the Point and declared I was going to bulldoze it down, critters and all, and pave it over – I would have Ontario Ministry officials all over my butt, and probably serve jail time.
Different rules for the People and the Government? Well, let’s at least get the Rulebook. It doesn’t even need to be in French and English. To me, it doesn’t even need to be written down. Just somebody explain to me. As my mother will attest, “Because I said so!” has never been good enough for me.
We have been chosen by Time magazine as the only Canadian destination worth visiting, and we are on the verge of allowing the province to destroy a large part of our attraction. Still happy to sit by, complacently, and let the province rape us?
I doubt there’s anyone, other than Todd Smith, sitting in the Queen’s Park legislature who knows or cares about Prince Edward County.
But we do. And, it is hoped, when the time comes, even those who like to take it on the chin and don’t want to make waves will stand up and fight back.
Because blowing billions on IWTs, while clawing back millions from our health care will only suit the government’s strange balance sheets, and its backwards priorities. The price we pay is our future.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Olmanonthemtn says:

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” –Mark Twain

  2. Wolf Braun says:

    All eloquently stated… as usual ! 🙁

    Where’s the plan to restore democracy back to ALL peoples ?

  3. Greg Latiak says:

    It is a strange world indeed. Seems the government and their friends live in an alternate reality where truth is what they say it is — just because the rest of the world uses pi as 3.14159… doesn’t mean they cannot define it equal to 3 if it suits them. After all, that value of pi wasn’t determined in Ontario. And if you complain about the destructive impact of high and soaring power prices they will send that wretch Minister out to scornfully tell you to suck it up and put on another sweater. And as for an insurrection, makes me wonder how long they can ride rough shod over rural Ontario before someone returns fire.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    Sadly, I fear even armed insurrection is not going to stop this government from destroying the County and the rest of rural Ontario.

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