From this morning’s impromptu coffee chat with some local residents at Tim Horton’s. These are some comments I gathered from a small group of coffee sippers this morning and tried to get it as close to what I heard as possible. So don’t attack me please, just give your thoughts to what has been aired.
Doug Ford was on CP24 this morning talking about Patrick Brown cutting a deal with Christine Elliott to endorse her in return for keeping his seat. If that is true, there are now three things that are of concern about Elliott;
1) That she is playing the same old backroom deals that have tainted the Ontario Liberal government’s reputation over the last few years,
2) Her lack of loyalty to the party as expressed through her accepting a job from Kathleen Wynn, and
3) Her philosophy and approach as shown through the debate last week showing her unwillingness to take out the brook and clean out the waste, dust and nonsense from Kathleen’s attack on Ontario’s traditional lifestyle and family structure.
If the Conservatives are to win the next election, they need to elect a leader who is capable of representing the people with a clear focus on every Ontarian and break lose from the corrupt relationships with special interest groups for the sake of looking good among ill-informed voters. Then they need to campaign hard to make sure that they get as many Ontarians out as possible to vote!
Then they need to have a clear plan to:
1. Help average taxpayers with being able to earn a living and afford their own house. Unless you’re a government employee or union worker in Ontario, it’s almost impossible to buy your first home without family help. This has to change. With homes costing over $1M and the new mortgage rules/stress test, banks unwillingness to lend, even someone earning $250,000 can’t afford to buy a home without a significant down payment. At $244,000 individuals have to give the government 55% of each additional dollar they earn and they only get to keep 45%. How is this ‘regressive tax system’ fair or even good for everyone when the best and brightest leave once they get to those income levels?
2. Support small business (which accounts for 90% of job creation in Canada) through
a) reducing red tape and regulations. The Liberal’s have shown their dislike of small business with statements like ‘if you can’t afford to pay more for wages you shouldn’t be in business’. This philosophical attack on small business has to be reversed. They should be saying, ‘how can we help you hire more people and give them the opportunity to earn more as they add more value to your business’.
b) the redundancy of unions and the Ontario labour act has to be addressed. We don’t need both. So, decide on which way you want to go and focus on it. Once the government started dictating wages and other terms of employment it basically has replaced what unions were originally meant to do…stop the exploitation of workers and provide them with security. Well the government is doing that directly now. So why are companies forced to double regulation?
3. Electricity expenses. If you want to have union jobs that result in higher wages than other jurisdictions we compete with, then you have to reduce other expenses. Why are we paying so much more for electricity than we should? We can’t even compete with mass production or automation because we’re competing with countries with much lower energy costs. Find a way to drop electricity expenses for manufacturers in Ontario.
4. Housing availability and traffic congestion. Wynn has thrown money at the same old things that have created these problems to begin with. The underlying issue with traffic and affordability is supply and demand combined with the NECESSITY FOR DAILY TRAVEL. In Europe they got it right when they have people living where they work. Why are we having people commute 30-40 kms to get to work? Create the incentive and support to have people work closer to home. Adjust zoning to include commercial in residential neighbourhoods. Make it more affordable to build houses in different areas on non-fertile farm land. Why are we paying an upwards of $25,000 per unit for building/development permits, t hen paying double land transfer taxes in Toronto? The government is taking as much as $100,000 in these and related taxes just to build a home. Why? This money goes to general expenses (bureaucracy?).
5. Quality of education. The quality of education in Ontario has dropped significantly over the last 25 years! I’ve come across some really bad teachers in the school system who shouldn’t be allowed near children, let alone teach them. Why is it so hard to get rid of these bad teachers, but more importantly, WHY IS THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION PUTTING TEACHER JOB SECURITY AHEAD OF THE EDUCATION, DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH OF THE CHILDREN? Wynn was so interested in sex education, but she did nothing for addressing the quality of education issue or how to deal with the Teacher’s Union which is allowing some teachers to destroy the self-confidence, motivation and future potential of young children. What is your plan?