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When is a sure thing not a sure thing?

September 2017

Although I’m a Conservative supporter and a supporter of Patrick Brown since he was a Member of Parliament, I’m not completely convinced that he can defeat Kathleen Wynne’s government in next year’s election. After 14 years of lies, increased taxes, scandals, criminal charges, debt that’s double what it was in 2003, the dumpster-fire that is Wynne’s government should be easily defeated.

The reality is that Wynne could spend the next several months machine gunning puppies on the lawn of Queen’s Park and fire-bombing orphanages and she’d still have a good chance of victory. That’s the reason she has no plans to resign before the next election.

The truth is Wynne is a wiley campaigner and has paid off the Ontario Public Sector unions with our tax dollars to ensure enough of them will remain loyal. Then there’s the Ontario Families Coalition, who’ve done the Liberal’s dirty work of demonizing leaders of the PC party going back to Ernie Eves and that’s unlikely to change.

I can already hear the attack ads saying how Patrick Brown is going to cut services, fire public service workers, kill puppies, close orphanages and food banks, cancel Christmas and steal candy from babies.

They will probably go on about how he has a hidden agenda like his former boss Stephen Harper and will institute a social conservative agenda like outlawing abortions (even though it’s a federal issue).

A harsh reality is Brown will likely have to make some cuts to services and maybe even the public service if there’s any chance that he’ll be able to reduce out out-of-control debt. Ontario is the most indebted sub-sovereign government in the world thanks to the policies of the Liberal government. This should be alarming to more people, but making cuts to government expenditures has become a third-rail in politics these days. Think of the fall-out of the cuts Mike Harris made during his tenure as premier.

I was a supporter of Harris and the cuts he had to make, something he simply HAD to do after the five disastrous years under Bob Rae’s NDP government. That said I’m not so blindly partisan that I can’t admit some of the cuts to things like healthcare and the sale of public entities like Hwy 407 may have gone too far. My Liberal-voting mother used to constantly remind me of things like that until I started responding, “And what have the Liberals done to correct Harris’ mistakes?” The answer of course is mostly nothing, even on the things they could change.

Until voters in Ontario finally admit that the credit card is maxed out and we can’t go any further into debt, the better this province will be financially. Do any of the people out there protesting cuts to government services realize that servicing just the INTEREST on Ontario’s debt is the third largest expenditure the Ontario government has on their books? Even NDP supporters should be alarmed by this reality as even Canadian political legend Tommy Douglas was against governments going into debt because the money paid in interest took money away from social programs.

I like that the governments of all levels provides “free” basic services like healthcare, roads, trash pick-up, schools, libraries and provides other services for less than what the actual cost would be like subsidized daycare and now the Drive Clean test (which should be scrapped outright), but there’s a limit to what governments can provide given most of us have not seen our paycheques keep up with cost of living.

An average family today pays 1600% more in taxes that they did in 1961, according to The Fraser Institute.

Governments of all levels and the voters who elect them need to acknowledge that government can’t be everything for everyone because we can’t afford it.

As well, governments need to be more responsible with the money (our money) that they do spend for needed services and projects. As Patrick Brown has rightly pointed out, we shouldn’t be repaving roads every two years that should last fifteen years or renewing contracts for private service providers who fail to meet required standards.

We also shouldn’t be paying up to $150, 000 for a set of stairs in a park like Toronto recently face. I applaud Mayor John Torry for cutting the price to just $10, 000, although I think that is still too high given Etobicoke resident Adi Astl built a perfectly good set of stairs for just $500.

Good luck to you Patrick Brown. You WILL need it.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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