Frank Touby –
Sadly our great misfortune is that Ontario is ruled not by liberals, but by NeoLiberals.
Most of them unknowingly adhere to a philosophy of government outlined by World War II Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
It includes policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade and spending cuts to serve corporate profits.
That’s to be expected from Tories who call themselves “Conservatives” because they’re ruled by corporations and advocate that governments let businesses pursue profits unimpeded except by the leanest of regulations. In that they seem identical to the Ontario Liberals.
When Premier Kathleen Wynne succeeded Dalton McGuinty, who resigned in disgrace before his term ended, she kept up the tradition of corporatization that he resolutely pursued.
And it was McGuinty who acceded to corporations from almost his first day as Ontario premier.
He let a corporation develop 900 houses on the environmentally sensitive and vital Oak Ridges Moraine.
He let corporations determine where to build power plants in Oakville and Mississauga which had to be cancelled and moved up north at a cost to us of over $1 billion.
McGuinty thus followed in the pawprints of Toronto’s Public Enemy Number One, Mike Harris who, as Premier of Ontario, succumbed to the will of former Metro Chairman (note the corporate title) Paul Godfrey to amalgamate Metro Toronto’s boroughs and create the ungovernable mess we currently endure.
It has been a plague on Toronto by going opposite to the conservative paradigm that small government is better; and thus we have a massive council of 45 members ruling over a huge and disparate municipality.
Harris corporatized what should be a public highway, Hwy. 407, and not only let a foreign corporation own it, but also agreed that Ontario would serve as a collection agency for any unpaid Hwy. 407 invoices to drivers.
Dictator Mussolini would applaud.
His ghost would also praise McGuinty’s successor, Premier Kathleen Wynne.
She is no less a corporatist than McGuinty. That’s painfully obvious by her outrageous misbehaviour in selling off the first 15% of your Ontario Hydro corporation to private interests.
The clear political motive is to bail the Grits out of the financial messes run up by the McGuinty coterie of corporation-pleasers from misguided forays into schemes from ORNGE air ambulances to windmills to Tory-like allowances of outrageous Ontario gambling corporation executive expense accounts.
In her search for funds she engaged the worst—for taxpayers—type of professional: a banker.
Bankers charge rent for everything. While Bay Street applauds his resorting to the financial market for Wynne’s partial bailout, there’s nothing for Hydro’s owners, we the taxpayers, to rejoice over. Privatization means profits for investors.
That means greater expenses for taxpayers and higher hydro bills.
It means less revenue to Ontarians from our hydro asset.
Corporations are answerable first to shareholders, next to government regulators and barely at all to their workers and to clients they service.
The liberal paradigm would have corporations answerable equally to their employees, their customers, their shareholders, their neighbours and their regulators.
But we’re dealing with a NeoLiberal provincial government.
Perhaps somewhere in Purgatory the soul of Benito Mussolini is struggling to stifle a nervous laugh at how his benighted regime’s guiding philosophy is still plaguing we who are struggling in this plane.