I want the government to send me my carbon cheque. And I think most people want theirs too. You don't need to be a climate scientist to know that extreme weather events are threatening your quality of life and costing you money. Dragging our feet on putting a price on carbon pollution is no longer an option.
There is no doubt that youth engagement is a catch 22. Political parties with limited resources tailor their message to rally their base rather than reach new supporters. Youth don't vote, so they continue to be overlooked. If politics seems irrelevant to your life and campaigns don't address your concerns then why pay attention? On June 12 we need you to answer back.
Kathleen Wynne's plan promises "only" two more years of deficit spending, with "only" $9 billion in deficit spending for 2015-2016. Then, somehow, two years later, the budget would be balanced, program spending would be the same, and interest payments would be $3 billion higher. Where that money will come from has yet to be explained. A Liberal government under Wynne would introduce yet another tax: this one a payroll tax that would cost each person up to $3420 per year.
Last week, the release of Tim Hudak's Million Jobs Plan filled the news space about what Hudak's plan would and would not do. Predictably, a portion of that news cycle was committed to fear mongering and the spin the Liberals and NDP attempted to put on Hudak's plan. Indeed, even with Hudak's Million Jobs Plan laid out in detail, the NDP and Liberals have stuck to the narrative that Hudak's plan would result in the "firing" of 100,000 public servants.
It's hard to imagine how the Ontario Liberals thought they could create a budget to the left of the NDP and think the NDP would support it. Then again, the 21st century Ontario Liberals have never been good at working with other parties. Dalton McGuinty was used to getting his way -- in his days, he only had to answer to his Liberal Party and union buddies. Within a year of being elected with a minority government -- where he, appallingly, had to work with the PCs and NDP -- he resigned and fled to Harvard University. Kathleen Wynne has not been any better.
At the provincial level, the Ontario Association of Food Banks strongly believes that the provincial government can and should take a more active role in tackling the root causes of hunger. This Hunger Awareness Week, ask yourself: who do you think uses food banks, and more importantly, why? Together, we can take a stand against hunger and poverty.
Nobody takes on a hospital or embarks on a campaign for safer care without good reason. There are a whole range of institutions and resources that are stacked against you, from big law firms to hospital patient relations departments which are there mainly to do management's bidding. Don't even think about trying to get anywhere with a hospital's board of directors. There seems to be some unwritten rule in Canada that no matter how urgent or justified the matter, a hospital board will never respond to the pleas of a family seeking answers.
The real problem for taxpayers in Ontario is covering the tab for compensation packages of over 1.35 million provincial government workers in Ontario, and the vast benefits that exist in the Ontario Public Service. Employee compensation accounts for half of the provincial budget, without including most pension costs.
Is it really that surprising that students prefer inexpensive fast-food meals like a burger and fries, instead of overpriced and smaller portioned salads from government-approved cafeteria menus? Like Homer Simpson taught his daughter Lisa, "You don't win friends with salad!" And the government's healthy menus program is certainly not winning any friends in Ontario's high schools.
On February 11, Kathleen Wynne held a Reddit "Ask me Anything" session. It was the Ontario premier's attempt to connect to the younger generation and respond to their concerns,but she failed miserably. Wynne's session lasted less than an hour and she only responded to 10 questions, all of which sounded like pre-drafted, generic answers. That left 1505 comments without responses. To attempt to make up for her disappointment, Wynne promised she would answer one additional question per day for the rest of the week. But the damage had already been done.
Worried about retirement savings? Premier Wynne is certainly worried for you. She doesn't think that families in Ontario are saving enough for their retirement. Considering how much we are nickel-and-dimed in this country, maybe she's right. The further the government reaches into our pockets, the less we have to put away for the future.