Listen Up! – Recall legislation would be great right about now

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Hugh Mackenzie Huntsville Doppler

Hugh Mackenzie
Huntsville Doppler

 OUTRAGEOUS!

Sometimes I think we need recall legislation in this country…or at least in Ontario. It is very hard to sit and watch our province being destroyed with one stupid mistake after another. Our economy is in the tank, our debt is twice that of California, a State very close to bankruptcy and in spite all of that, the Wynne Government continues to hand out goodies like every day is Christmas day!

The latest boondoggle is the revelation that the Ontario Government has paid Teacher’s Unions 2.5 million dollars to cover their costs for negotiating for their clients, (teachers and support staff) from whom they ( the unions) receive substantive fees to do just that. Further, no receipts were required. The cash was just handed over, tied with a big red ribbon, (pun intended).

Think about how ridiculous this is. Supposedly, in negotiations, the union and the government are on opposite sides of the table. It is by definition, an adversarial process, with each side representing their particular constituency. In essence, the government is paying the unions to negotiate against them. Further, the unions have little incentive to work for a quick settlement. The longer they take, the more money will go into their  pockets. Negotiating becomes an income stream for them. And…as I have alluded above, they are double dipping. They are getting paid once by the teachers and again by the government. That should not sit well with hard working teachers. Even worse, is the precedence that this has established. Surely now, every public service union will believe it is their God given right to get paid by the government, (read you and me) to negotiate on behalf of their members. There is no question that a Pandora’s Box, that we cannot afford, has now had the lid ripped right off!

To add insult to injury, Premier Wynn announced last week that elementary teachers, who are still without a contract settlement, will be docked pay if they continue with some elements of their work to rule campaign. To some frustrated parents, it may seem like a bold move, but the sanction is aimed at the wrong people.

Teachers and their support staff are between a rock and a hard place. They are required to belong to a union, they have no choice. If their union says they must work to rule, and they don’t, they are severely penalized. Now the government is effectively telling the teachers, if they don’t disobey their union, then the government will punish them. It’s a lose/ lose situation.

Since it is the union that is directing the elementary teachers to work to rule, it is the union that should be sanctioned. A fine of $50,000 a day until the union lifts the work to rule campaign, might do the trick. But no, this government, who appear to be left of the N.D.P., wants to stay cozy with the unions, so they will take it out on the teachers instead.

And while we are talking about being cozy with the unions, there was another outrageous move made recently by the Wynne Administration. The Ontario Government is selling a large chunk of Ontario Hydro. Now, they are “loaning” $87,000,000 of our money, to the union whose members work in the electricity sector, so that they can buy shares in the privatized company. Really? Isn’t that what banks are for? Will they do that for you or me? Don’t bet the mortgage.

While all this is going on with public sector unions, the Wynne Government has aimed their guns at physicians across the province. They want to cut their pay and they plan to cut down on the number of doctors being trained. These too, are essential front line workers. It is difficult to understand why they are being singled out. Seems a little strange and the cynic in me can’t help wondering if it has anything to do with the difference in campaign donations between public sector unions and physicians.

The Wynne Government is riding at a 27 per cent approval rating in the polls right now. Surely there is a message here. We have almost three years left of this government and clearly if things don’t change, we will be in deep doo doo. Perhaps the Premier is counting on Justin Trudeau to bail her out but the reality is that he will have enough on his plate and that will not happen to any significant extent.

Ontario has one of the worst economies in the country. Not that long ago, they had the best.  If we had recall legislation, perhaps we could change that. But as it stands, I guess we will have to tough it out for three more years.

Hugh Mackenzie

8 Comments

  1. It’s like we’re living in “Bizarro World” here in Ontario. We shake our heads in absolute befuddlement over the announcements coming out of Queen’s Park. Sadly, nothing seems to surprise us any more. We’re resigned to our economic demise ….

  2. Is there a chance that the Teachers Unions will acknowledge that you are outlining the truth about their relationship with the Wynn government? I DON’T THINK SO!!
    We are in real trouble with this government.
    Strap in!! … it’s going to continue to be a very rough ride!
    Paul J

  3. Remember Hugh that David Peterson gave the teacher’s union control of the pension fund, even though the Province of Ontario puts in 6 per cent, almost matching the teachers’ fees…. and province has no rights/access/say in these funds which are now in the 100’s billions!!!! The Province used to have the use of the funds at a rate of 2 per cent….. a very bad mistake

  4. Interesting facts. California population 38.8 million. Ontario 13.7 million.
    Ontario’s debt is double California’s. Think about it.
    Hugh you state that we only have three more years to suffer through Wynne’s Liberal government. Really? Given the voting record of Ontario’s voters in the last provincial election re-electing the Liberals in spite of widely known spending and election scandals involving the misspending
    of around a billion dollars, what would make you think that voters will not vote Liberal again next time? Wynne’s recent payment to the unions should be thought of as payback for their support for the Liberals and the organized campaign against the Conservatives in which they played a major part.
    The fact that this payback was blatantly with public funds shouldn’t surprise anyone. They did it with the gas plants cancellation debacle and now they are doing it again with he union payoff. So, exactly what would make you dream that it will come to an end in three years?
    One wonders what it would take for Ontario to recall Wynne? I can’t imagine. Obviously daylight robbery and misappropriation of public funds won’t do it. What’s left ?
    Poor Ontario.

    • The Union would not accept the gift from this Wacko gov’t.They apparently understand the Liberal effort to buy them with a bribe.How about those Hydro Rates? Up Up And away.We face a Wynne / Lose situation.Quite possibly ,no probably ,The Worst 10 years of governing this Province has seen or ever will see !

  5. You guys know this mess is all Mike Harris’ fault at least that is what those people who drank the Red Koolaid would tell you.We have a new boogeyman / Boogeywoman in Province !

  6. I have had several people tell me that it’s time to leave Ontario and maybe even Canada. Makes one wonder.
    Friends of ours have sold all their real estate holdings. Now they live in their motor home. They only come back to Ontario to maintain their OHIP status. I guess that eliminates property tax, maybe some stress too.

    Lately I find myself avoiding the nightly news entirely. Too many stories about gov’t waste and rip offs. Sad really.

  7. We need Recall Legislation,
    Randy Hillier presented this to Government but was defeated on second reading by the Liberals.

    No Government will implement this legislation once in Power, as they do not want to lose any power or grip on the people.

    With that said, I truly believe what we need is to get a COMMITMENT from ALL Parties before next election.
    Make Recall an ELECTION ISSUE
    Force each Party to commit and PROMISE to implement if they want our Vote.

    In Ontario, we have about 3 years to get this done. Though there will be an important By-Election in Oshawa-Whitby by end of Feb./16

    One thing I would like to point out is it is not necessarily Randy Hilliers exact Bill 89 that we need, But it is a GREAT example of Recall.
    Recall Legislation of some sort is extremely important.
    The specifics should still be discussed.

    I found a paragraph about Mr Hilliers Bill that was defeated

    “Hillier’s proposal is to allow voters recall a politician if they get the support of at least 25 per cent of the people who voted in the last election.

    The politician would be removed from office and a by-election would be held. The recalled politician could still run as a candidate.”

    We are using the page https://www.facebook.com/OnRecall
    and the petition to get the attention of the Media and ALL Political Parties in Ontario.

    Please take a moment to LIKE page (can turn all notifications off so you wont see new posts, but there isn’t a lot anyways)
    Please take a moment to sign the Petition.
    https://www.change.org/p/all-ontario-political-parties-and-all-mpps-and-future-candidates-ontario-for-recall-legislation

    Thank You.
    With the Support of all Ontarians we CAN make a difference.

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