As I watch the TV show “Spin City,” I take delight in how the backroom boys teach the politician to avoid answering questions, give misleading and inaccurate information, and even lie so convincingly that he still manages to hold onto power.
However, the tactics in the fictional political arena pale in comparison to those used by our provincial government.
Mike Harris says that he will give a “pinky swear” to municipal leaders. Apparently this means that he is promising that the downloading will be revenue neutral and our taxes will not increase. Yet he continually delays providing the data to prove this statement, and has not shown that the local calculations, which show significant increases, are in error.
The minister of health has promised that our health care system will not suffer. Yet he has engineered a system where hospitals are closed, thousands of health care workers have lost their jobs, people have long waits for surgery, patients find themselves in halls waiting for beds, and family members have to be present with their sick relatives because there is not enough staff in the hospitals or senior care homes.
Mike Harris, while promoting Ontario, said that we have a “top-rate education system.” The minister of education and training stated that there will be no cuts to the classroom. Yet, having already cut $800 million from education, they still believe they need to cut a further $1 billion in order to pay for the tax cut. This they plan to do through two pieces of legislation—Bill 136 affecting non-teaching educational workers and the teacher legislation.
In order to suppress information and manipulate the public, they have refused to negotiate with educational workers but have spent $1 million for propaganda. At the same time, they repeat the hypocritical statements about wanting to provide the best education possible for our students.
Time and time again, this government chooses to circumvent the democratic process. They create commissions (which they actually control) to do their dirty work for them. They then have the audacity to state that they are not making the decisions to cut all of these social programs.
The ministers of this government have been well-trained by the backroom boys. They are now experts at putting their own spin on actions which will destroy the social fabric of this province. Somehow in the real world, I do not find this expertise entertaining.
I do wonder how many of their lies we will continue to accept, and how much we will allow them to destroy, before we say, “Stop, you have gone too far.”