I finally have figured out who I’m going to vote for in the forthcoming Ontario provincial election. Right now, it’s downright dangerous for taxpayers walking by Queen’s Park because they’re liable to be knocked down by the bags of money being thrown out the doors to pay for pre-election propaganda masquerading as informational ads. If I can’t find a Family Coalition Party candidate to vote for in my Willowdale riding, I’m going to get a big blue felt pen and go into the polling booth and vote for Mother Teresa!

Please don’t remind me that Mother Teresa’s dead. At least I have a saint to vote for and that’s a lot better than the alternatives.

What made me come to this decision? It was talking to a highly placed Tory bureaucrat at a party recently at Queen’s Park who launched the Tory political re-election publicity campaign without waiting for the election to be called. He was gloating over his belief that we pro-lifers have nowhere to go but to the Tories.

I am praying that there will be more Family Coalition Party candidates nominated in Ontario ridings so maybe Mother Teresa won’t do that well at the polls. (She never was much for politics anyway.) Maybe Mother Teresa knows that MPP’s are largely inconsequential if they fail to get Mike Harris’ job or into the inner cabinet – they may as well go to a bingo hall and have some fun.

Dirty laundry

Tories don’t like their dirty laundry blowing up and down the street for everybody to see, especially around election time, so they’re angry at the Freedom of Information Act, which revealed a cesspool of Ontario Hydro misdeeds. They solved that problem by exempting Hydro from the Act starting in May.

The Freedom of Information Act had revealed Ontario Hydro’s nuclear safety problems, which Hydro always had an excuse for (oops! there goes another mushroom cloud – must be a campsite nearby!) and also Hydro’s juicy payoffs to senior Tory party hacks.

(Two thousand dollars an hour is very reasonable, they say, arguing the public just doesn’t realize how hard it is to get good help these days.)

The new Ontario Hydro will not have to reveal whether they are at the same old address or not. (We’d tell you but we’re afraid a cruise missile might land right on our executive offices.)

Pile on, guys

Then you have Premier Harris’ government recently settling a lawsuit involving allegations of sexual harassment two years ago by former speaker Al McLean by hitting the taxpayers for $600,000. Sandi Thompson, the plaintiff, got $100,000. Her lawyer did better with $150,000 for legal fees. And even Al got $130,000, although he was good enough to give it up to cover the expenses of the case. And another $217,000 for other lawyers working on the case. Pile on, guys.

It was the four Tory members (the majority) on the Board of Internal Economy that voted (under heavy pressure I bet) to get Sandi Thompson’s suit off the front page and out of the voter’s mind.

What does Mike Harris say? I won’t take the blame – the McLean deal was “badly handled” by other people. (It’s always other people, Mike.) Did you note the payoff? The plaintiff got a lousy $100,000 – the lawyers (and it never went to court), $500,000.

But even then our Ontario lawyers are pikers compared to a bunch of American lawyers who got $8.2 billion (US) (sit down – that’s “billion!”) for helping Texas, Mississippi and Florida settle their lawsuits against the tobacco industry. The amount is believed to be the largest ever awarded in the United States. (I’d say it’s the largest amount ever awarded anywhere.)

Five private attorneys in Texas will receive $3.3 billion. The 11-firm team that worked on the Florida case was awarded $3.43 billion, and the Mississippi team was awarded $1.43 billion. How will we be able to keep our Ontario lawyers “down on the farm” when they hear those kinds of numbers?