I am pleased to inform readers that Ontario members of the provincial legislature will definitely not go on strike in order to get the 33 per cent increase in pay they are seeking. (The Toronto Star suggests 2 per cent because they only worked 39 days last year.)
I suggest that 2 per cent is too high. I recall Ontario Premier Mike Harris a few years ago shrunk the elected members down to 103 to save taxpayers’ money. How is Harris going to save Ontario taxpayers’ money when he has set up a committee that proposes giving the 103 MPP survivors a hefty 33% boost? Sounds like ye old shell game.
MPPs have been turned into sheep by Mike Harris, a few cabinet heavyweights and lately by the Hon. Keith Norton, the Chief of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Norton, a well known homosexual activist, has emerged as a heavyweight.
George Marsland, another gay rights activist, quoted recently in NOW, a subculture paper, said that Keith Norton was responsible for 67 amendments to Bill C-5, a homosexual rights bill recently passed without a whimper, muss or fuss. Marsland called it an “accomplishment.” Yeah, right.
How did the Tories sneak it by us voters? The bill’s text was withheld from the public until the day of the final vote which took place unexpectedly at night, only three days after the bill was introduced! All parties agreed to permit only positive comments. No public input. No debate. No recorded vote was requested.
The Hon. Jim Flaherty ran around telling the Tory MPPs to vote for it, or if they really felt their mother would never speak to them again, take a powder. So you have an unelected official (Norton, a former Tory cabinet minister) having a bill conformed to his expectations with the tacit consent of the 103 surviving sheep in the Ontario legislature. Stalin would’ve been envious.
If the Tories are going to allow the Hon. Keith Norton to run things – why bother turning up? Why waste those precious 39 days in the legislature when there is good moose and deer hunting in the fall up north, good fishing in Peterborough in the spring, lawn bowling, and golf in season, and of course there is always Florida in the winter for the rest of you.
If you’re going to hang a ‘Yes, boss’ card around your neck – you may as well put it on your desk in the legislature and go out and have fun! At least you’ll stop fooling the public into thinking that we still have some form of democracy in Ontario and Canada.
I think Harris could save a lot more money by reducing the legislature to about five cabinet ministers, and don’t forget the irascible Hon. Keith Norton. That’s pretty much who’s running the show now.
The most important part of the job of a MPP is making laws in the legislature – not dealing with problems of birth certificates, licenses, welfare and whatever. This could be easily be handled by a flunky in their office. Also, the voters, please recall, didn’t elect MPPs to run around to weddings, winter fairs and pizza eating contests!
I want to warn the voters that if the MPPs do bring in a bill to increase their salaries by 33 per cent, it will enjoy the enthusiastic support of about 100 per cent of the members. It will get more enthusiastic support than a secret ballot that Ontario teachers voted on in May of this year regarding Bill 74, that would have forced teachers to participate in extracurricular activities. Teachers voted 99.4 per cent against it. A total of 27,145 teachers voted against the proposed law. There were 39 spoiled ballots. I was amazed to learn that there were actually 110 teachers who voted in favour of it! (I’d like to meet those people.)
I am well aware of the makeup of a committee that will meet to decide how much increase an Ontario MPP deserves in this devastatingly non-inflationary period in our country. I can’t tell you who the committee members are – but I can tell you who won’t be on the committee. They are Sid Ryan, Buzz Hargrove, John (poverty guru) Clarke, and Frank Kennedy.
Anybody who comes to a meeting of this select committee in something less than a late-model Porsche will be booted off the committee promptly. If they don’t talk about the outrageous taxes they pay and the cottage that they have on a small island in Muskoka then they’ve wandered into the wrong committee meeting.
This bill to increase MPPs salaries will not require stressing party loyalty.