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Where will the center go?

Gayle Nichol's picture
Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:48 -- Gayle Nichol

It’s a veritable giveaway in an attempt to win victory in the provincial election next month. Premier Kathleen Wynne is passing out promises and cash commitments like there is a trough of cash at Queen’s Park to pull from. It’s unnerving.

Free child care.

Free prescription drugs for young adults.

Dialed back hydro rates that will be back to bite us in the years to come with rates projected to rise more than 50 per cent. If there is anyone left in the province with the will to turn the lights on.

The Liberals say with all their election promises the provincial deficit sits at around $7 billion.

The province’s auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, says the Wynne’s Liberals have been creative with the math, and the debt is more accurately pegged at $12 billion.

Pay now, or pay later. But we will pay. And fiscally, that’s the choice we face. The spendy Liberals who will continue to fund social programs to win elections; or the austere Conservatives who will step in as the mean folks to cut and not spend and try to put some balance back in the books.

For those who live life in the center, we have to sort out the financial promises of each party. Deciding who will best serve our beliefs, our interests, our goals for our portion of the world.

Where I’m struggling more is with the social issues. The funding and the understanding.

In particular, I’m struggling with Kathleen Wynne’s view of social order.

Last month she expressed surprise that former PC leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen was running for a seat in Mississauga Center.

Granic Allen was a controversial candidate, known for opposing a new sex ed curriculum for the province, though she has also made comments opposing the cultural dress of Muslim women and same-sex marriage.

She is a far-right conservative, who understands issues through her particular worldview. A view that Kathleen Wynne finds unfathomable today. She expressed shock that a candidate like Granic Allen would “run for any party in 2018”.

Granic Allen’s social view is not one I share, nor one I care for.

But based on her shock that such a candidate would find party favour, neither is Wynne’s.

For a leader to take on another candidate’s agenda is expected, part of the debate that allows us to learn where each candidate and party stands. But for Wynne to suggest that there is no place for a socially conservative agenda in Ontario – and by extension, that only a socially liberal agenda is acceptable in 2018 – flies in the face of liberalism and a pursuit of individual rights and freedoms. The freedom to say and think and talk about whatever one believes.

So if those in the center don’t care for the Liberal financial agenda that seems to be doling out money with the left hand without regard for debt control, and for those who don’t care for the Liberal social agenda that wants to silence with shock anything outside of their own view, then where do we go?

Just one place.

To the newspapers to find the candidate that we can best reconcile with our own beliefs, and prepare to hold the province’s new leadership accountable for the decisions to be made on our behalf. Financially and socially.

Being bullied by any agenda ends swiftly with political activism – first at the polls, and then through contact with your MPP. Democracy must be exercised to work.

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