Monday, July 10, 2023


 Both of them are the result of the chasm between politicians and the electorate. That chasm is multiplied as citizens at the local level slowly learn how impotent their municipal representatives truly are. Here in Ontario Doug Ford (Conservative) seems intent on rubbing citizens noses into the realities that provincial governments for all intents and purposes are fully in charge. From the size of municipal councils to amalgamation to gravel pits the province tells municipalities what to do and have the power to force the issue when necessary. The Federal government sometimes tries to do the same thing to the provinces although the provinces have greater funds to fight back through the courts. 

Citizens meanwhile have learned through hard experience that fighting "City Hall" whether municipal, regional, provincial or federal is financially, emotionally and physically exhausting and rarely is successful. Whether new gravel pits, gas plants, energy from waste projects or whatever flavour of the month that the level of government is pushing, they do not appreciate opposition and tend to punish it as in "No good deed goes unpunished.". This also includes activists opposing cheap, inadequate environmental cleanups, industrial expansions of dirty industries and more. 

Here in Elmira we've learned that only the smaller, less wealthy but nevertheless major polluters get forced into real cleanups. At one time we sort of thought that the Varnicolor Chemical cleanup would set the standard for Uniroyal Chemical. Turned out it wasn't even close. Firstly the Control Order demand for full vertical delineation of contamination was quietly dropped by the Ontario Ministry of Environment to appease the new potential owner of the grossly contaminated Varnicolor site. Secondly Uniroyal Chemical was a multi national, multi billion dollar corporation with a larger legal budget than the provincial Ministry felt like opposing in court. To this day major contamination remains both on and off the Uniroyal/Lanxess property.

Hence younger citizens see the roadblocks and frustration of their parents and the older generation and simply say "No thanks".  When the last of  democracy finally flows down the drain it will be a direct result of power hungry Canadian politicians at all levels constantly striving to increase their own power and influence at the expense of the rest of the citizens of this once fine country.

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