Earlier this week Ontario’s first female premier was honoured at Queen’s Park when her official portrait was unveiled.
Such an occasion is a special time for family and friends. The sitting premier is responsible for hosting the event to recognize the former Ontario premier and her dedication to the job. It is a long-standing custom and it is very much a non-partisan event to celebrate a person’s contribution as premier of Canada’s most populous province.
Having attended this institution recently, some of my time was spent looking at these paintings as well as those of Speakers who were similarly honoured.
Our shared history as Ontarians is on display and that day strolling the halls I watched as students combed those same halls learning about democracy and looking at portraits of old men who have occupied those positions. Part of me wondered what that looked like to them.
A new day now presents itself in the form of Kathleen Wynne’s portrait, considering the right for women to vote was still a hot topic roughly 100 years ago. Young students, regardless of age or gender, will readily note that the job of premier is open to all.
Most news outlets handled the event with grace, similar to the take just presented to our readers. Regrettably, a CBC reporter felt to compelled to overshadow this significant occasion with some claptrap about Wynne’s dislike of Premier Ford.
“Doug Ford and I don’t agree on anything, really. But he is the premier, and it’s the position that’s important,” Wynne said in the CBC story. “It doesn’t matter the party stripe, we all have a responsibility to the people of Ontario, and that’s what the position is about.”
Giving this event a controversial twist was unnecessary. We scoured other news sources and most didn’t feel the need to inject discord into what should have remained a celebration of gender equality and a “person’s” service to constituents.
It does explain the growing indifference I and others have for the CBC and its brand of news.
is increasing taxes
An old buddy asked me the other day about Mayor John Tory’s announcement that taxes were going up and what it actually meant. I suggested Tory isn’t running again? – to which we both laughed.
Toronto has been reticent to pay its bills from its tax base for as long as my memory serves. More often than not they have leaned on the provincial and federal governments to top off projects and or sat back and not moved forward to save the raucous outcry that comes with raising taxes.
Out here, far away from television and daily newspaper reporters, local councils continue to quietly take care of business. Unfortunately, this take-care-of-business attitude has a downside, which is when it comes to property taxes, Toronto seems quite cheap compared to here.
While few like to pay higher rates, most taxpayers understand if work is to happen there is a cost.
Most of us survived the first day of strike-action where schools were closed across the province.
Round II will be in selective boards, sparing Wellington children another day off. In those affected areas parents will have to deal with a second strike day within a week. Friends and family come in handy on these occasions, but for those people without that option, it could very well mean another day off work.
The disagreement teachers have with the government in current contract talks seems to boil down to three key issues. Class size, e-learning and a cap on wage growth are the sticking points. Unfortunately, the government has a rendition of these negotiations, as does the teacher’s union. Like most of these things where there are disparate points of view, taxpayers find it difficult to understand the problem and choose a side.
Advertising by the teacher’s union suggests theirs to be an altruistic approach in which they are in it for the kids. Having watched this channel for decades it is cause to wonder how true that is, particularly when the state of finances in this province is considered.
Asking teachers to take a wage cap at 1% per year seems reasonable in light of gains in recent years that have made their public sector wages quite generous when compared with most workers.
Other proposed changes to wrestle costs to the ground like introducing e-learning or increasing class sizes seem like reasonable discussion points, but as mentioned already, some unvarnished facts are needed from both sides.
Regardless of position, everyone needs to focus on settling this disruption and moving forward – for the sake of the kids.