Today's date: Friday April 19, 2019
column width padding column width padding

The Wellington Advertiser Masthead Logo

We Cover The County...
40,052 Audited Circulation

WEEKLY POLL   |   Community News   |   EQUINE   |   Schools & Buses

Wellington Weddings 2019
Business Leader Banner
column width padding column width padding

Governing on the sly

by Patrick Raftis

While the speed of the news cycle these days means perceptions may change by the time this is published, news early this week of leaked documents that appear to show the Ontario government is well on its way to massive restructuring of the health care sector, without any sort of public consultation, bears watching.

On Monday, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath revealed new documents she claims show the province has essentially signed off on leaked health-care legislation that the Progressive Conservative government dismissed as “just a draft” last week.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott held a news conference to accuse the NDP of “fear mongering” and stated the material consisted of non-partisan public service documents that she had never seen.

In the wake of this, an as-yet unnamed bureaucrat allegedly responsible for the leak has been fired and the government has called on the OPP to investigate.

This is just one of many befuddling moves from Queen’s Park of late, but with a government like this one, it appears wisest just to focus on the most potentially disruptive measures.

The bottom line is if the document breach has caused the government to backtrack on its plans (Elliott’s denials aside, these documents seem pretty legit and indicative of a process fairly far along) then the civil servant in question should probably have been promoted, rather than ousted.

Among the most ominous items contained in the documents were references to “outsourcing” of inspections, laboratories and licensing services.

Privatizing of laboratories during the Mike Harris era of Conservative government is, of course, one of the factors that led to the deadly Walkerton e-coli outbreak in 2000.

In a rush to save cash through privatization, the Harrisites privatized lab testing without ensuring public health threats would be reported to the public health unit. The private lab, assuming they reported only to their ostensible employer, the Walkerton Public Utilities Commission, didn’t sound a wider alarm and seven people died and thousands got sick.

It’s a bad idea to rush this kind of reform, especially when cost-cutting is the primary motive. Private labs were later required to report dangerous results to medical authorities, but that’s of little solace to the victims of the Walkerton debacle.


The one advantage to having Doug Ford as premier is that he can be cowed by strong public reaction. He’s had to climb down twice from indications he would allow for development in Ontario’s Greenbelt, claiming ironically each time that the Tories would never touch the protected tract.


Ford also backed down and delayed the appointment of a questionably-qualified crony as commissioner of the OPP.

Lucky for him and the OPP, as it turns out, because it’s hard to imagine how the force could credibly investigate a document leak by an opposing party with the premier’s personal pick at the helm.

As is often pointed out these days, elections have consequences, and there are many actions the Ford government will take that opponents will ultimately accept.

But careless dismantling or partisan disgracing of institutions designed to protect public safety is not among them.


February 8, 2019


Tell Us What You Think

Login to submit a comment

Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser. Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive, unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. You must register or log in in order to post a comment. For more information, read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines.


Lions Home Show


Community Guide Spring 2019

Buzz: current record does not exist


Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Bruce Whitestone
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Stephen Thorning
Stephen Thorning


Dave Adsett: When youre done ...

Digital Publications

 •  Browse Our Publications
 •  Highland Games 2015 Pictorial Book
 •  Acton Fall Fair
 •  Canada 150 Special Edition
 •  Community Guide
 •  Business Leader
 •  The Community News
 •  CWCC Awards of Excellence
 •  Drayton Fair Book
 •  Digital Flyers
 •  Erin Fall Fair
 •  Estate and Funeral Planning
 •  Fergus Fall Fair
 •  Groves Foundation
 •  Guelph Township Horticultural Society
 •  Fergus Scottish Festival
 •  Inside Wellington Archives
 •  Lions Club Home & Leisure Show
 •  Mapleton Community Guide
 •  Minding Our Business Archives
 •  NEXANS Celebrating 50 Years in Fergus
 •  Purebred Sheep Breeders of Ontario
 •  70th anniversary of D-Day Feature
 •  Equine
 •  Wellington County Plowing Match
 •  Wellington North Guide
 •  Wellington OPP Annual Reports
 •  Wellington Weddings
 •  Wellington Advertiser - Newspaper Week

column width padding column width padding column width padding

The Wellington Advertiser





Digital Publications


Twitter Logo

Free Press News Network Logo