Repeating Ontario’s Train Wreck.

You sometimes wonder about politicians who get in trouble and keep going back to the guru’s who helped get them into trouble in the first place. It is like having a train wreck and continuing to send locomotives down that same track, hoping one of the locomotives will make it. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has even gone back to the same locomotive driver. You would think that her friend Ed Clark, the former banker, had already proved that he is no train driver.

Look what Clark did for the Ontario Liberal’s before: His solution to providing capital funds was to tell them to sell off the majority of Hydro One, Ontario’s electricity distribution system. Hydro One had been created by Premier Mike Harris prior to his intent to sell it off—but wiser heads prevailed at the time. Clark’s argument was that privatising would sharpen up Hydro One’s efficiencies and improve profits for the shareholders. Instead it has given Ontario electricity users an additional target for their anger.

Clark might have let his bias against crown corporations cloud his thinking. It can be a very false assumption to think all crown corporations are less well run than their private sector counterparts.

But then Clark also came up with the scheme to use a form of water torture to introduce beer, wine and cider into Ontario grocery stores—a few at a time. This must have been the stupidest, most anal plan anyone could come up with. It seemed to be designed to annoy, confuse and frustrate the consumer who might want to pick up a six-pack while shopping or maybe include a decent bottle of wine to go with dinner. It is not working and the grocery stores involved have looked stupider than the politicians.

What is really annoying about this is the elitist attitude that it reflects. The politicians and their chosen consultants are patronizing Ontario consumers while looking after their corporate friends at George Weston Ltd.

Maybe Ed Clark has never been in a corner convenience store—maybe his chauffeur goes in for him? He probably does not understand why people would like to walk to the corner convenience store for a six-pack.

And maybe that is what is wrong in this province. We need politicians who can understand why a citizen might enjoy walking to the corner convenience store for a six-pack.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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