Nothing pleases the conservative party voter more than to hear that their government is going to cut red tape. It goes along with cutting taxes and having smaller government. It is all part of the political mantra of people who do not waste time thinking about it.
After all, what is red tape? A good example of red tape is zoning bylaws. This type of red tape gets under peoples’ skin more than others. They are an inconvenience for developers. They are a frustration for property owners. And everyone wants an exemption.
There is actually a thriving business in municipalities in North America in handling the municipal red tape of zoning. There are lawyers who live off it. There are those who handle the squabbles over a backyard fence and there are those who clear the hurdles for the building of sky-high condominiums and million-dollar office towers.
The toughest zoning is when you are trying to prevent people from building on a flood plain or on an aquifer or wetlands. For those, the conservatives in Ontario have set up what are called Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZO) to override the conservation zoning. With the right conservative party lawyer and the right donations to a conservative party campaign fund, you might be surprised how easy it is to get an MZO in Ontario.
But then, with any law, whether it be in the Transport Ministry or Health or Long-Term Care, there are requirements that have to be met. Some of these requirements are never checked. And in other ministries, such as the Ministry Labour, the regulations are routinely checked by ministry inspectors.
What cost-cutters in government do not understand is that red tape is part of our way of life. Red tape is the structure that enables us to drive a car safely. It is the fact that a door to outside a building always opens outwards. It keeps a wrecking yard or stone quarry out of residential neighbourhoods. It means the milk we feed our children has been properly pasteurized. It means our buildings and bridges are not as likely to fall down. Red tape brings us confidence and security. And anyone who promises to cut red tape is like the conservatives who promise to cut the fat. They end up leaving the next government with their deficits and their bad judgement.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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