Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Depressing Time to Live in Ontario

This certainly has to be one of the most depressing times since I can remember to live in Ontario.  During the Ontario's Fall Economic Update on November 18, 2010 a  10 per cent rebate program (Ontario Clean Energy Benefit) for all portions of electricity bills was announced.  Given that since the HST went into effect our hydro has increased by 17% this was welcomed news for many.  However, the hope for affordable hydro rates were dashed when it was revealed that hydro rates will increase by 46 per cent over the next five years according to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.  I guess the good news is the debt retirement charge from the old Ontario Hydro will be finally removed from bills in 2015.  Well guess what?  The debt from the old Ontario Hydro was created through government mismanagement and since we the taxpayers pay the government, apparently we the taxpayers have to pay again due to government mismanagement.  The contract with Teranet (operates the province's electronic land registry) was extended another 50 years to the benefit of the Liberal government.  Really it is another Highway 407 type of deal with short term benefits to the government but long term consequences to Ontarians.

The Liberal party in Ontario are clearly trying to buy votes for next fall's election but I doubt Ontarians will fall for this tactic.  By next fall the full effect of the HST will have been felt by families who can no longer afford many luxuries like home heating and electricity.  While Duncan says there are clear signs of Ontario's economic recovery he fails to address the growing food insercurity and homeless issues in Ontario.

I think it is rather rich that the Ontario government at one point actually said they were trying to foster a sense of frugality in Ontario.  Excuse me!  The common Joe has now alternative but to practice frugality otherwise they cannot survive.  That means turning down the temperature, eating less meat, using less electricity, going without and using whatever means possible to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table.  Yet members of the Ontario government have absolutely not problem sitting down to $1,000 per plate dinner?  How exactly is that being frugal?  How can they possibly justify spending taxpayers' dollars on a $1,000 per plate meal when some taxpayers can even afford 49¢ for an extra tin of soup?  How can they justify it when some taxpayers have to make the choice between food or utilities?

In the end our elected officials, the very same ones we pay through our tax dollars care diddly about the voter until it comes to election time.  Then the will make promises like McGuinty's "no new taxes" only to break that promise as soon as elected.  Do they care if Ontarians shop outside of Ontario, vacation outside of Ontario, or even live in Ontario.  Honestly I think they are hell bent on driving folks out of Ontario then taxing the snot out of anyone left in Ontario simply to line their greedy pockets.

It is time for the Ontario government to practice the frugality they spout off about.  If they stayed within their budget that would be one thing.  How about giving up some of the high pay cheques, expensive dinners and excessive perks that go along with being a politician?  How about if you can't afford it, don't do it.  How about for one start giving the people of Ontario true value for what they are paying for?  Premier Dalton McGuinty is so out of touch with the taxpayers it is pathetic.  We are indeed living in very dark and depressing times in Ontario!


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