Last June Doug Ford and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives got themselves elected, with the power to govern as they please, with just 40 percent of the vote. That means 6 out of 10 Ontario voters did not vote for them. But that doesn’t matter in our cockeyed electoral system. They are a majority government with the power to move quickly to undo services that so many rely on. And they have.
As we write Fordzilla continues to shred services and cancel programs that families desperately need.
What is the plan for workers in the private sector? Surely the limp and lame response to the GM plant layoffs in Oshawa is just damn wrong! Folks in Ontario bailed out GM with hard-earned tax dollars in 2009/10. Now, as thanks, GM kicks thousands and thousands of workers and their families to the curb. Fordzilla’s response? The ship has sailed. He can’t do anything about it. WTF!
Sadly, the Ford government has embraced austerity and so, all of us everyday people are paying the price for for a debt we didn’t cause. Cutting back is no way to move forward. It will not protect the health and well-being of Ontario citizens. The failures of such an approach over the past decades are willfully ignored.
Since Ford took power, the caring shape of Ontario has been profoundly changed. Workers health and safety rights have been altered, a promised minimum wage stopped, the urgency of mental health and addiction crises have been minimized. The practice of midwifery as a health choice for women has come under attack, supports to make progress on equity, labour and human rights have been eliminated, landlords have become more powerful and good services for families who have children with autism have been replaced by a grossly inadequate voucher system.
Grim facts. But, despite it all, there are wonderful things happening in Ontario! Caring people are coming together in acts of resistance, acts of kindness and a spirit of solidarity to fight for a more caring province.
It is these everyday acts of kindness by everyday people that I am asking you to notice and help make even stronger and even more common. People in Ontario need our support and encouragement. History teaches us that unless we speak out for others, help them in some way, there will be nobody left to speak for us, and stand with us, if what is happening in Ontario ever happens to the rest of us.
Ford has the power. We have ourselves. So, the odds are in our favour. Community was, is and will always be more powerful than anything greed can put upon us. Let’s act accordingly—for the sake of the folks in Ontario, and for ourselves.
This article was originally published by The Canadian Labour Institute.
Reprinted with permission for CALM Members use.