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Doug Ford - leader of Ontario PCs

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7 hours ago, turningrite said:

The Star seems apoplectic that Ford got elected.  

I for one am tired of the culture war being escalated.  Ford is not Trump and I think that we can benefit from de-escalating this.  There's enough to complain about but something has to give, in terms of vlume.

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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 10:36 AM, turningrite said:

The Star seems apoplectic that Ford got elected. I read the Star every day and feel that the tenor of much of its coverage of the Ford government is increasingly shrill and tiresome. For the most part, Ford is doing what he said he'd do. Isn't that what democracy is about? The problem with many political and media types is that they believe there's an established (and, frankly, often tiresome) set of "values" that simply can't be challenged. But these values have in many cases been artificially set by those same political and media types without much reference to or even interest in public opinion. Ford's government is correct on the migrant issue. It's a mess the federal government must pay to clean up and a large majority of Ontarians (and probably other Canadians) agrees with this. It's not dog-whistle politics, as the Star prefers to portray it.

Ford hasn't spoken French in public nor made the apparently obligatory nods to Indigenous interests. Well, so what? He probably doesn't speak French in the first place and he likely understands that Indigenous demands are in many cases at odds with the broader public interest. So, why act hypocritically and virtue signal just for the sake of so doing? For the most part, Ford is an open book. What you see is what you get. For the time being, I suspect most Ontarians are fine with that. Let's see what his government can and will do when it gets to the meat and potatoes of running the province rather than focus on the window dressing the media and special interests seem so concerned about right now.

I think we need to hear Ford's take on a range of issues.  Our country's focus, at all levels of government, seems to be on everything except the issues that matter most to Canadians.  Ontario in particular has a few important concerns to address:

1.  With 50% of Ontario's economy dependent on trade with the U.S., what is the backup plan to support the steel, and perhaps very soon, the auto sector in the wake of Trump's tarrifs?  So far the federal government has a payout plan for families impacted by the tariffs.  It's a short-term fix that won't provide long-term employment.  I think we need to consider getting provincial and federal politicians around the table with auto parts makers and Canadian companies in the auto supply chain to seriously consider creating a Canadian car company.

2.  The congestion in and around Toronto is the worst of any city in North America.  Our subway system and highways are laughably inadequate and negatively impact the environment, quality of life for commuters, and global competitiveness.  In conjunction with plans to support the sectors impacted by Trump's tariffs (steel, autos, aluminum), this is an opportunity to divert the labour force impacted by the tariffs and to create new, well paying manufacturing jobs in the construction of subways, high frequency rail, and high speed rail.  We need fast rail between Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Kitchener-Waterloo (the tech sector) at minimum.  We need roughly double the current number of subway and commuter rail lines.  This is the time to fast-track electrification of GO lines, add greater frequency of service, build new stations, and upgrade the speeds of locomotives.  We also need to add highways in the GTA, underground and tolled if need be.  As long as existing highways aren't tolled, such a move would likely find favour with the public, especially if tolls help pay for transit.

3.  Ontario has one of the highest subnational debts of any jurisdiction in the world.  Ford needs to find efficiencies and probably, for the sake of fairness, impose a 5-10% spending cut across all departments.  The Health budget is out of control, consuming over half of the provincial budget, yet wait times are still unacceptably long.  There were a number of strange Liberal pet projects.  Trudeau has them too.  Scrapping or cutting dubious expenditures will help, but Ford will be hard pressed to maintain current levels of essential services without going further into debt, and that's without implementing his proposed tax cuts. 

We've gotten into an unhealthy habit in Canada of relying too heavily on government to provide too many things.  As a result we seem unable to get the basics right.  Without upgraded infrastructure and stimulating the sectors of the economy where we need to be competitive globally, all the tax cuts or non-essential program spending in the world won't amount to much.  Ford's team needs to be astute and work with the Feds and the cities to find the right balance.  

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6 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

We've gotten into an unhealthy habit in Canada of relying too heavily on government to provide too many things.  As a result we seem unable to get the basics right.  Without upgraded infrastructure and stimulating the sectors of the economy where we need to be competitive globally, all the tax cuts or non-essential program spending in the world won't amount to much.  Ford's team needs to be astute and work with the Feds and the cities to find the right balance.  

Government micromanagement tends to turn potential success into miserable failure so I'm wary of governments that by fiat stimulate selected sectors in the economy or determine winners and losers. Ford can't resolve the trade dilemma with the U.S. so there's little he can do about Trump's protectionism. Canada took a huge gamble with the FTA and NAFTA and now the chickens are coming home to roost. We have almost no leverage. I think our only hope at this point is to roll back taxes dramatically, eliminate pretty much all non-essential government spending dramatically, cancel social programs other than pensions and disability support and implement a health care system where eligibility is based on contributions as is the American public medicare system for seniors. Those who've paid taxes for years would be credited with deemed contributions but going forward everybody would have to pay premiums covering the full cost of the medical system or opt out of it entirely by buying private insurance. We simply can't afford freebies. The old economic model is finished. It's time for a massive rethink. If we don't move on this soon, we could all become impoverished in the near future. 

Edited by turningrite

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I agree with some of what your saying, especially with regard to picking winners and losers, but we need much better transportation infrastructure (subways, trains, and highways) and dismantling health care would be a mistake given that our system is takes up a smaller portion of GDP than in the U.S..  Some scaling back is in order though.

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8 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

I agree with some of what your saying, especially with regard to picking winners and losers, but we need much better transportation infrastructure (subways, trains, and highways) and dismantling health care would be a mistake given that our system is takes up a smaller portion of GDP than in the U.S..  Some scaling back is in order though.

Too many Canadians fall into the trap of believing that the U.S. health care model is the only alternative to Canada's terrible system. This stark dichotomy undermines making the reforms necessary to transform our system into a more efficient and sustainable model. We already have a structure upon which to build a "public option" as part of a new system. It is the lack of this option that undermined effective health care reform south of the border. Health care isn't free, nor should it be. We should as much as possible remove its costs from general taxation and transfer them to a stand alone program funded mainly by contributions/premiums. Eligibility would be assessed on the basis of contributions and years of residency, as is now the case with seniors benefits.

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Health needs reform, but some form of universal health care will have to remain, as it’s too near and dear to Canadians to dismantle.  It has many virtues.  

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5 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

Health needs reform, but some form of universal health care will have to remain, as it’s too near and dear to Canadians to dismantle.  It has many virtues.  

Everyone is entitled to Health Care - question is, how much do they pay. Free for all makes no sense. The first action item is to provide quarterly or semi-annual statements itemizing the services and their cost - so that people adapt the mindset that it's not free. Secondly, payment should be geared to income and settled at tax time. Thirdly, private services should be allowed - geared to medicare rates. MRIs for example. Knee and hip replacements are another as our aging population demands. Assembly line operations have their benefits. Open our minds - drop the ideology.

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3 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

Everyone is entitled to Health Care - question is, how much do they pay. Free for all makes no sense. The first action item is to provide quarterly or semi-annual statements itemizing the services and their cost - so that people adapt the mindset that it's not free. Secondly, payment should be geared to income and settled at tax time. Thirdly, private services should be allowed - geared to medicare rates. MRIs for example. Knee and hip replacements are another as our aging population demands. Assembly line operations have their benefits. Open our minds - drop the ideology.

Our sick care system is not that far from workable.   The idea of universal insurance is fine, but problem is too much of the population doesn't pay ANYTHING for tax to support sick care.  In the rest of the old G7 nations, except the US, private delivery lives side by side with public delivery, as does public payment for private service alongside of unrestricted access to private service on your own nickel.  Even in the US, something over half of the total population is covered by medicare, medicaid, VA or government employment sick care benefits.  Where the problem comes is how practice medicine.  It is for the most part a rather ignorant practice of trying to drug everyone to death.  I refer to it as sick care, since there is little money there for anyone until you are ill or injured, at which time everyone conspires to drug the shit out of you.  The other thing they are busy doing (especially in the US) is administering piles of excessive testing and treatment as a prophylactic to potential liability.  I estimate over half of US medical costs are due to lawyers and insurance companies milking the system for hundreds of billions a year.  We do some of that, because we are too close to them. 

What we do a little bit is health care.  There is little better than the Canada Food Guide at providing a trusted and accurate source of basic nutritional information.   We need to do a lot more nutritional and lifestyle education.   I would like to see some of this funded by fat tax - let's put the costs directly on those foods and people who create much of the cost.  Most of all, spend the effort and bux to keep people OUT of the sick care system - where they become REALLY expensive.

Realistically, all Ford can do is help to steer the whole boat in a smarter direction by at best a few degrees.

Edited by cannuck

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Premier Doug Ford, the bully, the dictator, Mike Harris02 strikes again.

Quote

Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government ushered in the first of what it promised would be major reforms to social assistance on Tuesday, reducing a planned increase in support rates and cancelling a pilot program that provided payments to low-income people in certain communities.

In an afternoon news conference, Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said the government would come up with a plan within 100 days to overhaul the “disjointed patchwork system” left by the previous Liberal regime.

The Liberals, she said, spent money the province didn’t have on “handouts that actually do little if anything to break the cycle of poverty.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/4363514/ontario-tories-basic-income-social-assistance/

Wynne's Liberals had brought in these measures in a last ditch effort to save their skin. A better plan would be to encourage people on social assistance find jobs and gain self esteem that comes with financial independence. There is much duplication in the system i.e. social assistance and Ontario Works where savings could be assigned to giving people a hand up.

Edited by capricorn
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1 hour ago, capricorn said:

Premier Doug Ford, the bully, the dictator, Mike Harris02 strikes again.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4363514/ontario-tories-basic-income-social-assistance/

Wynne's Liberals had brought in these measures in a last ditch effort to save their skin. A better plan would be to encourage people on social assistance find jobs and gain self esteem that comes with financial independence. There is much duplication in the system i.e. social assistance and Ontario Works where savings could be assigned to giving people a hand up.

You're right - as is Ford of course. The patchwork system is the inevitable result of a government pandering for votes by offering up piecemeal "programs" that over time, waste resources through bureaucracy while losing their intended purpose. Just because a program is introduced  doesn't mean it should last forever. After 15 years of Liberal rule, it makes total sense to look at the big picture again and rationalize where money is spent, how it is tracked and managed - and how it can be measured against the desired outcomes. Partisanship aside - money that is wasted or ineffective - is money that is just that - wasted.

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24 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

This is welfare - so the idea is to get them to go and get jobs ?

 

They don't have to get jobs....but it might prove to be helpful given recent developments in Ontariario.

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