Opinion: Bill 5 Protest

My name is Gladys Larbie and I am running in ward 13 as a City Councillor Candidate in the upcoming Municipal Elections. I would like to give a brief update on Bill 5 and the protesting that I’ve witnessed.

I’ll start off by saying that after the announcement of council slash, my reaction was shock as was virtually all of the city and province mirrored response. The premier not only slashed the council size, but also eliminated regional positions as a cost cutting measure.

I’ve heard from many who disagree with the Premier decisions, and I have heard from others that although approve, felt that the way it was done last minute was not right.

I do not understand the reason for the Premier’s timely announcement. I can assume that although council slashing was not a platform promise, Mr. Ford did promise, low cost, effective government and that is what the people of Ontario voted on. The last minute announcement, I’m assuming, is to help with future growth of our economy while running an efficient government.

The Ford Government has been working all through the summer for swift changes to save money for Ontario and to build the economy. Firing of Hydro One CEO and Board Members, ending the York University strike, eliminating carbon tax, cap and trade program, introducing the privatizing sale of cannabis (effective October) and, lowering the minimum price of beer in less than 60 days. I noticed that some areas of changes that community disapprove of; phasing out of ODSP pilot program, Sex-Ed High School Curriculum changes, halt for increase in safe injection sites, and freezing minimum wage. I did not see, unfortunately, from Council and others that disagree, the same passion for the above changes that they have showed for council slashing.

I commend the progressives action for fighting back what they deem to be unfair, but I am offended that the steps that they have taken are not shown in the other areas that the progressives are in disagreement with.

I think that the people opposed to the premiers decision to slash council should also keep in mind when protesting that the people of Ontario want change to occur because they are tired of the state that previous government had created.

Delaying Bill 5 with a notwithstanding clause I think is offensive to me and to the community because again, I have not seen the same passion taken before from the left from other areas. I know that this issue is something not seen in Ontario politics, but the response has been tense and wonder why this type of protest has not gone on before with other issues. The previous provincial government, had made a lot of changes or lack their of, that resulted in non party status in current government. There was no outcry at this level by the people that I have seen in the last 15 years of Liberal power.

I also find it offensive that the current majority government was voted into power for making the province efficient. The minority government officials and city council that are in disagreement, have continued to delay what the voters wanted in their government: efficiency and cost saving. I would hope that the opposition have been mindful when protesting the council slashing, that they are also going against what the majority of Ontario had voted for.

I like to think that voters will vote for leaders who show true leadership during times when things are unclear, and how they can overcome situations that may cause hardship, but are still keeping true to the people.

I applaud the progressive for their right to fight for what they believe is right. I think that the fight should have ended after the judges ruling, and to reconsider/re-strategize protesting after the reintroduction of Bill 5 with a notwithstanding clause. I think now is the time to work with the majority government and City of Toronto to ensure that the election will be set for October 22.

I would imagine that the community would want an election without politicians protesting to the very end and would also imagine that the community would want leaders who do their job effectively without delaying process for something at this point, can’t be stopped.