Bait and switch scheme stands uncovered

The common folk are waiting for well-paid public servants to stand up and do the right thing




Metroland Media Group Ltd.


Here is the Ford-Tory governing style: Ignore health care long enough that even some doctors, and even editorial boards, come to admit or accept, that any private alternative is better than nothing. So rather than fund public health care, Ontario residents will use OHIP cards — tax dollars, to pay at private clinics — with a guarantee of no extra charges. Private clinics will compete for staff and doctors and therefore drive the ups costs, despite impossible assurances that private clinics will not take people from public system. What else can the government do at a news conference except deny and implement, and then act surprised when proven wrong and it is too late to do anything about the conflict. Of course, there will be competition for qualified people. The government will then justify the eventual and inevitable competition for people as “unforeseen,” by pointing to the backlog that is being addressed, the backlog the government itself created by underfunding the health-care system for years. Ontario residents are dizzy from the Ford-Tory double talk. I have never heard public outcry over money spent on universal health care. So just what is the motivation to privatize now — or put more simply, just how big is the bribe to privatize? More intriguing is how and when will the payoff occur to make it untraceable. No payoff? Then what is the motivation for going outside the existing system now? It is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy to turn to private options to address backlogs created by underfunding and failing to use empty operating rooms. Ontario residents at least deserve at least a piece of the “back door” action in a situation that is looking and sounding like the Highway 407 deal. It was the 407 deal and the illusion of savings through amalgamation that turned voters away from the Tories years ago. It was change for the sake of change that has cost billions and affected the very fabric of our society by decimating the identity of small towns — just as private health care will do on another level, but with no extra costs or preferential treatment appearing until after it is up and running. Now, health care change is just the latest Tory policy to turn the heads of Ontario residents. Public funding of private LTC homes led to skimming off profits at the expense of residents and lives, until conditions were bad enough to bring in the armed forces, but the Ford government brought in legislation to limit liability rather than look for accountability. Opening up the Greenbelt to the developers who contributed to the Ford campaign is blatant conflict of interest, just as a money for a highway, that no one wants (money that could go toward health care) would provide access to more lands owned by developer supporters. Is there no shame, friends? Is there no decorum or protocol that puts arable land needed by future generations for food self-sufficiency ahead of easy money? All this bullying of municipalities (by giving mayors to power to override council majorities) even before creating broad incentives for affordable housing and infill projects within existing boundaries? Are there no laws, or is there just no will to enforce the law, to stop a dictator disguised as a premier — an elected representative of the people who says one thing and does another — from doing not just generational damage, but irreversible damage when evidence of change in weather patterns is all around us? The common folk in this province, without fancy qualifications but with plenty of common sense, see the Ford bait and switch for what it is and know their world is being sold right out from under them. The common folk are waiting for well-paid public servants to stand up and do the right thing — to do their jobs. I’m not speaking for any other party. I speak for transparency, decency and democracy so we can all stand and work together with conviction — otherwise it is Ford’s way or the highway.