Logic, evidence, swearing

May 18, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Environmentalists, scientists, climate refugees, and animal lovers wring their hands as they watch governments, including ours, issue licences for more oil exploration in the oceans, more fracking, more logging, and more unreasonable development as they hear the news that the world will pass the 1.5-degree celsius global warming limit within a very few years.

You know, it is not idealistic, not sentimental, not even hysterical to wonder why we must destroy this paradise planet as once was; that we must wage war on each other, that one crowd of humans must feel they have the right to dominate over other humans, over other creatures, gender attempting to suppress gender.

How is it that the people who stand at the top of our political piles, stand, as I say, on the shoulders, on the heads even, of the very people who trusted them to be wise, honest and thoughtful, not corrupt, idiotic and even dangerous – take us down the worst paths?

Look at the villain, Doug Ford, daring to justify his draconian new law, Bill 23, the ruin of a vast section of the Green Belt, among other deeply harmful intentions.

Doug Ford is calling the Green Belt a scam!

From promises to protect the Green Belt to confessions of backing away from those promises to calling the Green Belt a scam, this is all to line the pockets of developers – “friends” and wedding guests of his. They will chew up our precious local environment and ruin the habitats of the wildlife that depends on it, not to mention us, who depend on the Green Belt for flood control and clean air and places nearby for growing food.

During the calamitous provincial election of 2022, those trusted politicians, Steven Del Duca, leader of the Liberal party and Andrea Horwath, leader of the NDP, completely failed the electorate by their ridiculous bickering between them when they should have joined forces to defeat the dreadful Doug Ford instead of handing him a very false “majority.”

As though all either of them could think of was getting out of provincial politics and into maybe easier and more comfortable roles as mayors of Vaughan and Hamilton, they actually dumped the people of Ontario – deserted them. 

Now, as mayors, they will have to face the punishment of Bill 23, which gives developers the freedom to build wherever they like, municipal powers having been stripped and paying municipalities nothing.

Nor can we simply sit back and cast the shadow of blame on those in power. We had the right to vote in that election, and we too handed that false majority to the destructive, lying Doug Ford by staying away from the voting stations. We were so bored by the fractious Del Luca and Horwath, but that was not a good enough excuse to betray our own selves. We knew Doug for the wretch that he is. He had established a clear track record, and the worst fears environmentalists harboured were realized.

He did not bother with a campaign but only stood to one side, saying nothing, never answering a single straight question but fobbing them all off by merely muttering about jobs and the economy. We already knew about his plans for unnecessary and damaging highways – the facts and numbers were out against the 413 and plans for housing.

Yet, we did nothing to stop him from getting back into office, and now we are protesting, walking the streets with our homemade signs and accomplishing nothing.

His Bill 23 passed easily because everyone else, including the opposing and completely irresponsible political candidates and we, the voters, gave him that majority at Queen’s Park.

We gave him permission to say things like the Green Belt is a scam.

As for our charming, smiling Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, who is always very visible in Orangeville at grand occasions and ribbon cuttings, she is never available to talk to the people who do march in the streets with their signs to protest Bill 23, the proposed destruction of our local environment. She will not talk to them, but does she also say that our local Green Belt is a scam?

The alternatives to democracy are out there for all to see. A very brief look at world news will demonstrate clearly how tyrants rule, what happens to the people who rise up against them – the punishments they suffer in unfettered jails, where torture and death are unofficially condoned, and the seas are witness to those who drown and die in their attempts to escape.

Like the Green Belt, our democracy can come under similar attack, and can be re-defined, as has the power municipalities once held over their own boundaries. If we are complacent, which I consider to be the great Canadian failing; if we are lazy and indifferent, if we say things like “politics is of no interest to me,” we put democracy at risk.

It might seem unlikely that a secret service will start knocking on the doors of protesters, demanding to see the place where they make their signs, checking into their private lives.

Yet and yet. We know all freedoms depend on the vigilance of the populace. Next time there is an election, go and vote. No more damned excuses.

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