December 2, 2022

We now know with certainty what’s proposed for the following 4 years. And sure, Ottawa is getting a ‘tremendous mayor.’

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Again within the spring, the Ontario authorities tabled a price range so voters would know what to anticipate if Doug Ford and firm have been re-elected. On Tuesday, the victorious Progressive Conservatives repeated their price range necessities, blended in with the lyrics “give us a spot to face … a spot to develop” from that 1967 “Ontari-ari-ari-o” earworm.

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Properly and good — we now know with certainty what’s deliberate for the following 4 years: a lot of roads, hospital infrastructure, extra long-term care beds, a lift for the electrical car/battery trade, funding within the North, schooling “catch-up” cash and numerous makes an attempt to draw extra health-care staff.

We additionally know the Ford authorities plans to by no means once more institute lockdowns due to COVID (or presumably another illness). Of us will likely be anticipated to stay with the virus since there are vaccines, antivirals, fast assessments and HEPA filters on the market. It’s an odd promise to make about an sickness that continues to kill regardless of these instruments. No point out, both, of monkeypox or different future plagues; no long-term technique wanted, it might appear. That’s public well being in Ontari-ari-ari-o.

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What Tuesday’s laundry listing did embrace that wasn’t there three months in the past was a modest pay improve for individuals on the Ontario Incapacity Assist Plan (ODSP). The Tories now promise a five-per-cent hike within the month-to-month allowance, presently a tight-fisted $1,169. The inflation charge in June was 8.1 per cent. There’s a plan for inflation-indexed will increase in future.

One other addendum was the “daring” pledge to create a “sturdy mayor” system for Toronto and Ottawa (future growth to different municipalities is but to be decided). Tuesday’s throne speech tied this transfer on to Ontario’s affordable-housing challenges, with the federal government saying sturdy mayors can “work extra successfully with the province to scale back timelines for growth, standardize processes and deal with native limitations to growing the provision of housing.”

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It’s unlikely even a “tremendous mayor” can magically repair the housing and shelter woes of Ottawa or another metropolis; this idea is de facto about shifting the issue — a few of it the results of provincial crimson tape — onto the shoulders of an identifiable native politician. And it’s true the transfer ought to give Ottawa voters pause. Whose shoulders would you shift this difficulty onto? These of Bob Chiarelli, Catherine McKenney or Mark Sutcliffe? And what different powers will they wield if their vote or veto counts for greater than that of different councillors?

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However a minimum of we now have the federal government’s blueprint for provincial development. Relaxation straightforward. We’re all going to be superb in Ontari-ari-ari-o.

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