by Jerry Agar
Canada Day was as good a day as any to think about how to make a great nation better.
So I thought about it. And who doesn’t love a debatable top 10 list?
1. Health care reform. We score badly against European nations, wait times are still too high and people needing out-of-country intervention are told OHIP won’t pay. (Need I mention eHealth and Ornge?)
2. Soft on crime. Murderers given lengthy sentences are let out early. Many are never given close to the maximum and the focus seems to be on rehabilitation rather than keeping the worst of the worst away from the innocent. If you don’t believe me, just look up Michele Mandel’s recent columns in the Sun.
3. Veto vote to mayors. It is the only elected position in Canada voted on by the entire affected electorate. The ability to veto votes by council that were passed with less than a super-majority would stop things like the knee-jerk outlawing of plastic bags and force council to work more as a unit for the public good.
4. Religious bigotry. Telling people of faith that their views are unwelcome in government, while the views of those with no religion are welcome, is no way to run a caring country, especially one purporting to value freedom of religion.
5. Human rights commissions. There is no right not to be offended and Canada acting as if there is, represents an assault on an actual right; free speech. Free speech is not, as one commission investigator said, “an American concept.” It is in the Charter. Look it up.
6. Addiction to green. With Premier Dalton McGuinty’s billion-dollar gifts to favoured businesses in the green sector costing Ontarians dearly and Toronto Council’s war on the plastic bag, junk science prevails.
7. Unions. Hey, OFL leader Sid Ryan, been to Wisconsin lately? Once the union lost its ability to force membership, the largest single Wisconsin public union lost more than half its members and the local American Federation of Teachers lost a third. Higher than market wages, sweetheart pensions, bloated bureaucracies and ugly strikes have gotten old, and the Canadian public is ready for a whole new contract with organized labour.
8. Government monopolies. Monopolies are illegal in the private sector for a reason. They are injurious to the public good. So why do we insist on letting government run monopolies for two of the most important areas of life; education and health care? Arguments that government “cares” more and it is cheaper without the profit motive never withstand scrutiny. And by the way, you are getting ripped off at the LCBO as well.
9. School choice. Fund it publicly and have the money follow the child. Except for elite private schools, private is on average cheaper and does as well or better. Choice is respectful and fair. Do we want to be that kind of nation, or is dictatorial, central planning really the Canadian way? (See #7; Even union people like choice.)
10. Economics in school. So people know when they are being lied to. For example, being told arts funding multiplies into magic money, a lie told by reporting the benefit side of the ledger while ignoring the cost side. (Critics of this point studied art, not economics.)
— Agar is the 9 a.m. to noon host on Newstalk 1010
Categories: Contributor Columns