Saturday, May 22, 2010

Deregulation Still Haunts Us

This often referred too "first week-end of summer" is a time of awakening for many Canadians as we reopen cottages, light Bar-b-Cues for the first time since last fall and wax our cars, but this awakening is also a time of re-awakening the pain of grief and suffering as the wonderful people of Walkerton Ontario mark the tenth anniversary of the Walkerton water tragedy.

This avoidable tragedy brought to the people of Walkerton suffering and death; suffering and death of family, friends and loved ones. Yes it was avoidable on more that one front; a couple of the operators of the water treatment system received much of the blame, but it must never be forgotten that deregulation of our public services such as water treatment and sampling greatly accelerated the trip to disaster and tragedy.

If one needs more examples of where deregulation governments such as the former Harris government in Ontario and the current McGuinty government fail to represent and care for the people in their jurisdiction just think back to the privatization of TSSA inspections and the deadly propane explosion in north Toronto of a couple of summers ago. Fast forward to to-day and the McGuinty government is entertaining the possibility of privatizing Ministry of Labour inspections. Just imagine the disservice that workers in Ontario will be subject too if this privatization and deregulation exercise dose for workers what the privatization of TSSA inspections and water sampling did for the public safety.

Dave Trumble
Labour Council

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Federal Conservative Party Intolerance

If there was much doubt about the agenda of intolerance that the federal Conservative party subscribes too the last few weeks should have cleared up that doubt. In the past few weeks the federal Conservatives have excluded abortion, in contrast to the rest of the G8, as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's G8 maternal-health initiative, have witnessed some raw political advice on the same abortion issue from a Conservative senator to women's groups “shut up” or it could get worse and, lastly, the removal of funding for Toronto's pride celebration.

Take these last few items, which are only a small subset of numerous other attacks on a wide variety of progressive groups and unions, and add them to the contempt for parliament that Harper has and a clear picture of intolerance emerges.

Canada is built on a long standing foundation of tolerance and understanding and in light of this should Harper ever have the courage to face the electorate the voters will need to give thorough consideration to this most important consideration; what type of Canada do we still want and who do we want to represent that Canada.

Dave Trumble
Grey-Bruce Labour Council