We are very fortunate to live in this country and have better lives because of good works and efforts of many, past and present. Often though we the taxpayer do not pay attention the way we should to ensure a similar quality of life for future generations. Yes many of us elect people to various boards, commissions and levels of government to represent us and what drives those people to take those positions must vary, but a common link (wishfully perhaps) is that they represent or promote what is best for all of us instead of special interest groups.
There is a failure right now in the Ontario Legislature by our Members of Provincial Parliament. A failure to actively research bills prior to House debates, or if they are, it is not brought up. Bill 49, like Bill 193 last year that did not get past first reading, is designed to increase the powers of the French Language Commissioner. My question to that, is it truly needed? Hansard does not offer clues to that question being answered and was certainly not asked.
Reviewing some Hansard debates for the Ontario Legislature, not just on French language services bills, leads me to a difference of opinion on what debate means. There is very little actual discussion on need, cost or long term effects mentioned. Should our elected leaders and paid staff not be first researching then presenting findings of short, medium and long term effects of a proposed bill? We should expect projections on costs in dollars and human capital both short and long term? And also of some importance, is the bill really needed and how will it affect all Ontarians? We cannot afford to give everyone whatever they want and we have surpassed core service levels long ago!
With technology today, research or opinions are easier than ever to acquire. Newspapers with on-line versions often have live comment sections below articles and special interest group input is usually detectable within them, Twitter accounts could offer concise input even. However learned, the guiding rule to address should be how will this, if implemented, affect all Ontarians! Bill 49 does not help all of us, it is designed to increase beyond what is needed, a larger voice and with that cost (in dollars and human), for just over 4% of the population, who are not in any less dire straits than many others in this province.
This province and country is in need of a tune-up, first cancel this Bill, then have honest discussions on needs and costs of both the French Language Services Act and the Official Languages Act. Taxpayers have a right to offer input, and each of us should be working towards providing our children and grandchildren with the quality of life we inherited. It is up to you, contact your elected representatives and remember inefficiencies on voting day.
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