KENORA – Readers Ledger – 215 Amendments were submitted to counter McGuinty’s Omnibudget bill and 20 were passed before McGuinty shut the committee down. While PC opposition members gutted the budget bill with proposed amendments we have to ask, where was Sarah Campbell? Where were her amendments? It was with amusement that I read about the NDP’s participation in a protest rally held in Fort Frances opposing the sale of our Tourist Centres. There were fiery speeches, protest songs and the usual cries about fighting on, I saw on YouTube, NDP MP John Rafferty even “happened” to be a member of the small audience of volunteers but where was this fight months ago? Where is it now?
The NDP petition, submitted Wednesday, now gets to sit idle for 24 days “sitting days” of Queen’s Park before receiving a response from the Liberals which, due to their summer recess, should be sometime in October; long after our Tourist season is over. Where is the real action?
We were told by abstaining from a budget that they helped create, the NDP were doing a favour for Ontario. In fact, they tried to portray that by doing nothing, it was seen as taking the high road. We were told Ontario did not want an election so soon and the NDP fought hard for a few concessions. However, none of their concessions involved saving our Tourist Centres, the NDP got tax increases to fund more Toronto special interest programs, but not our Tourist Centres.
When one abstains from voting, one chooses to sit on the fence. It really says “I don’t care, you decide”
And when one chooses to do nothing and abstain, in my opinion, you have now just lost the privilege to complain or protest. If you didn’t feel it was an important enough issue to neither support nor deny, then you really cannot complain about the outcome, can you?
It seems to me the NDP were thinking more of power and political showmanship than they were about their own constituents. The Tourist Centres are necessary for Northwestern Ontario. It may not matter to the rest of the province, but it matters to us. It should also matter to our elected representatives and when given the opportunity to voice their displeasure, it is expected that they do so with tangible action, not with abstention, followed by protest rallies and petitions after the fact.
Abstention was not an option. It is politics at its worst. Why are the taxpayers paying for her to go back an forth all the time if she’s not even voting, let alone voting in our best interests!
I am afraid the time for tough talk and protests has passed, it is time to expect more from our representation, and it is time to actually do something.
Kenora-Rainy River Ontario PC Riding Association