When I lived on the escarpment in Hamilton in my late twenties, my house was on the edge, overlooking the city. I had a backyard that was big as a large field with trees blocking the view of Stelco and Dofasco, and I had many animals make those trees their home.
Being on the edge of the cliff gave me plenty of privacy, but also a valuable lesson.
I had neighbours who secretly — and illegally — poisoned the trees in order to get a better view. They offered me the opportunity to do the same, and I declined. Who wants a view of that?
But there was another reason, and it had to do with the environment: trees have their spread of roots, and it is the roots that keep the ground from eroding. Kill the trees, and watch your property shrink because you have nothing holding that edge together.
In the years that I lived there, the size of the property at my house never changed. I always lost two pounds mowing it myself, and didn’t mind.
My neighbours who poisoned their trees, saw their properties’s size erode, some more rapidly than others. By the time I left the neighbourhood, my backyard stuck out much more than the others.
These days, you would have people blame it on “climate change” and not on short-sighted nincompoopity.
You have wealthy morons and braggarts build on the edge of water and ravines, tearing down everything, and then when the inevitable happens, they try to milk it for all it is worth to virtue-signal as a form of deflection. No, you idiots: stop building your hideous McMansions as you tear down the flora and displace the fauna, and, ta da! none of it would be happening. Stop blaming other people for your own stupid diva demands, and stop buying your own hype.
But those tree-poisoners in my neighbourhood don’t just remind me of Limousine Liberal Environmentalism, they are a perfect representation of Ontario in general: getting rid of the spread of roots in order to show off, and then wailing like a spoiled child in soiled underpants because they lose more than the paltry sum they imagined they would gain.
Ontario is a massive welfare state. This province would be a Third World region without government nannying. Doug Ford slashing their largesse is the right thing to do, but, like all other right things to do, it isn’t a popular one.
He is in the same place as his brother Rob Ford. When he was elected, he promised to stop the gravy train. What many voters failed to realize was that they were feasting on that gravy and weren’t not as smart or successful as they deluded themselves. In Toronto, you had poor people think that they were middle class, and middle class who thought they were rich.
Along comes Rob Ford, sees that the net and gross were widely misaligned, and then brought in reality.
And then came the howling from people who suddenly had to face the fact that they were poor all along, or that they were middle class all along.
The same is happening to Doug Ford.
And the amount of provincial inefficiencies in Ontario is absolutely disgusting.
I can guarantee you if the province were to cut funding for certain kinds of public transportation, the CBC and Toronto Star would slap some poor, disabled person, as a “victim” of this horrible reduction.
What they will conveniently not mention is that wealthy people living in McMansions use the same cheaper public transport because there is no means test in order to qualify for it.
Or, when you see a minor fender bender, there are several police cruisers, a firetruck, paramedics…and no one is actually sent to the hospital. The same holds true when you call the paramedics who have to stay with you in the emergency waiting room until you are admitted.
The amount of waste and inefficiencies in the province is vile…but if they were to be efficient, a lot of people with Sunshine pay checks would be out of a job because they are redundant. They are not needed, nor should they even be there in the first place.
That’s how spending gets out of hand: you have people who get dragged in through nepotistic means, and then make a huge salary, while other people do not need the services they could afford on their own — such as a PSW, but get thanks to the province.
Doug Ford may be hurting in the polls, but so what? Kathleen Wynne gave away money the province did not have and she was unpopular because the electorate wanted even more.
And the Toronto Star has nerve decreeing that people got “burned” by the cuts: no, they are not owed a job, for instance. And for programs that were slashed, they would not have been had the public sector been doing their jobs, and were more vigilant and efficient. That is not on Ford.
When colleges and universities got lavish funding — they all went and built up their campuses, even though they had much lower enrolment rates and retentions than what they were building. They over-expanded the bricks and mortar, and did very little else with the money given. You had teachers bank sick days, which is pure lunacy. You had staff take extra time off so that they got fully paid — but then whoever took over their job temporarily got a higher rate of pay.
You cannot then push forward your sickliest client and then bemoan what will happen to them — you weren’t thinking about that when you were pushing the envelope when the gravy train was riding through your place of work.
So what we have now is a group of people who are livid that their fantasy-world has been threatened: they are not as competent or smart as they brag to their friends, neighbours, and relatives. They could have that McMansion because they were using cheap public transit meant for the poor, elderly, and disabled who had no other ways of getting around town. The family who had luxury SUV had it because they could shove their children in city-funded programs on the cheap.
That is not what taxpayer money was ever meant to do. You have to separate the genuine needs from the cheap parasites who know the loopholes and take advantage of them.
Much of the bellyaching comes from the short-sightedness of those who miscalculated and thought the free ride was never going to end. You keep sucking the life out of the province’s roots, they can no longer hold the ground together, and it erodes.
And then someone comes in, sees the rot, and then takes drastic steps to stem the losses.
And then we have a climate shift. People may get upset, but what they should be is humbled. People should not have to fund your lazy nephew in a made-up job you thought up in order to look like a big shot. Poor people should not have to pay HST so you can ride on cheap public transit so you don’t spend money on gas for your Mercedes.
That’s why a forensic accountant — and insurance investigator would find real efficiencies. Outsiders would see more and take less for granted than any in-house middle manager. There is real fraud and skulduggery happening, and since the press has decided to play cover up for the sake of a fake narrative, a more capable agent would do wonders.
And it is about time someone stopped the ground from eroding because the view without it here is very ugly, indeed…