The Ontario Government's 'Cynical, Uncaring Stunt'



Late yesterday, Ontario legislators voted against reducing their pay to CERB levels, while instead having a laugh and passing a motion to reduce the salary of MPP Roman Baber, the man who introduced the bill.

To say this is an insult to small business owners in the province (and all provinces) would be an understatement.

Baber, who was previously ousted from caucus for joining the growing list of MPPs who are questioning the continued impacts of often evidence-free and collateral damage-inducing shutdowns, was trying to finally level the playing field between hard-working Canadians, and the politicians who continue to restrict lives and livelihoods.

He wanted us to actually be 'all in this together' for a change.

Instead, his concerns -- and our concerns -- were tossed aside, and turned into a joke.

Newstalk 1010 host Jerry Agar called it "a cynical, uncaring stunt."

Dr. Matt Strauss, a critical care specialist and journalist, who will be seeking a Conservative Party nomination in Kitchener -- and who has provided tireless, evidence-based advocacy in the fight against societal harms being brought upon by shutdowns -- called it "extraordinarily shameful."

NCC campaign fellow Spencer Fernando called it "despicable."

I called it "a total collapse of leadership." And today, I stand by that statement.

If the federal Liberals are going to continue to mislead, misrepresent, and mismanage Canada like never before, we expect better from provincial governments, and particularly conservative provincial governments, who at times have acted like anything but.

The plight of ordinary Canadians is deserving of real sympathy. And yesterday, there was even a hope for creating empathy. Instead, we're left with a divide between the 'lockdowners' and the 'locked down' that feels larger than ever before.

Canadians have been suffering for nearly a calendar year under heavy restrictions, while those giving the orders have never missed a bloated paycheque.

Ontario PC caucus may find yesterday's stunt amusing. But we're not laughing.

Tens-of-thousands of businesses closing isn't a joke. Hundreds-of-thousands of calls to children's mental health lines isn't a joke. The thousands of crucial missed-diagnoses and the enormous mental and physical toll brought on by isolation and poverty isn't a joke.

Do better, premiers. You're expected to be the adults in the room when dealing with Justin Trudeau.

If you can't support a better public health balance that allows for your people to live their lives and safely earn a living, you chose the wrong line of work.

Perhaps try opening up a small business instead? Maybe then you wouldn't find this all so amusing.


Peter Coleman
President, National Citizens Coalition