Millroy: Doug Ford is under constant attack

11

Premier Doug Ford is under constant attack from critics for what they see as mindless cuts to areas such as education and health care, programs concerning autism being one of his main targets.

I tend to agree that, although it is indeed necessary to bring government spending under control, that Ford doesn’t seem to give much thought as to the harm his cuts will create before pulling the trigger.

However, having said that, there is one cut that he has proposed with which I certainly agree – the dismantling of the Ontario College of Trades, a non-governmental body that was established in April 2013 by the previous Liberal government.

The idea, it seemed at the time, was to bring the trades into a closer alignment with professionals, such as doctors, nurses and teachers, who had their own colleges of oversight and discipline.

I saw it as unnecessary at the time and still believe so and was glad to see the new Progressive Conservative government address it in Bill 47, which was introduced in October of last year as the Making Ontario Open for Business Act.

There are complaints in some quarters about the college’s demise but I still can’t buy it.
One of the selling points at the time was that it would give the public an opportunity to have their complaints heard by an impartial body. The plan was to create a “public register to ensure public confidence in the qualifications of its members, receive and investigate complaints against its members and discipline members as required.”

Not that anyone in the public or the trades had asked for this.

To provide this access, those in the trades who had previously paid $60 plus HST every three years in licensing fees, now saw this jumped to $120 plus HST annually, $60 for apprentices.
The college said at the time it also would perform a range of services for its members, including:
Giving opportunities for members to provide input on key issues affecting their trades;
promoting the skilled trades as a career of choice; setting up consultative, transparent and fair processes for tradespeople and employers to make submissions to recommend changes for a trade (e.g. journeyman-to-apprentice ratio review, trade classification reviews); setting up apprenticeship programs, training standards and scopes of practice for each trade.

In other words, as I said in a column shortly after the college began operating, except for the complaint and disciplinary process, pretty well everything that could be done under what already existed.

As far as I was concerned, all this did was set up another level of bureaucracy which ate into the pockets of trades people and the wallets of taxpayers, the kind of thing that eventually cost the Liberals dearly in the last provincial election.

“Our view of the college of trades is it is an experiment that really failed to deliver on the most core mandate it had. And that was to grow the number of apprentices in Ontario,” Sean Reid, the Ontario regional director for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, was quoted as saying last fall..

“In many ways it was doomed to failure from the start because it really wasn’t speaking for the lion’s share of the skilled trades sector.”

Don Gosen, chair of the board of the college, admitted the college was a hard sell.
“We never got complete buy in from all of our members. And that is maybe an area where we haven’t succeeded to the extent that we should have,” he said.

“Among other things, the college of trades was our opportunity to step up and see skilled trades as professionals at the same level as other careers”

Questions have been raised about what will happen to licensing and enforcement of the trades, as well as a $20 million dollar reserve fund that accrued through the licensing fees..
But the province says getting rid of the college is simply about cutting red tape and getting more people into skilled trades.

I think on this one I will go with the province.

But it will be interesting to see if it cuts the cost of licensing back to what it once was or if it will let the fees stand, putting them into whatever new endeavour replaces the ill-fated college.

And it will also be interesting to see if Ford gets rid of the ridiculous rule that says for a person to become a barber, that person is also required to complete hairstylists training.
The Liberals posed the question in 2014 whether it was thought that the two should stand on their own, as once had been the case. However, if the question was indeed answered no results were ever posted.

You have to wonder about the thought processes of bureaucrats or politicians who would come up with the idea that barbers would also have to be hair stylists.

But then we have Ford and U.S. President Donald Trump so I guess anything is possible.

IF YOU BUY a pop and a small coffee from McDonald’ you will pay $2.30, $1 for the pop (all pop is $1 for the summer plus five cents HST) and $1.25 for the coffee.

But if you buy a pop alone, you pay $1.13 ($1.15 rounded off).

The provincial portion of the HST, 8%, is not charged, or is not supposed to be charged, on food from a confectionary that costs under $4 However, the federal charge (5%) does apply.
Probably because the till’s computer has not been programmed properly, the provincial tax is being charged for a pop at McDonald’s along with the federal tax.

I pointed this discrepancy out to one of the managers but was told they didn’t have anything to do with the charges or how the till’s computer was set up

It was not my intent that anything would be done here. My thought was that the manager would pass on what was happening to those who could do something about it.
The extra charge is not much.

But it is not right and I thought the corporation might want to know about it.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Hi ken c,

    Thank-you for basically saying that you want to pay less tax.

    I hear ya brother.

    We all want to pay less tax, and for exactly the same reason – To improve the quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones.

    And I hear that you think that the ONLY way to do that is by having more money, but, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one ken c.

    You see, ken, there is a whoooooooole lot more to ‘quality of life’ than the amount of money you have in the bank, or the amount of stuff that you have. For instance:

    1) HEALTH, and
    2) FREE TIME

    And yes, ken c, available money is a part, and maybe even a big part, of quality of life, but it’s not the biggest part by a long shot. We both know lots of people who don’t have lots of money who live very full, and high quality lives.

    I find it very interesting that you equate ‘social programs’ to ‘handouts’ ken.

    I guess you didn’t consider the fact that you and your family get zero-cost health care. Do you consider that a ‘handout’, ken c, because it is.

    I guess you didn’t consider the fact that everybody in your immediate family gets/got a zero-cost K-12 education ken. Do you consider that a ‘handout’ as well, ken? Yep, it’s a ‘handout’ too.

    And I guess you consider the fact that you have roads that connect to your private driveway that are installed and maintained by our governments that will allow you to get from your house to anywhere in Canada as a given, BUT IT ISN’T.

    zero-cost roads, too, are a ‘handout’ as you call it ken c.

    Yes, all those things are ‘handouts’ to you and your family members, ken, paid for by people who contribute more in taxes than you and your family members do.

    And not one of the people who pay more taxes than you do say, “feel free to give your money away to whoever you want, ken c, but I work for my money and I want to keep it for me and my family.”

  2. No, we people who pay taxes (which is EVERYBODY because there are sales taxes AND income taxes) ALL WORK HARD FOR OUR MONEY, and the more money that each of us make the more we get to keep!!

    Our tax system is a PROGRESSIVE tax system, where the more you make the more you contribute in taxes to HEALTH, EDUCATION, ROADS and other SOCIAL PROGRAMS that help the people who pay less taxes, which includes you, me and our families ken.

    Now I understand that what you were talking about was your hate-on for our social ASSISTANCE programs which are SUPPOSED TO BE designed to give people who are having a difficult TEMPORARY financial time a helping hand during those times when they can’t make ends meet for their families.

    And I somewhat agree with you ken than when these things become a way of life it is no good for anybody. Not the recipients, and not their descendants, and not the taxpayers.

    Social assistance should NOT be a way of life unless there is an ongoing medical reason for it.

    But even if there is an ongoing medical reason for helping people make ends meet you and I both know, ken, that there is tremendous value in simply being of use to others. Simply having something to go to where you feel you are providing a useful function. And that, my friend ken, doesn’t depend on the amount of money you receive in compensation for the useful thing(s) that you are providing.

    No, having some place to get up for, and go to every ‘work day’ is some thing that fills the soul with joy!!

  3. ———————————————————————————

    DESIDERATA

    GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career [work, and/or volunteer work], however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    ———————————————————————————

  4. So your hatred towards the folks who are habitual recipients of Social Assistance, or what I’m sure you call Welfare, is MISPLACED ken.

    They are simply doing what you are doing, namely, trying their hardest to do what is best for themselves and their families.

    Your hatred should be directed at the governments who have created and maintained a system that gives a FINANCIAL INCENTIVE to able-bodied Social Assistance Recipients to continue getting SA instead of giving them a financially better opportunity to re-join the world of work, and in so doing making them feel better about themselves because they are being of service to others through their work, however humble, and being fantastic role models to their family members.

    Our governments need to revamp the Social Assistance System so that it is truly a temporary form of assistance that gives the SA Recipients REAL HOPE for the future!!

    Having businesses create more jobs is NOT that SA System reform ken c.

    Ontario, and especially Southern Ontario, has TONS OF UNFILLED JOBS!!

    Check out Toronto’s 58,395 UNFILLED jobs: https://ca.indeed.com/jobs-in-Toronto,-ON

    Your assertion that more jobs is the solution to Social Assistance simply isn’t true my friend ken.

    Citizen Mark Brown

  5. I’m curious, to know if Doug Milroy made the same argument when the College of Teachers was established back in the ’90’s by the last Conservative government. At the time, they stated the exact same reasons that the Liberals gave to create the college of trades, and the same arguments against were given. I know Conservatives hate teachers and love tradespeople, but fair is fair. Either have both, or neither.

  6. Hi ken c,

    Thank-you for basically saying that you want to pay less tax.

    I hear ya brother.

    We all want to pay less tax, and for exactly the same reason – To improve the quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones.

    And I hear that you think that the ONLY way to do that is by having more money, but, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one ken c.

    You see, ken, there is a whoooooooole lot more to ‘quality of life’ than the amount of money you have in the bank, or the amount of stuff that you have. For instance:

    1) HEALTH, and
    2) FREE TIME

    And yes, ken c, available money is a part, and maybe even a big part, of quality of life, but it’s not the biggest part by a long shot. We both know lots of people who don’t have lots of money who live very full, and high quality lives.

    I find it very interesting that you equate ‘social programs’ to ‘handouts’ ken.

    I guess you didn’t consider the fact that you and your family get zero-cost health care. Do you consider that a ‘handout’, ken c, because it is.

    I guess you didn’t consider the fact that everybody in your immediate family gets/got a zero-cost K-12 education ken. Do you consider that a ‘handout’ as well, ken? Yep, it’s a ‘handout’ too.

    And I guess you consider the fact that you have roads that connect to your private driveway that are installed and maintained by our governments that will allow you to get from your house to anywhere in Canada as a given, BUT IT ISN’T.

    zero-cost roads, too, are a ‘handout’ as you call it ken c.

    Yes, all those things are ‘handouts’ to you and your family members, ken, paid for by people who contribute more in taxes than you and your family members do.

    And not one of the people who pay more taxes than you do say, “feel free to give your money away to whoever you want, ken c, but I work for my money and I want to keep it for me and my family.”

    No, we people who pay taxes (which is EVERYBODY because there are sales taxes AND income taxes) ALL WORK HARD FOR OUR MONEY, and the more money that each of us make the more we get to keep!!

    Our tax system is a PROGRESSIVE tax system, where the more you make the more you contribute in taxes to HEALTH, EDUCATION, ROADS and other SOCIAL PROGRAMS that help the people who pay less taxes, which includes you, me and our families ken.

    Now I understand that what you were talking about was your hate-on for our social ASSISTANCE programs which are SUPPOSED TO BE designed to give people who are having a difficult TEMPORARY financial time a helping hand during those times when they can’t make ends meet for their families.

    And I somewhat agree with you ken than when these things become a way of life it is no good for anybody. Not the recipients, and not their descendants, and not the taxpayers.

    Social assistance should NOT be a way of life unless there is an ongoing medical reason for it.

    But even if there is an ongoing medical reason for helping people make ends meet you and I both know, ken, that there is tremendous value in simply being of use to others. Simply having something to go to where you feel you are providing a useful function. And that, my friend ken, doesn’t depend on the amount of money you receive in compensation for the useful thing(s) that you are providing.

    No, having some place to get up for, and go to every ‘work day’ is some thing that fills the soul with joy!!

    ———————————————————————————

    DESIDERATA

    GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career [work, and/or volunteer work], however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    ———————————————————————————

    So your hatred towards the folks who are habitual recipients of Social Assistance, or what I’m sure you call Welfare, is MISPLACED ken.

    They are simply doing what you are doing, namely, trying their hardest to do what is best for themselves and their families.

    Your hatred should be directed at the governments who have created and maintained a system that gives a FINANCIAL INCENTIVE to able-bodied Social Assistance Recipients to continue getting SA instead of giving them a financially better opportunity to re-join the world of work, and in so doing making them feel better about themselves because they are being of service to others through their work, however humble, and being fantastic role models to their family members.

    Our governments need to revamp the Social Assistance System so that it is truly a temporary form of assistance that gives the SA Recipients REAL HOPE for the future!!

    Having businesses create more jobs is NOT that SA System reform ken c.

    Ontario, and especially Southern Ontario, has TONS OF UNFILLED JOBS!!

    Check out Toronto’s 58,395 UNFILLED jobs: https://ca.indeed.com/jobs-in-Toronto,-ON

    Your assertion that more jobs is the solution to Social Assistance simply isn’t true my friend ken.

    Citizen Mark Brown

    • P.S. I should have said, “ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE Social Programs, and an economy that gives EVERY CITIZEN OF ONTARIO the OPPORTUNITY to AFFORD to live lives that we love.”

      P.P.S. Clearly our predecessor governments (mostly Progressive Conservative) have not provided social programs that were ‘economically sustainable’ considering the fact that we are $35,000,000,000 ($350 BILLON) dollars in debt.

      P.P.P.S. Cuts need to happen. But cuts to front line service providers should be THE LAST THING that is cut. It’s interesting to note that we’d ALL pay less tax if we ALL made less money, and the cost of goods and services would ALSO GO DOWN if we all made less money. Raising the minimum wage, and consequently everybody else’s pay just expands the economy and makes life more expensive for everybody, but with a bigger economy the government gets a bigger amount of tax from us 🙁

  7. Conservatives are always kissing the butt of big business, thinking that business drives the economy.

    Wrong.

    What drives the economy is customers, consumers. Put more money into the pocket of the middle and working class, and the economy will be fine. But they keep slashing taxes on business, and even give them handouts, thinking that it will ‘trickle down’. Crap. The ‘trickle down’ philosophy has never worked, it’s a proven failure, but they keep doing it. And one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. When millionaires and billionaires get more money, they often hoard it, and if they do use it to expand their businesses it’s done without raising wages or providing benefits, just to turn out more product and/or services to enrich the company and the shareholders.

    • In order to have customers and consumers those people need JOBS so that would mean jobs drives the economy. You say doing the same thing over and over is insanity. I agree with you. How many years have we been giving money to people to do nothing and now they want more. These people do not want to get educated or get up in the morning to work, but they want more social programs. Most people who work don’t need or ever use a lot of these programs but pay into them all their lives is that fair NO. I have paid enough so the politician that promises to slash these social programs gets my vote every time. Also feel free to give your cash away all you want

  8. Open for business is just that. Investors open new businesses or expand existing businesses thus hiring more people and growing the economy. You have stated all we need is a bunch of social programs but you do not mention how to fund them. So I guess I am to assume that means raising taxes the Liberal way. Well MAB feel free to give your money away to whoever you want but I work for my money and I want to keep it for me and my family. Next time you want to make statements like that include your ideas how to finance these programs.

  9. What exactly does, “Open for Business”, mean?

    I guess the nebulous phrase, “Open for Business”, is indicative of the apparent fact that Premier Ford and his Conservative Party think the growth of business to the exclusion of EVERYTHING ELSE is the most desirable thing that could ever happen for the people of Ontario.

    If that’s what they think then I have just one thing to say to Premier Ford and his Party:

    WRONG!!!

    The most beneficial thing that could happen for the people of Ontario is if we had a set of social programs, and an economy that gives EVERY CITIZEN OF ONTARIO the OPPORTUNITY to AFFORD to live lives that we love.

    And that’s NOT the same thing as having an Ontario where people are forced to work long hours away from their loved ones, like Premier Ford and his government seem to want, in order to pay the bills to provide their loved ones with SIMPLY ADEQUATE food, clothing, health, and shelter.

    No, that’s NOT the same thing at all.

    Because what Premier Ford and his government want is something that IGNORES the citizens of Ontario for the benefit of the “businesses” his government is seeking to be “open” for.

    Citizen Mark Brown

Comments are closed.