April showers bring May weeds?

April showers typically bring May flowers. This year, along with the rain, the pre-election money is indeed flowing. Sadly, I don’t think that it is sowing the seeds we’d like to have in our gardens. That said, my vocabulary is becoming as colourful as May flowers every time that I hear about a new announcement.

I’d much rather see politicians stop all major spending six months before elections. Make major announcements part of your platform that we can vote on. Truly, it’s always amazed me how generous politicians are with our tax dollars when it’s almost time for us to head to the polls and heads may roll.

Why don’t we get to decide which corporations should be getting our patronage money? Perhaps we want to look at their environmental record, and how they treat their employees, including knowing how many are precarious workers. Above all, no funding should be announced for any company that contributes to politicians’ campaigns or political parties; it’s a conflict of interest.

That’s right, I am 100 percent against corporations being allowed to contribute to political parties and campaigns. It is not transparent enough. We don’t need repeats of a certain winery being featured in campaign ads; in an apparent quid pro quo for their large political contribution.

In February this year, the unofficial palm-greasing started off reminiscent of Premier Doug Ford’s 2018’s Buck-a-Beer campaign. He announced doing away with, and refunding, licence sticker fees. Realizing that not everyone had cars, including people who need the money the most, some transit measures were kicked in for good measure. Where is Ford going to get the billion in revenue from? Health care and education cuts or privatization?

The sleight of hand and misdirection from all political parties follows with city-to-city tours peddling tonics to cure all that ails us. While not party specific, the difference is that the Ford government can still cash our cheques.

There was an announcement at Algoma Steel just Friday. The PCs couldn’t possibly be courting an endorsement from the city’s largest employer, could they? No, that’s too transparent, right? There must be a more altruistic purpose.

Perhaps the province felt that the $420 million announced in July by the feds was not enough money for the steel manufacturer. I mean, GlobeNewsWire reported that they only had over a billion in consolidated revenue for the quarter, which was a 147.6 per-cent increase from the prior year quarter.

I don’t begrudge the workers their huge profit-sharing bonuses, but I do begrudge our government handing the corporation money when they are flush with cash, and don’t come close to meeting the provincially set environmental standards for air quality. They should have announced fines on Friday, not funding. My tax dollars should not be rewarding bad corporate behaviour.

Municipally, I feel like we are dealing with the same problem with the proposed downtown plaza. It’s too big of an investment to get pushed through at the end of term, given so much opposition. It needs to be an election issue.

At least in these pre-election times, we can typically be guaranteed that our elected representatives will be [more] accessible. If they aren’t around, we can be comforted by their glossy, multi-page, booklets in the mail meant to remind us of the good that they’ve done for the community. Again, I wouldn’t spend my tax dollars on that, but instead I’d focus on the deeds having sufficient merit to print in a less expensive and flashy manner … but they are colourful, like May flowers.

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