Here’s how to get my vote

Since I’m now receiving robo-calls from political candidates, I guess it’s indeed that time again. Politicians, if you want my vote, here’s how to get it.

Firstly, focus on issues that you can deliver on, not things that while they may be good ideas, are completely out of your mandate. (And if you do get elected, make sure you deliver on those election promises. In my house a promise means something and it should in yours.)

Secondly, don’t robo-call me. Ever. The personal touch matters and robo-calls are spam. I do not consent to having political parties’ marketing machines contacting me.

Thirdly, think about more than getting elected. Think about making a difference. I feel like there has been a real shift in politics over the last couple of decades, and especially in the last year. I don’t want the drama and reality television. I want a responsible leaders. I want a candidates who can balance a budget and can make tough decisions that may not be popular but are right for the province’s future in both the short and long term.

Education is a big issue, and I don’t believe that the current standardized testing will fix it. That said, I’m more concerned about the lack of funding to the arts. I’m also terrified that we are grooming a generation or two of children who won’t have the skills to cope with real life. We have all but eliminated competition from schools, not to mention deadlines, and everybody wins and nobody gets held back. What part of any of that prepares children to be adults? Fix that. Go back to failing kids who haven’t mastered the material. Their self esteem will be worse if they are passed forward to the next grade and now don’t understand what is going on in class.

When it comes to transportation, the Ministry of Highways needs to remember that their mandate is much wider. Rail remains one of the most economical and environmental systems, and yet many communities like this one are cut off from passenger rail. Rail built this country, and I am heartbroken every time I see another train station with no tracks leading up to it. The party who commits to passenger rail has my vote. Investing in high-speed rail in urban centres is great and all, but we need to link together the country again, as our spine is being severed across the map. Rail would also help with tourism in the province to the “real Canada” outside the CN tower, Niagara Falls, and Parliament Hill. It would also help with spreading out immigration.

Immigration-wise, I say the more the merrier, but not into the already taxed urban centres. Let’s build our communities. Just because you want to immigrate and come live in the GTA doesn’t mean that that is the best place for you or the country. We need to stop building houses on the best farmland that we have in Canada and instead we need to move people North. There are so many northern communities who already have the infrastructure ready to support larger populations; we just need the people… and the jobs.

So turning to that issue, why aren’t all of the OLG jobs based in the Sault? Shoemaker is not the first to bring this up and shouldn’t be the last.

The deep port is something we’ve also talked about for years. We need politicians that see that sometimes you just have to make the investment first and then people will come. Look at the port of Miami and how they build up. Look at the Panama Canal.

Regarding a ferrochrome smelter, yes this would be jobs, but assure me that the due diligence been done so that we won’t end up with another industrial partner thumbing its nose at our community’s environment and health?

Related to jobs, where is the support for entrepreneurs and SMEs? Bill 148 was like a grenade lobbed at small business and there is so little guidance given in terms of how to implement it.

So, if you want my vote, please consider the above, and remember that by definition, politicians are public servants, and so shouldn’t come across as being so self-serving.

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