Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday February 22, 2024
Doug Ford’s ‘Get It Done’ Act: A Distraction from Real Issues
As Premier Doug Ford proudly presents his “Get It Done Act” to the Ontario legislature, it becomes increasingly clear that this omnibus bill is more of a political maneuver than a genuine effort to address the pressing problems facing the province.
The legislation, borrowing its title from Ford’s 2022 election slogan, aims to streamline infrastructure projects, eliminate fees, and impose restrictions on future carbon taxes and tolls. However, the opposition parties have dismissed it as performative, with good reason.
One glaring issue is the misalignment between Ford’s proclaimed priorities and the actual challenges plaguing Ontario. While the Premier is busy pushing for expedited construction and cost-of-living concerns, the real crises in healthcare and housing continue to be overlooked.
The proposed urban boundary changes, although claimed to be in response to municipal requests, raise questions about the government’s commitment to effective and consultative policymaking. It appears that reversals and policy U-turns have become the norm, showcasing a lack of strategic planning.
The headline-grabbing elements of the bill, such as the carbon pricing referendum and the ban on new tolls, appear more as political tactics than practical solutions. Opposition leaders rightly point out the performative nature of these measures, emphasizing their potential to be easily undone by a future government.
The skepticism is further fuelled by Ford’s selective memory. While he adamantly opposes carbon taxes now, he conveniently forgets that Ontarians were exempt from the federal levy until his government canceled the cap-and-trade alliance, costing the provincial treasury $2 billion annually.
The focus on a carbon pricing referendum and toll bans seems more like a desperate attempt to divert attention from ongoing controversies, such as the Greenbelt land swap scandal and the $8.28-billion Greenbelt debacle under RCMP investigation.
What’s truly disheartening is the disregard for critical issues like healthcare. The shortage of family doctors, overcrowded hospitals, and the burnout of healthcare workers should be at the forefront of any government’s agenda. Yet, Ford’s “Get It Done Act” seems to turn a blind eye to the real needs of Ontarians.
As the Premier tries to deflect attention with performative policies, it’s essential for Ontarians to see through the political posturing and demand real solutions to the problems that affect their daily lives. The “Get It Done Act” may sound promising, but actions speak louder than slogans, and it’s time for the government to prioritize substance over optics.