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Transparency and accountability instead of futile talking points

Transparency and accountability instead of futile talking points

TORONTO – Organizational activity aside, “Political Culture” in Ontario seems to have forgotten the word “vision”; it is almost exclusively about being in the moment and doing nothing, saying nothing “until the dust settles”. Gravity, not to be confused with gravitas, will take care of all that ventures flight.
 
The chosen companion is a set of talking points, a script, a tightly woven narrative representing your point of view, to the exclusion of all others, and repeating it ad nauseam –  the facts be damned. It seems a better alternative to devising a plan and defending it.
 
Sooner or later, however, there is a reckoning. In our democracy, it takes the form of either an election or Court action. Both level the playing field, but not always and not always to the extent that satisfies everyone. Nonetheless, the concepts of responsibility, transparency and accountability still prevail.
 
Former Premier Dalton McGuinty is summoned as a witness in a trial where two of his former aides are charged with “malfeasance” in government. The current Premier, Kathleen Wynne, is appearing in defence of two of her aides in a “rematch” trial for breach of Administrative law after a judge earlier found them not guilty, following an investigation and trial on a much more serious criminal charge covering that same allegation.
 
That same Premier announces paltry sums of educational dollars to remedy the failure of the educational system to develop math skills among our children. Her Minister of Education tantalizes the TCDSB with a $32.8 million carrot to joint venture with a private developer to facilitate the construction of a complex of condo towers on the campus that hosts the Columbus Centre and Villa Colombo. 
 
The Chair of that same Board secures the nomination for a run against one the Minister’s Cabinet colleagues, but neither she nor her Leader offer a plan to address the diminishing capacity of children graduating from her Board’s schools.
 
It is a malaise that afflicts other portfolios of government. In Transportation, Minister Del Duca is accused of “interfering in the decision-making process” that lead to the eventual inclusion of a station in the Metrolinx line from Barrie to Toronto.
 
It will be seven years before that station will be built, and by then, a further 27,000 people will inhabit the area around Kirby station. Some might be coaxed into suggesting Minister Del Duca is doing his job… thinking ahead, so to speak.
 
One downtown Toronto daily continues to allege conflict of interest because Kirby is his riding (it isn’t), and their writers, who have yet to visit a passport office to get the required exit visas to cross north of Bloor street, call for his resignation. 
When contacted, his nominated political opponent charges “backroom manipulation” but neither he nor his companion candidate in the riding where the Station “may” eventually be located offer to respond to the question would they cancel the decision. Idem for their leader.
 
More “locally”, the members of the Save the Columbus Centre organization appear to be organizing a competing slate of Trustees to run against the current crop presiding over the TCDSB, contemporaneously raising funds to launch a legal challenge against the Villa Charities Inc decision to demolish the Columbus Centre.
Maybe in our system there is still room for vision, and “little guy” can still win.
 
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Cafone-in-chief
Mar Sun ,2017