Small-scale businesses and home-based businesses are the Heartblood of the County. Very few of us have union jobs, and very few of us work for large corporations.
Only a handful of people have government jobs here – municipal, provincial or federal – and enjoy any kind of job security, any expectation of pay increases in the near future, or a reasonable expectation of retiring with enough money to take them all the way to Death’s Door.
I’ll quote my friend Conrad Beaubien, during the course of a heated discussion during the postal strike. I’m sure he won’t mind.
He said: “Most of us here in the County live by our own wits and our own skills. We don’t have protection; we don’t have job security; we don’t have guarantees of wage increases.”
“We just do what we do best, and hope it works.”
This is the County Way. From agriculture to small business, large business and home business – we all live by our wits, and we do everything we can to survive.
He continued: “We’re under the mistaken impression that bureaucrats are installed to help the people they are hired to serve.”
“But they’re not. A bureaucrat will always make a decision that protects their job security and their paycheque.”
This explains a lot. This explains why the guy on the other end of the phone always says, “No,” right from the start. That’s certainly the safest route for them to follow. After several hours, and probably several departments later, you might – if you rub your lucky rabbit’s foot, rotate several times while on hold, and invoke the name of potent cherubs or demons – get a “Hmmm, we’ll check into that.”
“Yes” does not exist in a bureaucracy.
Let me lay a burning brown-paper-bag of dog poop on Dalton’s doorstep.
He promised ‘job creation’, and ‘Word on the Street’ said: “You know where the jobs are going to be created? Yes. In the Ontario government.” The only area he has control over.
So he has built a huge machine of fresh-faced new bureaucrats, and married them to a huge number of new laws which are broken by everybody everyday. Then he sent out the troops.
And, since they almost outnumber the head-count of ordinary citizens, they go as far as Bloomfield to beat individuals and businesses into place, with regulations we didn’t know existed.
I talked to a friend of mine in the OPP, who was kind enough to set me straight on something I wrote in a previous editorial about the new punitive rules on alcohol and driving.
My argument was: “For years .08 was determined to be a safe alcohol level for drivers, so why are licences now being pulled for .05?” This seems to me to be an unnecessary punishment for people who are behaving responsibly, and has nothing whatsoever to do with safe driving.
He responded that this was not a change in the law (as I stated in my column). The law always allowed them to do this, it’s just that, now, it’s being enforced.
He told me of a local woman who was stopped outside a County winery after a wine tasting. She blew .05 and they pulled her licence. Because that’s the law.
Not good enough for me.
I said: “But you know, in your heart, and from experience, that this woman could have safely driven home without causing any harm to herself or others.”
Yes, but that’s not the point. It’s the law.
So I had to ask: “Don’t you question the rationality of this? You’re a cop – You must spend hours each day just memorizing new laws to keep up-to-date. Don’t you get frustrated?”
And he said: “We are a Law Enforcement Agency. We are not in a position to question our laws, and we don’t make them … they’ve already gone through all of the proper processes. It’s our job to enforce them.”
Very, very good answer.
The cops get the blame – and everybody has a horrible OPP incident to relate – but, like the rest of us, they are victims of the same machine that tightens and constricts our every movement.
People are being hurt every day.
Not because they are doing anything out of the ordinary, or unsafe, but because the government, and corporations, are pushing into our lives more and more each day.
And I’m building a list of people who can freely walk into your home whenever they please, and issue their edicts. And you can’t stop them.
I know this sounds like a paranoid rant, but I see the storm coming. Like many of you, I have not yet been a victim of it, other than a few skirmishes with robotic government bodies – one of which froze my bank accounts because I made a flippant comment that I would send my cheque efficiently the day after the provincial government becomes efficient.
She hung up on me, and that’s never a good thing when dealing with bureaucrats.
There is a huge power shift going on, and living a clean life – and abiding by the rules you know about – is not going to protect you.
There have already been cases in Ontario of overzealous Health officials shutting down church smorgasbords, strawberry socials and even family picnics. Because food ‘not prepared on-premises’ – even in the best and cleanest kitchens in Cherry Valley, by the best cooks in the County – violates their rules.
This is no joke.
We are going to be choked to death by allowing the government to keep us safe – to the point of extinction of our several-hundred-year-old traditions.
You can stay in your home, wrap yourself in Stretch ‘n Seal, and eat and breathe through a hose, and you will still be violating laws designed to ensure your absolute safety.
For God’s sake, speak up!
To paraphrase Joni Mitchell: “You won’t know what you had ‘til it’s gone.”
Without our heritage and traditions; without our small- and home-based businesses; without the freedom to gather as neighbours to celebrate the joy of each other’s company – we’re pretty much just a planting pot for wind turbines and large tourist-oriented developments.
There are many people out there, fighting many different rules and regulations. We don’t have a single voice, yet. But we are not alone.
Please, add your voice.
Filed Under: Steve Campbell
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