I’ve been pondering this for a long time, and have come to the conclusion that the time has come for us to secede from the Province of Ontario.
Reading back through previous columns, I realized that most of our problems come from outside of the County. We’re bossed around and pushed around by the Province – the political ‘party-of-the-day’ doesn’t matter.
Big Government lives and breathes through over-legislation, pushing one step at a time into our lives. And new legislation means hiring more civil servants to enforce the legislation, so Big G inexorably becomes Bigger G, until it swells to the size of MuthaRappa G.
And we pay the bills.
Does anyone remember the phrase, “More Freedom, Less Government”?
There’s not a party anywhere in Canada that is fighting for less government. They’re all cut from the same cloth: “Vote for us! Our Giant Machine will work better than the Other Guy’s Giant Machine. Because we use Oxy Clean to raid your pockets and handcuff your freedom!”
The County is like a dog with a Bad Master. We can be kicked and abused and slapped and leashed to a tree. But we occasionally get financial ‘treats’, so we waggle our tongues in delight for a short time, until the next beating.
So how about it? The County was ignored for centuries and we got along fine. The 401 passed us by, and we collectively went: “Whew!” Then, dammit, we were ‘discovered’.
I’m not talking about our New Blood from the cities – I believe they’ve had a positive impact on our lifestyle and economy. But someone tipped off the politicians, bureaucrats and corporations that we were here. I blame Google Maps.
The time to strike is now. The Ontario Liberals are leaderless, although McGuinty still gets to sit by his indoor heated pool and sip margueritas, while still drawing a hefty paycheque, followed by a hefty pension.
I’m sure he doesn’t waste time reading County newspapers – or anything else published in Rural Ontario – so the announcement of the Free Republic of The County will likely slip by unnoticed. (Actually, I haven’t chosen a real name for the new Free County … that’s up to you.)
I have been toying with slogans to launch the revolution. Sadly, “Time for a Change” has been co-opted by every mainland political party, so I’ve come up with: “Tired of being screwed around by the government? Let us do it!”
It’s a little unwieldy, but I’m open to suggestions.
You see, ever since the Province and the Feds started picking on the County with their big fat books of rules and regulations, things have been going downhill.
Businesses have vanished under the relentless pressure of multiple taxes, unnecessary licences (from magically-conjured government agencies who have never visited the property, but just send invoices), and the inevitable unending bookwork chores required to please the System – none of which serve the job at hand … trying to run a successful business and make a little money.
I hear you saying: “But, Steve, how can we possibly survive without living off the government(s) teats?”
I have a rough financial plan, which could be modified by someone who knows something about finance.
Ponder this: If ALL of the money we send to Queen’s Park and Ottawa were diverted to the County, would that not be a big potload of money?
You’re used to paying income tax, and the 13% HST is a given. MPAC has hammered you into the ground with increased property taxes, to the point that your tool shed can be assessed as “potential living quarters for small people,” and your rain barrel could be considered “waterfront view.”
So, if you’re okay living with the existing outrageous government kickbacks, this would be our start-up money. Keep in mind, the government money that is graciously ‘gifted’ to us, was gifted to THEM by US. So we fork it over, and get some back. Except we don’t have to fund the National Ballet, or spend millions of dollars on a giant white painting with a red dot in the middle, or spend billions on new Olympic Stadiums, when the existing ones are empty and going broke. Or billions of dollars on wind farms which will not replace a single existing power plant. (Sorry, had to say it.).
By now, I’m pretty sure you’re on board with this concept. So let’s get down to the details.
I have selected July 1 this year as Independence Day. It happens to fall on a Monday this year but, for future reference, it will always fall on a Monday because everybody likes a long weekend. I might even throw in a Friday holiday, so people can plan vacations to exotic places in a foreign land, like Brighton or Tweed.
The action will start at noon, since some people don’t like to get up early, even for a Revolution. At 12:05, we close the bridges. Also at 12:05, we seize the Glenora Ferry. No need to worry about this – I’ve already interviewed some local commercial fishermen, and chose the guy who had a cutlass between his teeth during the meeting.
At 12:07, the toll booths go up.
At first, the booths will be Porta-Potties, until our MPAC money starts rolling in. Everyone entering the County will pay the toll; locals will be issued a ‘Speed-Pass’ electronic card which we’ll pretend works until we have the HST money rolling in, and can afford a card reader. Keep that a secret.
Belleville will likely counter with a toll of its own, but who wouldn’t pay five bucks to get out of Belleville?
Also on this day, we will seize the LCBOs and Beer Stores throughout the County. Just in case Ontario is upset with our actions, and cuts us off. They’ll be closed anyway, because of the Other July 1 Holiday, so it should be easy pickins. I have more volunteers than I can count right now, and I haven’t even advertised this yet!
In my usual ‘proactive’ manner, I have arranged for a giant order of 10,000 cases of Molson’s and 10,000 bottles of Bacardi, due to be delivered on June 28.
This will allow time for local wineries, breweries and distilleries to gear up production. Also, they will benefit from exports to the mainland, who will clamour for ‘Imported from the County Republic’, just for the snob value.
Next up: Restructuring County Council, and building an army.
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