Commentary by Patrick Meagher
Reading the headlines the other day, I couldn’t help thinking that our country is headed for crazyland as more and more ridiculous ideas are becoming mainstream. Sometimes they become laws. In farm country, the increasing and often unnecessary legal restrictions infuriate. The bans on neonics, tail docking and on developing lands occupied by endangered species are a few that come to mind. Farmers are sensing that no one is listening to the grassroots and many politicians seem okay with that.
Here are some observations of current events, some that seem to lack coherence and others that have that special power to furrow my brow and raise just one of my eyebrows.
The drive to legalize marijuana. There’s nothing like pot to dull the mind or derail a teenager’s aspirations. History shows that some of those pot smokers will eventually try harder drugs. So it would also increase crime. The federal government can’t wait to legalize pot but is considering restricting sugar.
We welcome advances in medicine and nutrition that allow us to live longer but the federal government wants to legalize euthanasia because it thinks life should be optional.
So, sugar’s out, life is a choice and we’re tied up in knots over which bathroom to send a man to who looks like a man, dresses like a man but feels like a woman.
Every politician will tell you that you have to let businesses generate new jobs. Yet the province’s new tax on carbon dioxide, expected to suck $7-billion out of Ontario businesses, almost guarantees that those taxed businesses will hire fewer workers and even consider downsizing.
There are 380,000 regulations in Ontario, the heaviest regulated province in Canada. Ontario has the highest costs of electricity and wants to introduce stiff penalties on carbon dioxide emissions next year. Yet we’re surprised when foreign companies don’t want to set up business here and others move away.
If a politician’s job is to represent the folks, why did a federal backbencher from Toronto introduce Bill C-246 that would give rights to animals and make living with them harder for humans?
We view living within one’s means as just common sense. We view people who blow the family budget as irresponsible and we would never go into business with them. So why do we treat governments that consistently blow the family budget as the experts in the economy when they fail to appreciate basic economics?
The federal government has already decided to blow the budget this year by $30-billion, and to blow another $29-billion next year. Yet the mainstream news media views the overspending as an act of charity.
Since when did taxation become “paying our fair share” when it’s more like “confiscation of our money?”
The chief of staff for the federal minister of agriculture has been told by the ethics commissioner that because she is an owner of Brockville-area Burnbrae Farms, one of the two largest egg processing companies in Canada, she cannot discuss supply management in the egg industry with the minister. She is in conflict of interest. But it’s okay to discuss almost everything else. So it’s still like asking a processing company when you want advice on family farming
A friend of mine keeps telling me that when things don’t seem to make sense, it almost always comes down to money. Safety is paramount, says a raw milk advocate who urges Canada to regulate raw milk like they do in Germany, even though he doesn’t tell his customers to boil raw milk like they do in Germany. The raw milk advocate owns no milking quota, a cost of $25,000 per kilogram of milk.
The prime minister has 10 taxpayer-funded workers managing his house including two maids, two nannies, a gardener, a cook and a scheduler for his wife, but we’re supposed to see the Trudeau family of five as just another struggling Canadian family.
We want our best and brightest to run the country. So, why is it that the guy who sticks his tongue out at opposition MPs in the House of Commons, and who thinks that human rights violating communist China is a model country, is sitting in the prime minister’s office?
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.