A 19th century French philosopher exposes Guelph’s disasterous socialist experiment

By Gerry Barker

December 15, 2016

This week a commentary in the National Post addressed Premier Kathleen Wynne’s new “Patients First Act.” With an approval rating of less than 14 per cent, Ms. Wynne is desperate to resuscitate her failing tenure with another plan that will directly affect the traditional sanctity of doctor-patient confidentiality.

This Act will allow government agents to inspect the doctor’s business and an individual’s medical records without a warrant. They may copy records and doctor’s business details. They may question a patient on matters relevant to their investigation. This macabre Act Bill 41 is supposed to monitor local integrated health networks to ensure these organizations, controlled by central planning, are delivering efficient, compassionate service.

Didn’t the Stalinist Communist central -planning -system failures lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union?

This law treats our right to privacy with casual disdain. Section 12.1 (6) says inspectors can’t look at your records without either (a) your consent, or “(b) in such circumstances as may be prescribed.” And keep your arm up, because in a blizzard of Wynne-Speak jargon, Bill 41 alters 19 different statutes. These days, that’s how government works.

Alexis Charles Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a 19th century French diplomat, political scientist, and historian.

He warned, writing in Democracy in America, that given half a chance the state “covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform … The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

Isn’t that a stunning portrait of the administration of the city of Guelph? Isn’tlike the crumbling of the Soviet Union, after ten years of authoritarian control of our city by a group of leftists, led for much of that time by former Mayor Karen Farbridge?

In Guelph, these central planning powers are rampant across the city’s administration. Look no further than the recent 2017 budget, approved by nine members of council with only three opposing, Christine Billings, Dan Gibson and Bob Bell. Coun. Phil Allt was unable to attend for medical reasons.

In the past two years, seven members of city council, supporters of the former mayor’s agenda, has dominated continuing central planning polices to turn our city into a socialist community that failed to evaporate with her defeat in 2014. Want to talk about the millions spent on waste management? Reducing vehicle lanes on major roads to accommodate bicycle lanes? Turning new developments into high-density housing with no open space and most with no garbage collection?

Comparing democracy with Socialism

Here is another apt quote of M. Tocqueville: “Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: Equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

That’s how it works in Guelph and the Liberal government in the Province of Ontario that has endured 13 years in Office. Both governments are shameless and dedicated to a socialistic agenda under the guise of progressive action.

The finances of both governments are in a shambles. In Guelph, we are experiencing an administration that continues it’s spending on projects large and small but with little attention on the costs associated with running a $500 million corporation.

Here are some examples:

The 1,950 city staff, not counting the managerial staff or part-time workers, is bloated and badly needs a rationalization study, preferably performed by third party experts to, dare I say it, cut the fat?

Witness that a year ago when council was told that a total staff rationalization program would cost $550,000. Adding13 new staff for 2017 costing more than twice that seems incredibly stupid and careless of the people’s money. The majority control of the administration seems only capable of hitting the property tax ATM’s and wallets of the people with a state that “covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform”: Alexis Tocqueville.

Here’s another example of your council playing with your money. The 2016 budget included $700,000 for new parking meter heads so the city could use the revenue to help pay for the proposed Wilson Street Parking garage next door to city hall. Sounds like a plan, right? Well the parking meter heads were pushed into the 2018 budget. Council voted to use some $650,000 of it to launch a final design of the proposed South End Recreation Centre. The end price tag of the design plan was an estimated $3.500,000. That’s just to design the actual complex, mind you..

They did this without any capital to build the estimated $65 million centre. Again, the $60 million downtown library was pushed into the unknown future. The authors of all this were the two Ward 6 councillors and the majority went along with it. It’s nothing but a political move to ensure that Mark MacKinnon and Karl Wettstein get re-elected. Residents in Ward 6 are being used by council to believe their Recreation Centre is on its way

A final thought on this boondoggle: The $3.5 million design plan has a lifespan of five years. Factoring in inflation and the continued make-believe financial theories by staff and council, there will be an estimated $70 million needed to spend on the South End Centre.

The approval of council to budget $5,000 for a concert by some well-known band in the future that the Mayor got all tizzy about probably because he may get invited to play the drums with a name band.

Cam, why not spend it on the geese that are fouling our parks so the folks attending don’t have to sidestep the droppings?

Only some outside expertise on how to live within our means and a lot of common sense will straitghen out the Guelph finances. It has taken 10 years to put the city in this hole; it will probably take another ten years to make our city affordable and livable again.

Aux Barricades, Mes Amis!







Filed under Between the Lines

5 responses to “A 19th century French philosopher exposes Guelph’s disasterous socialist experiment

  1. Jerry

    I hope u are wrong Gerry.The average citizen cannot take another 10 years of bulls-it.
    If they just use there heads and get rid of the pork it can be done sooner.

  2. Laura

    I wonder what it cost them to remove the old parking meters a few years ago when they decided to bring in free 2 hour parking downtown. How much revenue has been lost as a result that poorly planned decision? Didn’t they have to hire more parking enforcement officers as a result of that move? In any case just another example of how poor decisions by staff and council end up costing us all more in the end.

    • Laura: Council did it eight years ago. The revenue then was $642,000 year. That’s a loss of more than $5 million.It was done to make the downtown a “vibrant and fun place for all citizens.”

  3. Laura

    Thanks Gerry think of where that money could have been spent. . . Sidewalks on Woodlawn Rd and Soeedvale to provide safety for people to get to work who can’t afford a car? Fixing sidewalks in order to comply with accessibility laws? Instead of painting them? One wonders how much money the city has spent on painting the uneven areas and cracks in the sidewalks and trails? And what about the stupid consultation where you have your say about what colour you would like the paint on the sidewalk to be? Waste utter waste and more waste because of dumb planning and decisions it just goes to prove that more staffing does not produce a better city

  4. Laura

    It is estimated that the City’s liabilities for conaminated sites clean up is $30 million dollars and was described in a city staff report as a significant cost. The bombshell will drop on Dec 31 when the is required to release the estimated costs of cleanup. The staff report also indicated that the costs of cleanup may effect the city’s credit rating. Note the use of the word estimated as I don’t believe that no one know what the real costs of cleanup will be until they have completed testing of the sites. The staff report indicates that the cost of clean up will come from “non operating budget” ? One wonders if this is why Guelph hydro may be put up for sale?

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