Friday, April 26, 2019

letter to the editor

Just like old times here today - Dan painting in the basement, Ed fixing things and putting up pictures; Kevin dropped by to see Ed, Evan dropped by to use Kevin's saw which Ed was using. Yesterday, Jean-Marc came to admire his design handiwork. All winter, I had to get used to lots of men in my house, and soon, I'll get used to no men in my house. I am more than ready for that day. But it's not here yet - they're all back next week. Plus the window guys, to fix something that doesn't work. And soon the roof repair guy and the termite guys will also be back.

It never ends.

In the night, I was writing protest letters about this government, so as soon as I got up, I put the words on paper and emailed both the Globe and the Star. I sent a long version and a short version; the Star wrote back immediately that they might use the short version early next week. Hope so. That's my writing for the day. Here's the long version:

To the Editor:

Here are words I never thought it possible to say: worse than Mike Harris. Harris destroyed the Ontario education system as my children went through it; year after year, their classes were disrupted by demonstrations and strikes, as vicious cuts came down, and teachers, students, and parents marched to make their voices heard. And then he attacked Toronto itself.

But this guy is worse. It’s possible Harris, mean-spirited and heedless as his policies were, may actually have believed they were for the best. Our current premier has no beliefs except winning, destroying, and getting even. He’s a vindictive, resentful blowhard, and his hates are many, education, healthcare, women, and this city chief among them. A man of lifelong wealth and privilege, he has no understanding of what a library means to a community, what legal aid means, safe injection sites, midwives – for that matter, what climate change means to our planet. He’s smashing the Ontario education system as my grandchildren go through it.

What shocks me most is not the man himself; we were well acquainted with his brother, and this man was his brother’s enabler. But what about the others in his team, can they not see how short-sighted and destructive these cuts and changes are? Where’s the conscience of Caroline Mulroney or Lisa MacLeod or the others who used to have a modicum of decency? Or maybe we just imagined it was there.

Donald Trump has eviscerated his country with the hearty backing of his spineless party. Now we are enduring the same here in Ontario. The damage inflicted by Ford and his team will bring harm to our province far worse than the damage inflicted by Harris and his. And that is something I once would have thought impossible. 

Beth Kaplan

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