Bonfire Life
May 2, 2019

Now it makes sense

It didn't add up. Why would Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli rattle the battle swords with teachers and their unions so energetically? They have a majority, it's their first budget of several before the next trip to the polls. Why not just slash and burn with a wry smirk? Get on with it and whistle away your service-cutting day in the sun.

A couple bad math scores and the entire education system gets tinkered with by rough hands unfamiliar with the task. 

Shrug. Whatever. Just as a rookie minister of education captured with something akin to: If it doesn't kill ya, it makes ya stronger. Three cheers for resilience-based behaviour modification.

Speaking of health-related reductions mixed with amputation doctoring, as dark snickers spread about flood protection cuts during a record-setting soggy spring. Ford is correct, there certainly is something happening as people fill sand bags for moated castles downstream from sewage plants spewing untreated overflow after heavy rains. Which brings us to a marketing blitz with neat little stickers as Ontario's way to combat national climate change initiatives. 

The big battle is federal and the provinces are circling the Blue Wave wagon.

So there's a lot to distract the peasants. 

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and his wife Patti as the former North Bay mayor hosts an Anglican fundraising auction. That's my mom on the right about to bid too much for that wine.
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and his wife Patti as the former North Bay mayor hosts an Anglican fundraising auction. That's my mom on the right about to bid too much for that wine.

Silly me, I just couldn't get why such a bombastic reaction to the well-oiled and motivated teacher unions. But now I get it. Contract negotiations are kicking off and a fall strike would mean both sides failed the people.

The PC have already made their big move as thousands of families found out this week they are, in deed, part of a major layoff. The number for the Near North District School Board all by itself is 114 breadwinners, not quite the 50 percent threatened with the initial notices, but not less than 40 per cent.

Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli crosses North Bay's Main Street a decade ago while mayor of the city.
Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli crosses North Bay's Main Street a decade ago while mayor of the city.

I'm not sure how much of that is from student numbers in decline, a slip in the forecast of retirements or how it compares to the percentage of "don't replace attrition" the last few years. But I do know there's a slight chill in the Nipissing Riding's economy.  The pink slip bodies are starting to pile up faster than long-term care candidates linger in nursing home limbo in the over-flowing North Bay Region Health Centre.

Maybe it's time to track down Mayor Vic and get the scoop on the strategy. There's an interesting drama unfolding that will climax the night of the federal election Oct. 21.

Everybody will be paying attention come September with both sides blaming the other for a provincial school strike just a month before choosing between the national party poisons.

A summer of $1.50 gasoline is perfect for throwing more fuel onto the fire.

Somebody get me a large popcorn and a couple tooth picks. (Damn kernels like getting caught in the gaps between my teeth as the gums recede.) 


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