If you listen to the MSM, you’re likely aware that the premier of Ontario has shut-down the province’s legislature before the current session would normally terminate. Not only is it bad for Ontario, the MSM says, but it’s also bad for Canada. The CBC is truly worried and has asked if “Canadians are losing their democracy?” The opposition leader has lamented, “Too much needs to be done and too much is at stake.” The consequent delay in the passing of 132 bills is apparently a very bad thing.
First of all, why is the shutting down of Ontario’s legislature bad for all Canadians? If Ontario’s politicians went on strike for a year or two, or ten, the people of other provinces would have no way of telling except for the prognostications of gloom and doom that would undoubtedly emanate from the MSM. Even the people of Ontario would hardly detect the difference. The reason is that the government’s bureaucratic machinery that extracts taxes and doles out the booty to itself and its favourite projects and friends would not stop.
Secondly, the CBC’s worry that Canadians are losing their democracy is unfounded. Regardless of whether the politicians go home early, or not, Canadians from across the land, including Ontario, will still be given the opportunity to vote every four or five years for their favourite, preselected candidate. Perhaps the dissolution of the Ontario legislature will result in an early election, thus increasing the provincial dosage of democracy.
Thirdly, the opposition leader’s claim that there is much to be done is correct, but only from the point of view of those, like him, who want to increase their wealth and power over others. Much of the work to be done involves a full-frontal assault on our remaining individual freedoms because, to the political elite, individual freedoms are a major problem. Individual freedoms get in the way of their centralized plans. The opposition leader’s claim that there is much at stake is also true, but only for the politicians, their bureaucracies and their state-connected friends and special interest groups who are waiting for their turn at the trough.
While the MSM laments the dissolution of the legislature, those who love freedom should celebrate it. After all, when politicians are at home they are unable to torment us further with the fruits of their legislative labour. Alas, it is only a brief reprieve from the onslaught of increasing tyranny because everyone knows that the legislature will soon be buzzing with politicians going about their “important work”.
The politicians will undoubtedly pick-up where they left off when they return. Those 132 bills will continue their inexorable slog through the lawmaking machine. Imagine all of those laws, and probably more, with all of their commensurate thousands of regulations and bureaucratic jobs and policing to which the folks and businesses of Ontario will be subjected. The province has made the 132 laws available online, and one can only read them and weep. Consider the following examples of the great new laws that the people of Ontario can look forward to:
- Bill 6: The sale of imitation firearms will be legal only if the customer has gone through a criminal background check. Otherwise a fine of up to $50,000 will be levied against the seller. You can’t make this stuff up.
- Bill 10: Green energy projects were inadvertently exempted from the provinces “Planning Act” in 2009. The central planners must have had hissy fits over this. Bill 10 puts green projects under their purview once more. Phew.
- Bill 11: The government’s Development Funds Program will keep its funding with the promise of delivering more provincial investment, more jobs and more innovation. How has it been working out so far?
- Bill 12: Volunteers will no longer need to undergo criminal background checks if their last check was less than a year old. That’s the spirit!
- Bill 13 & 14: A mass of bureaucratic policies and red tape, including a “bullying plan”, will be imposed on schools in order to eradicate bullying and to make schools “inclusive and accepting”. Shouldn’t this be left up to teachers, principals and parents to sort-out?
- Bill 19: Landlords will be limited to rental price increases of 2.5%, equal to the fictitious government rate of inflation. Pity the poor renters who will be unable to find accommodations as the supply dries up.
- Bill 20: Carbon monoxide detectors will become the law. Manna from Heaven for CO detector manufacturers.
- Bill 24: A bureaucrat (called an “investigator”) or a policeman will be allowed to enter upon private property without a warrant and start an investigation if he thinks that someone running an amateur sports program has not been cleared via a criminal background check. Suing for damages caused by the investigators or police will not be permitted. Plus, they can use the private equipment owned by the person under investigation (such as photocopiers). Wow!
- Bill 27: The “Gasoline Tax Fairness for All Act”. Haha, say no more.
- Bill 31: Apparently there is too much red tape in Ontario, so this bill will establish the “Standing Committee on Red Tape and Regulatory Review”. It sounds promising until you realize it will be staffed by the very bureaucrats who depend upon increasing red tape and regulation. Fail.
- Bill 51: Strangely, the provincial government felt a need to specify brake pad design for vehicles. Car manufacturers are the experts in that area, but being elected into office apparently makes politicians experts in all things including automotive design.
- Bill 52: Wood buildings of up to six stories will be permitted. We won’t tell the politicians that thousand-year-old, multi-story, wood pagodas still stand in Asia. The steel and concrete industries are still winning the building code wars.
- Bill 66: The menthol industry will be beaming because the sale of flavoured cigarettes with a flavour other than menthol will become illegal. I was so much looking forward to cinnamon-apple.
- Bill 67: Creating a barrier between your kids and your parents will become illegal, even if grandpa and grandma are five beers short of a six pack. The politicians claim the right to run our families, too.
- Bill 69: Ontario’s vast herds of elephants will breath a sigh of relief when they learn that it will become illegal for anyone to poke, hit or pinch their skin, or to restrain them using a rope or chain. Seriously.
- Bill 71: Lower insurance rates for young drivers will be mandated. Central planners love fixing prices even if it means creating a more economically dysfunctional industry.
- Bill 74: It will become illegal to sell tanning-bed services to those under 18 years of age. It’s not yet illegal to allow them to go into the sun. Parents can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now.
- Bill 86: The “Healthy Eating Act”! If you’re a restaurateur, expect fines of up to $5,000 for every day that you do not display your food’s calorie count or indicate what foods have high sodium content. Mayor Bloomberg, eat your heart out.
- Bill 93: If you serve liquor in any establishment without a license, other then your home, then you will go to jail on the second offence. Remember, the state sells the booze, not us bozos.
- Bill 100: A “Great Lakes Guardians’ Council” will be created to centrally plan man’s use of the waters and the shoreline of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, with recurring nine-year strategic plans. Anyone who disobeys the myriad regulations developed under this plan will be subject to a $50,000 to $100,000 fine per day. The UN’s Agenda 21 is coming home to roost. Even the Russians limited their plans to five years.
- Bill 124: Gas station operators will be fined from $75,000 to $500,000 for penalizing an employee when a theft occurs. Private owners might serve up to 12 months in jail. Corporate owners face ZERO jail time. Naturally.
- Bill 128: Local councils will be given the green light to adopt by-laws that require builders to allocate up to 20% of whatever they build to be “affordable housing”, also called “inclusionary housing”. The concept of private property is becoming more illusive with each passing day (or should I say “with each passing bill”).
- Bill 132: It will be possible for a defendant to have a case dismissed in court if the proceeding relates to a matter that involves the “public interest”. This bill, of course, is an extra shield that the politicians are building to protect themselves from legal actions resulting from whatever they say or do.
The rule of law means that laws apply equally to everyone, to every business and every politician and bureaucrat without exceptions. It means that politicians cannot create laws that serve special interest groups. Many of the proposed laws, above, and most of our existing laws, are riddled with exceptions and pander to special groups or corporations that have their hand out. But the world of the politician revolves around the groups and businesses that can get them reelected. That is their world. Their world is not our world.
Our world consists of a free society where government exists to protect our freedoms, not to diminish them; where we can do with our property as we please as long as we do not cause measurable harm to others. The politicians’ world is one where they can reach as deep into our lives, our homes, our families, our schools, our businesses and our economy as they desire. Our world is one where no one can do that. Not even the elected elite.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote that private individuals and businesses deliver goods while government delivers bads. The passing of bad laws, like those cited above, is repeated from coast to coast in Canada’s provincial legislatures and in Ottawa. The politicians get away with it because the average man believes that they have his best interest at heart. Nothing could be farther from the truth because the politicians have no way of knowing what each man wants and needs.
So, let us celebrate the temporary shutting-down of Ontario’s legislature. Let us celebrate it coast to coast. And let us celebrate whenever a legislature, or parliament, is shut down anywhere in the land. Let us look forward to a day when people finally recognize that the “important work” of the politicians and the bads that they deliver are harmful to our lives, our families, our communities, our freedoms and the economy.