The Canadian way

Section: 
Editorial

The Ontario government could soon farm out many of its services to Mumbai, India, says a Queen’s Park insider.

 

Malcolm Muddlestone (a pseudonym of course) says the people of Mumbai operate some of the world’s best call centres so they should be able to operate the Ontario government in a much improved manner.

 

“They might even be able to get rid of the deficit,” says Malcolm.

 

Having the people of Mumbai involved in governing Ontario would also have major repercussions for Bruce County, says the insider.

 

“If the people of Mumbai were put in charge of the Bluewater Board of Education, for example, students would have to learn mathematics the old way – indeed they would be able to multiply, divide and subtract.

 

“The same goes for language skills. Most of those telemarketers in India speak better English than the average graduate of the Bluewater Board.

 

“Quite simply, education standards would improve,” says Malcolm.

 

“But the biggest changes would be at Queen’s Park. It’s the only way to bring accountability to the system.

 

If you don’t do your job to the best of your ability, you will be fired, not kicked upstairs. And that philosophy will spread from Queen’s Park across the province to municipalities, school and hospital boards.

 

There will be no sacred cows,” says Malcolm.

 

“Presto. The deficit will soon be gone and hospitals will get surgeons, cleaning staff and real food.”

But back to reality. The above, of course, is fiction.

 

However, we do seem incapable of running our own province. We might as well get outsiders to do it.

That seems to be the Canadian way.

 

One wonders if there is no shame at Queen’s Park or on Parliament Hill because governments that run deficits year after year are failures. And what does that say about us? We elect them.

**

I don’t know what it was like in my parents’ day, but when I was a kid a penny went a long way.

 

One penny would get you three black balls. Five pennies would get you an ice cream cone and six pennies would let you acquire a bottle of Coke.

 

And a penny was hard to come by – it wasn’t often that kids would have the money for any of the above.

Inflation has killed the penny.

 

If a penny is spied on the sidewalk, most people today won’t waste their time to bend over and pick it up.

And so finance minister Jim Flaherty said in his budget last week that the government will stop making pennies.

 

No longer will we hear, “A penny for your thoughts.”

 

Or if you do, you know someone believes your thoughts to be of little value.

 

**

 

Kincardine councillors must have expensive tastes. I was watching council on the tube last Wednesday and the treasurer mentioned that if they went ahead with everything in the proposed budget, there would be nothing left in reserves in a couple of years.

 

I heard the same story last year.

 

Fortunately, they did start making cuts to the budget.

 

It will be interesting to see what this year’s tax increase will be. Last year’s 12.5 per cent hike was excessive.

 

**

 

It must have been a slow news day in Toronto.

 

Our nephew received notoriety Saturday after he graced the front page of the Toronto Sun with the headline: Beer League backup.

 

After the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie was injured in the warm-up for Thursday’s game at the Air Canada Centre, the Leafs called Scott McKay to act as a back-up goalie.

 

Scott was a trainer a few years ago for the Leafs and often was told to suit up when the goalie at the time, Eddie Belfour, wasn’t feeling well.

 

His NHL tryout contract was rather short – one day.