By Tim Stewart
In a recent column, Anne Jarvis at the Windsor Star writes about all of us pulling in one direction. If only we could find a way.
Unity starts with good leadership. We have been a divided community for over a decade now. The primary reasons for the division include our current and previous mayor, along with like-minded councillors, frequently using derogatory terms such as naysayers and conspiracy theorists to label opposing councillors and constituents alike, who dare to challenge the status quo.
Questioning the expenses proposed by city administration or the mayor’s office are greeted with scorn and derision. It’s clear that the philosophy of, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” rules at city hall.
Genuine openness and transparency have been cleverly demonized and framed as negativity.
Auditor General Offices are deemed financially untenable while millions spent on swimming and diving events are expected to be rubber stamped without question. Controlled reviews disguised as audits are scheduled to happen after the money is spent.
Hyperbolic promises of billions of television viewers are promised with the straight face of the snake oil salesmen of long ago.
It’s incredulous really.
Flawed and biased formulas, designed by those with a vested interest in sports tourism, are used to present the purportedly successful metrics of these events.
While some of the problems can be blamed on an electoral system that allows a person to be elected with less than fifty percent support of the voters, a shameful lack of voter turnout continues to remain a troubling factor as well.
Exacerbating the situation is that our elected leadership have come to believe they only need answer to their constituents every four years, rather than on a daily basis throughout the term of office.
The phrase race to the bottom isn’t just a slogan used by anti-poverty activists and trade unions. It is a very real phenomenon being promoted and encouraged by those at the top of our leadership pyramid and at all levels of government. To claim otherwise ignores obvious proof reflected in the current unemployment and poverty statistics in our community and others.
The political conversation is disingenuous rhetoric designed to save only the job of the person speaking.
The politicians and corporations have convinced a large percentage of society that it is wiser to engage in lowering the wages of higher paid workers as opposed to increasing the wages of the lowest paid. They divert our attention away from the exorbitant profits being made by corporations on the back of front line workers.
The ratio between the wages of a CEO and the average worker has increased exponentially over recent years. We are being brainwashed to believe that certain types of jobs are not worthy of a living wage.
Keep in mind, of course, the people making these arguments are generally very well paid.
The reason so many average citizens are unwilling to challenge such unsustainable and disparate conditions remains a mystery.
First our leadership tells us they are protecting the taxpayer by outsourcing good paying municipal jobs. They then proceed to arbitrarily create redundant sports tourism and economic development positions resulting in only low numbers of high paying jobs for a favoured few.
Yet announcements about low paying call centre jobs are trumpeted with great fanfare and expected to be received with loud cheering. Assets losing millions of dollars more than promised are presented proudly as successes.
We are continually treated as fools.
Unity will not be gained as long as the hypocritical rhetoric of our municipal leadership continues.