By Jeff Ballingall
It’s not normal for Ontario families to be gouged on their hydro bills. It’s not normal for governments to hike taxes while more than doubling the debt. It’s not normal for government insiders to get rich from sleazy contracts and inflated salaries.
What’s been happening in Ontario the last fifteen years is a bad dream that’s been our reality. It’s been a long time since families kept more money than what they give to the government; a long time since we felt like the government was working with us and not against us.
Ontario’s provincial election is finally on. We now have the chance to elect a fair government.
However, we can’t be so foolish to assume change will come automatically. And, we can’t coast by on the belief that all our troubles will end with the anticipated defeat of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.
The Wynne Liberals have devastated our province’s economy and executed a sustained attack on the family budget.
Since 2006, hydro rates have increased by a whopping 150 per cent. This summer, gas prices are expected to reach a four-year high. And, the budget recently introduced by Wynne tried to levy $2 billion in new taxes.
Only the most die-hard Liberal partisans now contend Kathleen Wynne deserves to be re-elected. Even then, their smiles are forced and their words ring hollow.
At Ontario Proud, we’ve worked hard to build a movement ready to defeat Wynne and her cronies. We’ve broken into the mainstream consciousness by holding Wynne accountable for her failures and building the most engaged online political movement in Canada.
Today, our membership is more than 350,000 strong and it continues to grow. Yet, even with this success, I’m concerned. As an electorate, I’m worried we’ll go on autopilot.
Kathleen Wynne may be cratering in the polls, but she’s a formidable campaigner. The age-old tactic of trying to buy votes with big-spending platforms that waste more of your hard-earned money is alive and well. And we can’t afford to let it win.
As citizens, it’s on us to remain vigilant and take control of this election. We must become activists. We can’t let politicians set the agenda this time. This is our election, not theirs.
It falls on us, ordinary citizens, to make sure we get the answers and the leaders we deserve. We’re calling on voters to hold town hall meetings, ask our politicians direct questions on the doorsteps, and galvanize friends and neighbours on the internet, as Ontario Proud has done.
Our movement is bigger than Kathleen Wynne. Our mission has meaning beyond ensuring her defeat. We exist to defend the interest of everyday Ontario taxpayers.
In this election, Ontario Proud will continue to be the voice of families who are sick and tired of out-of-control hydro rates, high taxes, and governments who waste your hard-earned money. When politicians make promises that are bad for you and your family, we’ll be here to call them out on it.
Together, we can hold the politicians accountable and finally elect the government we deserve. Our friends, neighbours and, most importantly, our next generation are all counting on us to get it right.
Jeff Ballingall is the founder of Ontario Proud, a people-powered movement with a membership of more than 350,000. In this election, he will be working to hold politicians of all political stripes accountable for their actions and defending the interests of every taxperson in Ontario. Learn more online.