Reading the Plan: 5 – Keep schools open and foster healthy communities

SOAPBOXSo… some good ideas about schools – focus on keeping them open, vibrant, health-promoting & important parts of communities… oh, and hire about 1000 teachers to get health and physical education back to where it should have been all along.

So… that’s all to the good…. although I would like to see a response to the question I have been asked more than once, i.e. how does Andrea Horwath’s NDP government intend to approach the next round of bargaining with Ontario’s teachers?

That has been a rather ugly mess for far too many years – it doesn’t seem at all unreasonable to provide teachers with a clear statement of intent.  I think that the NDP has a great deal more respect for teachers…labour… unions…and Ontario kids, too…. than the other parties do (in fact, it boggles my mind how the other parties even get in given their lack of concern for workers – who the hell is voting for these people?)  but that is what I think …. would be nice to have a clear statement to that effect sooner rather than later, wouldn’t it?

Nutritional and dental care for kids – who could argue that that is a bad thing? Well okay, the Hammer could, but most people have hearts – and are smart enough to know that young adults with teeth are more liable to get jobs and do well in life than those without – so, yeah, that one is good too.

And then the plan falls down and goes boom – the instant it mentions tenants without a second’s concern for landlords, who, actually, are the people being royally screwed by the current system in Ontario. Read my landlording blog(s). Stop by any Ontario landlording forum. Read a few articles/blogs/advice columns, why don’t you? As I keep trying to tell people – including the ONDP’s housing critic, whose constituency assistant sent me an “We will have to get back to you in response to your request for NDP positions on the specific area you mentioned” way back on 31-May-2013 and still has not – the people most harmed, in the long run,  by royally screwing landlords are not landlords but tenants. And most aggravatingly to me, there are low/no cost solutions to some of the biggest issues which are causing landlords to refuse to rent to low income and/or anyone who might be seen as having or likely to develop any sort of disability.

The current ~system~ in Ontario demands that landlords discriminate against tenants even though yes, that is illegal – that’s why we sold our house, actually …couldn’t live with discriminating against the very sorts of people I once was, or the very sorts of people I once devoted my time and energy to working for and with…. but the fact that I’m no longer in that position (we are still landlords, but only as long as the existing tenants stay unless something changes – the day they give notice the sign will be up on the lawn).

I’m not saying tenants should not have rights; they should. But by refusing to move beyond tenants =poor picked on powerless babies who need protection; landlords big bad greedy evil meanies all three of the parties totally miss any possibility of solving the actual problems (did I mention no/low cost?)

… in fact, right now we have anything that could be reasonably put forth as support for landlords coming only from the mean-spirited hammer-time approach … under a PC government, we can expect the balance between landlords and tenants to shift again – but, I would bet money on it shifting waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too far in the other direction. And sucking.

The NDPs plans to “protect” and “enforce” tenants against landlord lacks understanding of landlords as small business owners (and taxpayers, eh? how DID we get to be shit on everyone’s shoe, I’d like to know!) and of the issues that are actually causing us to be mean nasty bastards … oh crap… and here I was doing so well at censoring my urges to swear; my bad!

Anyway …. since the NDP are “my” party, this is very disappointing to me … they can’t claim to not know about the problems – I’ve explained it to them!

tools4When I made the toolbox image, my thought was to try to show that Andrea has more tools …. that the NDP is, at this point in Ontario’s history, the best party to actually fix problems using a more nuanced approach than Hudak’s hammer, or the flush-all-your money-so there’s-nothing-left-but-empty-promises approach Wynne seems bent on …

I’m very disappointed that there seems to be little or nothing in her toolbox that is going to fix the problems I’m concerned about – and the landlording one is definitely one of those (even though I’m pretty much out of it now – I still care about people and it hurts to see so many discriminated against and mistreated and to know how to solve it but be powerless to convince anyone to listen).

Still … given the other choices, even this is not enough to cause me to withdraw my support for the NDP. Because as far as I can see, there just aren’t any other reasonable options.

crankyColored2It does, however, make me more than a little cranky…and sad, too.

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