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I didn’t expect I would ever feel disgusted to receive a cheque, but I was given this new experience last week by our provincial government: my license plate sticker refund. Choosing to refund the cost of licensing to someone who can afford to own a car shows an appalling — and infuriating — skewing of priorities in addressing the critical issues we face in this province.
As these refund cheques are issued, lip service is being paid to appreciating our health-care workers, while maintaining that there is no money to pay our nurses a reasonable wage. The offered one per cent increase is an insult in light of our dependence on them through COVID and beyond.
In the face of irrefutable evidence of the impact of climate change, the choice of the current government is to build more highways over farms and wetlands and to circumvent environmental safeguards rather than invest in more sustainable alternatives for our children’s future.
The list of other crises we face goes on, affordable housing, need for a fair wage, long-term care reform, access to mental health support, to name a few. There are credible, cost-effective initiatives proposed for all these areas, all needing far more priority than is being given.
I will now decide where to donate the amount of this cheque (the most blatant “vote bribe” I’ve ever received) for it to have strategic impact. It is clearly time for there be a government that demonstrates commitment to meeting the needs of its citizens rather than to keeping, wielding, and abusing power.
Anne Keith, Newmarket