By Trent Gow
Exactly five months from today, on June 8th, the Bayshore Broadcasting Network will be reporting on the election of a new Ontario government. Will Kathleen Wynne continue to hold the reins of power for another four years or will she be replaced by Patrick Brown or Andrea Horwath? Whoever the new Premier is, will she or he have a clear majority mandate or will new legislation, policies and programs be subject to the slings and arrows of a minority government where every detail is subject to negotiation?
Thinking more locally, will municipalities and communities situated near to Georgian Bay and Lake Huron be represented at the Cabinet table or will we continue to suffer from GTA centric decisions and decision makers? Will millennials and seniors gain improved access to affordable housing? Can the wages of precarious workers be augmented in a way that helps them and their families significantly without bankrupting small businesses? Will the new government come to grips with the wind turbine fiasco; soaring hydro rates; duplicative, incompetent School Boards; and a rapidly deteriorating health care system? These are my questions. What are yours?
The answers to these and many other crucial questions are in your hands. Widespread citizen participation in election processes is the cornerstone of democracy. When we are engaged in the political process we have an influence on every aspect of our lives. By becoming engaged early we are making our voices heard and expressing our opinion on how we think the governments should legislate and lead.
The June 7th election will come quickly. The time to start to get engaged is now. And be sure to vote. Every vote counts!
And, by the way, municipal elections will be held on October 22nd. So stay engaged.