Letters to the Editor

February 13, 2004

Dear Premier McGuinty/Mr. Charlie Angelakos:

I am responding to your letter, dated February 4, 2004, which was a reply to my earlier request for a meeting with the Premier. You state "unfortunately, due to scheduling constraints, the Premier is unable to meet with you."

How do you know that his scheduling constraints preclude a meeting with me? I made no request for a specific date or time, nor did I indicate that my schedule was so 'constrained' that I would be unable to meet with the Premier at a time suitable for him.

It occurs to me that the Premier's schedule is, for all intents and purposes, closed to the the average Ontario citizen who wishes to discuss matters with him. How important does one have to be, for the Premier to be able to spare a few moments. How much money must one have been acknowledged to contribute before one is blessed with the Premier's attention? Who decides, for the Premier, that an issue is dire enough to warrant his immediate and personal attention?

Apparently, one voice speaking from among 72,000 citizens of a community in limbo is not worthy. Apparently, one issue in an ever-growing line of ignored promises is not worthy. And, apparently, Mr. McGuinty is not interested in dealing with this issue at all. I know for a fact that he has received dozens of letters and emails from people demanding that his pre-Premier promises regarding the restoration of Victoria County be honoured. We have done all the legwork over the last 4 years, and he has only to do the right thing, the democratic thing - and rescind the amalgamation.

On March 4, 1997, Dalton McGuinty said "There's a fine line between leadership and being out of touch and I suggest to the members opposite that to ignore the clear and unequivocal results of the referenda would not be to show leadership; it would be to ignore! the wil l of those you represent..."

And Mr. McGuinty said, on April 21, 1997, "I remember the good old days when Mike Harris used to speak in favour of referenda. I remember when he said the government should listen to the people it serves. But that was then and this is now. Opposition leader Mike Harris used to listen to people. Premier Mike Harris runs roughshod over them..."

And you have the nerve to insult me, and the others who have, in good faith, put our trust in Premier McGuinty to follow through on his promise to us, by denying any of us the opportunity to speak directly with him - to explain to him, not through advisors or ministers or bureaucrats, but he, himself, why this issue is so important.

It is not Mr. McGuinty's taxes that are increasing, nor is it his services that are in rapid decline. Nor is it his communities that have been stabbed in the heart! We are losing our volunteers, we are losing our individuality, and we are losing our history!

"You can send a loud and clear message that it's not okay for the Premier and a small group of ideaologues in his office to ignore the people of Ontario and those they elected to represent them. It's not too late, in fact it's never too late, to stand up for real democracy instead of sledgehammer democracy..." (Dalton McGuinty, April 21, 1997)

It is shameful that this government allows itself to be so far removed from the people who elect it, who finance it, and who, ultimately, have the power to remove it. Look up the word democracy in the dictionary, sir, and then ask yourself whether democracy is being served.

"Democracy imposes responsibility on those who govern. Democracy gives the people a voice, but it also compels those who govern to listen to that voice. Democracy isn't just something that takes place once every four years. Democracy is what is supposed to happen in a free society each and every day..." (Dalton McGuinty, March 4, 1997)

I wish that the Dalton McGuinty of 1997 would show his face, and his principles, now.


Belinda Wilson
Coboconk, ON K0M 1K0

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