EDITORIAL: What’s it going to take?

Journalists often speak the truth. They publicly decry injustice, wrongdoing, and incompetence. Are they being heard by anyone? Is anyone listening anymore? No matter how eloquently expressed, how detailed, how accurate, the heralds of truth and revelation fail to move the masses who seem to have gone deaf or become totally inert. Active response is the way of the few, too few.

Rosie Dimanno, Toronto Star columnist, says it right again in her Jan. 2 column about Long Term Care facilities. She decries LTC facilities for paying out profits rather than redirecting that money to correcting and improving the facilities.

Her message, her column, her commentary is right on but it falls on deaf ears. Who cares? Not that anyone should not care, it is just that people walk the talk and no more.

Doug Ford endlessly laments at how hard he is working for the good of the people, how dedicated he is to making their lives better, how he prioritizes a better life for each resident of the province. Empty words as his family gathers in larger than COVID advised groups, as he heads out to his cottage while advocating that others stay home during the pandemic.

Doug Ford is as pumped up with hot air as the Michelin Tire man or the Goodyear blimp. Lots of air but no substance. Ford touts that he is very aware of what his ministers are doing and that his first concern is the welfare of regular, common Ontarians. Sure, if you are the 1%er, Ford’s got you back. Just look at how it launched the better Hydro rates effective January 2021. Yup, everybody gets rewarded by Hydro billing that reflect off hour rates. Imagine being rewarded with a dog bone. Hydro still makes money. The province does not increase its own expenses. Quite the reward.

But the Long Term Care story is absolutely shameful and demonstrates the Ford government’s true colours. Profitability of LTC is insured and permitted if not prioritized and promoted. Former premiers, Eaves, Harris and Davis, all executives in LTC facility corporations, earn bigger payouts thanks to the facilities taking government handouts and paying out shareholders instead of directing the funds as intended. Appalling and disgraceful. Our government working at its finest.

As to being aware of his ministers’ work. Ex-finance minister please step up to the podium and justify violating federal government regulations forbidding international travel. Ford admits his knowledge about this vacation long before it took place. Yes, he knew what his cabinet minister was doing. That story ended well only because the cat was let out of the bag. Effective journalism revealed the secret to the public and the secret was so wrong, unjust and criminal, the premier had no choice but to fire the minister. Justice served but not to the credit of the government.

Now, in regard to the Long Term Care facilities, read the numbers. Do you even dare consider putting a loved one in on of the Long Term Care facilities in the province. Only if you want to give them a death sentence. The disastrous management of many of these residences in terms of COVID defence and security is appalling. Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s Long Term Care Minister is failing at her job if the LTC mortailyt numbers are considered. The mortality rates are increasing when they should be flatlining or even declining. Putting a loved one into a LTC facility at this time is condemning them to death. An exaggeration? Would you readily accept residence in one of these facilities for yourself at this time if you were in such need? Obviously not. Our faith in the government policy regarding care for the elderly is at an all time low. Thank Minister Fullerton. Thank Premier Ford. Thank yourself.

And there’s the crux of the matter. The citizenry accepts. Accepts ministerial self service. Accepts ministerial self prioritization. Accepts ministerial failure. Accepts ministerial incompetence. Accepts ministerial ineptness.

Where is the constructive reaction founded on anger and infuriation with government incompetence, inertia and self-service. Where is the demonstration against government ineptness and inadequacy. What will it take to motivate voters into public voicing of their opposition to government failure.

Sitting on this will let it wane, soon replacing the red hot iron of LTC with a new story, and new issue, relegating the LTC to the ‘so what…bad things happen’ and ‘I can’t do anything about it anyway’ heaps.

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