For those of you who are history buffs and well acquainted with the story of the Titanic (the ship, not the movie), you should be very aware of the similarities between it and the province of Ontario under the disastrous leadership of the Liberal Party of Ontario.
Let’s start off with the basics. The Titanic (commissioned by the White Star Line) was to be the greatest passenger ship in the world for its time. While not necessarily built for speed, it was considered to be the ultimate powerhouse on the seas. Its passengers revelled in its luxury and status. Titanic was deemed to be unsinkable due to its modern safety features. “Not even God himself could sink this ship” was famously stated by one of the White Star Line employees.
Similarly, at the time the McGuinty Liberals took power, Ontario was considered to be the powerhouse province of Canada. Ontarians revelled at being the ‘best’. There were no major concerns for the future. Manufacturing was doing well. Jobs were abundant. Household bills were manageable. Everyone prospered together. Life was good.
Captain Edward Smith commanded the Titanic. After years at sea, he was overly confident in his abilities to steer the ship across the Atlantic. Shortly after setting sail, though, Titanic had a near collision with a smaller vessel and many took it as an omen of things to come.
Shortly after coming to power in Ontario, Dalton McGuinty broke a key promise not to implement any new taxes by introducing the health premium which was the largest single tax ever imposed onto Ontario taxpayers. That should have been an omen of things to come.
During the voyage, Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line, felt it wasn’t good enough for Titanic to just be the most opulent ship afloat. He pressed Captain Smith to increase the speed of the ship. Ismay was obsessed with arriving in New York ahead of schedule. It would give him and the shipping company immense stature and media coverage. It would make them world leaders. In spite of numerous warnings about the dangers which lay ahead in the iceberg-riddled seas, Smith followed Ismays orders and increased the ships speed.
In Ontario, Dalton McGuinty and George Smitherman decided that they wanted to be world leaders in green energy, specifically wind and solar. In spite of the fact that Ontario already had one of the cleanest electricity grids on the planet, it wasn’t good enough. McGuinty and his crew wanted to be known worldwide as forward-thinking leaders in the environmental movement. There were many warnings that what they were about to embark on was foolhardy at best, disastrous to the province at worst. Yet they forged full-speed ahead with their plans, arrogantly and willfully blind to the dangerous course they were setting the province on.
When the coward McGuinty abandoned ship (similar to Bruce Ismay leaping into a lifeboat ahead of women and children), he was replaced by Kathleen Wynne who promised that she would stay the course set out by McGuinty, stating that she was proud to carry on his legacy. By this time, in 2013, there were many scandals and boondoggles littering the waters around Ontario and hydro rates were on the increase. In spite of persistent and more dire warnings of the dangers surrounding skyrocketing electricity bills, Wynne decided there would be no slowing down of their narrow-focussed agenda to become renowned for their ‘progressive’ energy policies.
The hubris and overconfidence of Captain Smith is what rammed the Titanic into the iceberg that fateful night. Only after the damage was done and irreversible, did Smith realize his folly and carelessness.
So too, we are told, Kathleen Wynne also now recognizes her ‘mistake’. A mistake, though, is generally not something which is willfully and purposefully done. Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals, like Captain Smith and his crew, knew only too well that they were speeding straight into hazardous territory. The signs were all there.
Manufacturers were packing up and jumping ship, fleeing to areas where electricity bills were not so detrimental to their business. Tens of thousands, who at one time felt safe and secure in their jobs, were being thrown into unemployment lines. Increasing cries of despair from families who were having to choose between heat or food could be heard across the province. Energy experts were screaming warnings of what was directly in Ontarios path. In their absolute arrogance, Wynne and her bumbling crew decided it didn’t matter. Fame and power were far more important.
On the Titanic, it was the poorest passengers (steerage and second class) who were affected first and it was those who endured the greatest loss of life.
In Ontario, it’s the working middle class, the poor, seniors, single parent families, veterans, the disabled and those who are most vulnerable who are suffering the worst, thanks to the pride of the governing Liberals. They are the ones whose lives have been impacted the hardest by the Liberals devastating energy policies.
One ship, the Californian, had made anchor near Titanics route that tragic night in 1912. It was sending numerous warnings about massive icebergs in the area. So many warnings did they send to surrounding vessels, that the wireless operator on the Titanic (Jack Phillips) told them to “Shut up! Shut up!!”
Now we come to the passengers and their role in this saga. When the Titanic first struck the iceberg, many aboard the stricken ship scoffed at the mere idea that it could sink. It was too powerful, well-built and solid.
So too, many Ontario voters scoffed at warnings of the madness of placing too much money, subsidies and importance on wind and solar power….of locking Ontario into twenty year contracts paying obscenely high prices for ‘green’ energy. The signs were glaringly obvious that paying neighbouring areas (like New York state) to take the excess power from our grid at a net loss to Ontario ratepayers of billions and billions of dollars (paid for through the “Global Adjustment fee” on their hydro bills), was a recipe for disaster. “Shut up! Shut up NIMBY!!” was their response, as they felt that anyone who voiced concern about the Liberals fanatical energy plans were just regressive, ignorant crybabies who didn’t want 500-foot-tall industrial wind turbines next to their homes.
As the Titanic listed and started to sink, many passengers still did not heed the warnings to put on life jackets and get into the lifeboats. They were certain the grand ship would never sink completely and that they would be safe. Only when the water was literally lapping at their feet did they realize the error of their judgement.
Ontario voters, in spite of the many billion dollar scandals and offensive waste presented to them by the Liberal Party, chose to re-elect them time after time. In spite of all the alarms over the years of what was happening to the once great powerhouse of Canada, including going from a “have” to a “have not” province, voters continued to close their eyes to reality. In spite of numerous police investigations into widespread corruption, they decided to stay on that sinking ship and put their trust in Captain Wynne. They just did not seem to care that Ontario was listing badly to port. The emergency flares were going off in every direction, from irrational and ill-advised spending, to Auditor General reports of appalling mismanagement, to constant reductions in services. Oh those foolish passengers. How could they be so blind?
Those on the Titanic who could see that a catastrophe was imminent, got into lifeboats while there was still a chance to save themselves. Just a few at first but as the sea started to consume the ship, the numbers increased exponentially. Survivors later recounted the heartbreak of looking back at the Titanic and watching the suffering that was occurring to those trapped on board.
In Ontario, those who could see the disaster looming left the province while they still could. They knew that in order to save their families or livelihoods, whatever ‘lifeboat’ they could relocate to was better than the fate that awaited them by staying. Safe at a distance from the seriously wounded province, they can only watch in dismay as they see family and friends struggling to survive.
There is one difference, though, between the Titanic passengers and Ontario voters. When it became obvious that there was no hope for the ship, many still standing on the decks tried frantically to get into whatever remaining collapsible lifeboats there were. Unfortunately, there was just not enough time or room or boats. In a panic, many leapt into the frigid waters and clung desperately to any debris they could find, in a futile attempt to save themselves.
In the Ontario voters case, they had a lifeboat that was big enough for everyone to fit on. In 2014, Tim Hudak and the PCs were that lifeboat. The Conservatives were the one LAST remaining chance for Ontarians to save not just themselves, but the ill-fated ship on which they rode.
“Quick. Jump into this boat and I will row you to safety, otherwise, most of you will die,” Hudak shouted.
Incredibly, what was the reaction of the voters of this sinking province? They ran, en masse, back towards the stern of the S.S. Ontario that was now rising from the sea. Terrified by the honesty of the PC leader, many voters said, “I’d love to get on that Progressive Conservative lifeboat, but Hudak SCARES me.” And they refused to take a chance on being saved, preferring instead to languish on the doomed ship.
Sadly, the Titanic slipped silently below the waves and sank to its death at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, imploding as it went down from the pressure of the sea waters around it.
So too, will Ontario sink. Pulling it down faster to its demise, like a giant anchor, is the worlds largest sub-sovereign debt. As it descends, it’s imploding from the continued imperiousness of the Liberal Party of Ontario who refuse to acknowledge what has become apparent to almost everyone else. They are still convinced that they know better than the ‘steerage passengers’… the steerage passengers, who were the first ones to feel the icy cold dark waters of the Atlantic and recognize the terrible fate that lay ahead for them.
It only took less than two hours for the Titanic to founder and sink. It only took less than twelve years for the Liberal Party to sink Ontario.
What are the options now for the province? None. There are no more lifejackets. No lifeboats left. No more collapsibles. There are no more ships in the area to come to their rescue. No one to see the emergency flares.
There are just three pieces of debris floating nearby. The Liberal party. The PC party. The NDP party. All equally inadequate, ill-equipped and totally incapable of saving this doomed vessel, much less repairing the incredible damage done by Wynne and her cabal of incompetents. Each of the three parties is in favour of a carbon tax which will only hasten the demise of the province. Like snatching away the lifejackets from drowning passengers, a carbon tax will be the final death knell for many families and businesses.
In Ontarios case, “Not even God himself can save this province.”
Decades from now, what will the wreckage and debris field of the S.S. Ontario look like? Who will come across the rusting, broken hull of the once proud ship and wonder what could have been, ‘if only’ the warnings had been heeded?
What exactly will the legacy be, that Kathleen Wynne was so proud of?
Lori Griffin – Quixotes Last Stand — November 26, 2016 (Reprint by permission only)