Editorials - Nov. 4, 2022
Blurring the lines
It seems as if vitriol has now officially replaced political discourse. Last week’s violent attack on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was politically motivated and carried out by, of all things, an expatriate Canadian known for embracing wild conspiracy theories and participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
As politicians ramp up the bitterness and hate in their speeches, their feckless followers are left with the impression that it is open season on anyone who opposes your views, no matter how extreme. Violent attacks have been carried out repeatedly this year. In fact, with over 10,000 threats against Congress members in the last year, Capitol Police are advising lawmakers to take precautions with their own security.
This brand of violent disagreement has even invaded normally-quiet municipal politics at home in Ontario. On Oct. 25, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and his family awoke to police outside his home after someone threatened to assassinate him if he won the election.
Public officials deserve to serve their office in safety. Philosophical disagreements and differences of opinions should result in better decisions in lawmaking after respectful debate and discussion, not violence and retaliation against politicians’ families. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said that domestic violent extremism is “one of the greatest terrorism-related” threats to the U.S. Perhaps it’s time for all politicians to dial it back on the extreme negative rhetoric that panders to the lowest common denominator in a crowd who sees themselves as freedom fighters. – DS
You win some...
With the votes tabulated and the results now certified, municipal representation in Huron County for the next four years has now been established and, as with any competition, there are winners and there are losers. Unfortunately, we’ve lost some good people along the way.
Just a few weeks ago on this very page, The Citizen’s editorial board discussed an article by the CBC regarding declining interest in municipal elections across the province and the rising number of acclamations over the past eight years. That makes it an even harder pill to swallow when an established, quality representative is lost to a tight race when they’ve decided to step up, whether it be from councillor to deputy-mayor, councillor to mayor or deputy-mayor to mayor. A number of close races locally show that voters were torn, choosing between two proven representatives. They voted for who, when pressed, they thought would do the best job, but, in the end, that meant someone had to go home. As a result, several municipalities have lost valuable representatives and advocates for four years.
With so few qualified, engaged and caring locals willing to step up and step into the often thankless job of municipal representation, losing someone who fits the bill can be a gutting, yet inevitable part of the democratic process. And, as that CBC article shows, with fewer and fewer people stepping up every four years, one can only hope that those who felt the sting of defeat this October are able to get back on the horse and run again in 2026 because they’ve been assets for us in the past and surely they can fill that role again in the future. – SL
Power to the people
Ontarians may be looking at lower electricity bills than other provinces, which will be seeing increases as costs for the utility go up. What Ontarians may not see in those bills, however, is that there is an alternative way to pay for likely the most important monthly bill they have, and that’s a problem.
Ever since Ontario privatized electricity, there have been problems with outages, rising costs and increased payout to executives, but a new one has reared its head recently when the Ontario Energy Board announced that price drops will take effect in the time-of-use brackets for which Ontarians are charged.
While anything that helps people save money right now is great, what might not be great is that, in the middle of the pandemic, the board introduced a new way to pay: a tiered system which would see people pay one price per kilowatt hour (kWh), instead of different prices depending on the time of day. This tiered system, which, as of this week, could see people charged 8.7 cents per kWh for the first 1,000 kWh per month and 10.3 cents for each after, could likely save people a lot of money, if they knew about it (as research indicates an average Ontario household uses 750 kWh month).
However, the system isn’t exactly well-advertised, with anecdotal evidence pointing to the fact that many people don’t even know about it.
Is that because they aren’t paying attention? Or, as an entity that answers to and provides bonuses to executives, does it make more sense for utility providers to hide such options? Who knows? Either way, those living on the grid need to know about these options and make sure they have the plan that will give them the most bang for their buck. – JDS