With the election of Doug Ford as premier of Ontario, the province has joined the world trend toward populism. As in other countries and regions, particularly the United States, it is part of a trend away from collectivism and globalization. Besides a growing distrust of politicians, people are starting to realize that the costs of communism, socialism, or unbridled liberalism are too high.
The argument that we will do it properly this time around isn’t convincing anymore.
In “Ontario MPP ‘Proud’ of Province’s Debt and ‘Would Do It Again’”, National Post writer Tristin Hopper lays out the challenge Ford faces as he takes the helm as premier:
Ontario’s debt, which currently stands at $311.7 billion, is the most held by any sub-sovereign government in the world. It has also grown precipitously under the current Liberal government, who first took government when Ontario’s debt stood at $138.8 billion.
To fix the province’s woes, Ford and his advisers must first understand the primary causes of the problems. A major issue has been crippling energy and environmental policies. It began when, in 1992, then-premier Bob Rae appointed businessman and former UN Under-Secretary-General Maurice Strong to be chairman of Ontario Hydro. At the time, Ontario was a prosperous, economically sound province. Strong changed that when he applied the energy and environmental policies he proposed for the entire world. In 1992, he introduced them through his creation of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the conference he chaired in Rio de Janeiro.
At the conference, Strong introduced his creation of Agenda 21, a global energy and environment policy of world-shattering implications, and got it ratified. It was at the same conference that world leaders signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC set the ground rules for the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In Article 1 of the UNFCCC treaty, it specified:
“Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.
It is a definition that predetermines the outcome of the IPCC’s work. You cannot isolate human causes of climate change without knowledge and understanding of natural changes and mechanisms. The fact that we cannot forecast the weather beyond 72 hours demonstrates how little we understand about natural climate change and its causes. Accurate forecasts require accurate science, and yet the science is still highly immature.
To further his anti-development agenda, Strong needed “science” to isolate and prove that increasing carbon dioxide emissions from industrial activity, a natural outcome of increasing production, would cause runaway global warming. Once the science was determined, the bureaucracies of national weather offices such as Environment Canada (EC) could push policies to cripple energy production, industry, and development. It is not coincidental that Gordon McBean, later assistant deputy minister of EC, chaired the founding meeting of the IPCC in 1985. Other countries and regions were slow to adopt these principles, but in Ontario, Strong was able to use his position at Ontario Hydro to implement with impunity the crippling policies he orchestrated in Rio.
In so doing, he stopped nuclear programs, closed coal plants, and diverted funds to alternate energies that were already shown not to work. As one report summarized:
The electrical scam in Ont. started with the Bob Rae NDP government when Maurice Strong, Rae’s god-father, broke up Ontario Hydro. The electricity scam continued through the Harris and McGuinty Governments. Today Premier Kathleen Wynne and the liberal party administer the Enron styled electrical rate manipulation scam.
Other premiers since, right through to Wynne, tried to privatize Ontario Hydro, but all failed to deal with the problem. Meanwhile, the cost of energy became an increasing drag on the economy and cost of living. (On June 7, the Wynne government suffered an election defeat so severe that the Liberal party failed to win enough seats to maintain official party status in the legislature.)
When Strong started as Ontario Hydro chairman, the province was one of the most powerful provincial economies. It was consistently classified as a “have” province in the federal government equalization scheme. This program, begun in 1957, had provinces designated “have” or “have not” based primarily on their ability to generate tax revenue. In a great socialist scheme, money was transferred from the “have” to “have not” provinces. Like all such programs, it only masks problems and allows politicians to ignore more systemic and long-term debilitating issues:
From Strong’s tenure onward, Ontario energy costs continued to sap the vigor of its economy. By 2009, with its inexpensive coal-fired power being phased out in a vain attempt to “stop climate change,” Ontario joined the ranks of the “have not” provinces:
Access to plentiful energy has been a major determining factor differentiating “have” and “have not” provinces. Primarily because of Hibernia oil, Newfoundland and Labrador became a “have” province. The other “have” provinces are the oil- and energy-rich ones, including Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.
Can Doug Ford get Ontario back on track with a sound, efficient, affordable energy policy?
He, like Trump, must overcome the “deep state” built up under Wynne: influential, unelected decision-making entities inside government, whose policies and long-term goals are usually unaffected by changes in elected officials. He also faces the challenge, ironically, of Trump renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, a deal that provided many advantages for Ontario.
For the new premier to make Ontario a “have” province again, it will take deliberate, uncompromising policies that ignore politics and ideology. There is no better place for Ford to start this process than by taking a page from of U.S. President Donald Trump’s playbook and publicly opposing the myth that Maurice Strong created about man-made carbon dioxide causing global warming.
If Ford does this, he will have a good science foundation to stand on. There are many studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals that refute or cast serious doubt on the idea that our emissions will cause dangerous climate change. The premier and his staff can quickly see this if they check the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (www.climatechangereconsidered.org), in which thousands of these studies are summarized.
For Ontario’s sake, let’s hope Premier Ford has the courage to do this.