Editorial – The next four years

There is an old maxim which says that if you end the year with a dollar more in your pocket than you began the year with, it was a good year. Let’s apply this to the 2022 Provincial Election, looking back at the last four years and forward to the next four.

The last four years have been tumultuous to say the least – only some of that relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that there were upheavals and changes at the provincial government level – some of which exacerbated the affects of the pandemic.

In the four years of a Doug Ford led government, there have been many issues not tackled, and election promises not kept. We still have hallway medicine, crumbling long-term care homes, and many areas without family doctors. But there have also been successes. There are more jobs than before, and more capital spending on infrastructure. There are more opportunities for transit in the big cities, and more houses are being built – albeit too slowly to keep up with demand.

Then there is the ever-ballooning debt, some of which again is blamed on spending due to the pandemic. While inflation is affected by global markets, the local impact on housing, food, and gasoline prices is felt by everyone. And there is little relief in sight even after the June 2 election. Locally in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, continued representation issues are top of mind as usual – ensuring that those at Queen’s Park remember that Ontario still exists east of Highway 416.

This election has seen promises on everything from increasing ODSP rates to tax cuts, more education supports to building more housing. Election promises are typically made with the best of intentions – but are not always rooted in reality. Superficial promises of “a-buck-a-anything” are not needed, stability and affordability are.

Every election is a pivotal time, a time to reflect as a voter and as a citizen. Are you and your family better off now than you were four years ago? Have things improved, even during a global health event? Some have. Do you have that proverbial dollar more at the end of the year? If not, will voting for change mean your circumstances will change as well? These are all important questions to ask to make an informed decision of who to cast your ballot for on June 2.

As a policy, The Leader does not endorse candidates – we endorse the political process of voting. Be an informed voter when you cast your ballot. Look at your issues, your family issues, your business or farm issues. Are you better off now, and will you be better off in the next four years? Vote accordingly.

No matter your issues or political stripes, vote. Participate in the process, do your part, cast your ballot. Another old maxim is that if you do not vote at election time, you lose your right to complain about the government afterwards. No one wants that to happen.

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