Don’t vote out of fear

October 19th marks the end of the longest campaign in modern Canadian history. If one lesson can come out of this election, it is that those who want to govern you, want you to be afraid of something. Despite that fear-mongering, you need to vote.

Each of the parties have campaigned on fear, even if they state otherwise. It is all rhetoric and none of it matters.

The Conservatives want you to be afraid of change which will endanger the economy. They want you to fear the Liberals because of their past issues with corruption. They equate the Liberal Party of Canada with the Liberal Party of Ontario, stating that Justin Trudeau is as bad as Kathleen Wynne is in Ontario. The Conservatives idea of equality is to fear differences.

The NDP want you to be afraid of the Conservatives. They want you to fear the prospects of the Liberals returning to power. The NDP wants families to fear not having affordable childcare. That we are all doomed with climate change. Our railways are unsafe. Pipelines are bad. We are selling out our economy with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If its red or blue, we should be afraid of it.

The Liberals want you to be afraid of Harper, of the Conservatives. They also want you to be afraid of the NDP, of Angry Tom. The Liberals want you to fear everything the Conservatives and NDP support, unless they support it.

The Liberals and NDP want you to fear the Conservatives so much that you are willing to vote strategically for the party with the best shot to get rid of them.

Voters need to ignore the fear-mongering and strategic voting. Vote based on facts and information. Ignore the rhetoric and become an informed voter. Focus on the party platforms assuming the elected party will carry them out as published.

Voting for which platform you believe is the best for you and your family, closest to your ideals, the political system works the way it is suppose to.

Based on the national polls, the Liberals are angling towards a minority government. The change that the pundits claim people want will happen. Remember that change for change sake is not always good. The national race is too close to call. While the papers may endorse parties or candidates, this columnist will not.

The same goes for the local candidates in Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry. Conservative incumbent Guy Lauzon, and Liberal challenger Bernadette Clement have been the hardest working candidates. They have traveled the riding over and over, to every corner. The NDP and Green candidates have been a disappointment to watch, if you can spot them anywhere. With a two-way race between the Lauzon and Clement, Clement’s chances have improved. But, yet both candidates have resorted to fear-tactics in their campaign, spinning the national talking points down to the local level. It is more expected from the national level, less so at the local level.

Regardless if voters look at the national parties or the local candidates, everyone who is able to vote, needs to take part. Ignore the fear, ignore the rhetoric and talking points. Read the platforms, compare with what your values are as a Canadian. Then if you haven’t done so at the advanced polls, go and vote.

Trip to Gatineau

On the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend we took the family up to the Gatineau Hills to sight-see the fall colours. We also wanted to check out Kingsmere, the estate of former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie-King.

The trip itself was great. Beautiful scenery; nice weather; well-groomed walking trails. This is a real treasure in the Ottawa-area.

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The problem was the getting to and coming home from Quebec. Not Quebec itself mind you, but the roads in Ottawa to get there.

The quickest way to get to the Gatineau Hills is via Autoroute 5 in Quebec. The quickest way to get to Autoroute 5 in Ottawa is via a jungle of one-way or high traffic streets in downtown. What a mess!

Heading north, we exited the 417 at Nicholas and headed north. Merge right, veer right, turn right on to Rideau Street. Shift to the left lane, turn left on to King Edward. North on King Edward and whew, we made it to the A-5. Doesn’t sound like much. In fact we are talking about 2km of a jog between Nicholas and King Edward. It took 22 minutes of stop and go traffic on a Sunday. I would hate to see how long it would take during rush hour.

The return trip was just as bad. Poor signage led us to exit King Edward just after crossing back into Ontario, on to Sussex Drive. Another long fishtail through downtown Ottawa.

This road connection should not be a problem. When the Inter-Provincial bridge was constructed, the plan was to connect the A-5 to Vanier Parkway, crossing the Rideau River and going through (decimating) New Edinburgh Park. Bridge piers are still in place from this project, which was cancelled. Now years later, the talk is to build a multi-billion dollar tunnel in connecting the A-5 as it enters Ontario, with the 417. What a stupid idea. Build a bridge and complete the original plan. It is the easiest way to direct traffic from the A-5 to the 417. It will help remove congestion from downtown Ottawa. It will also take less time than a tunnel.

Just get it done Ottawa, build a bridge.

Change needed at parks commission

The communities along the St. Lawrence River from Iroquois to Cornwall were transformed over 60 years ago with the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway project.

It was responsible for one of the largest transfers of land from private to government ownership in Canadian history, and severed residents connection with the river.

Subsequent decades of management by the St. Lawrence-Parks Commission (SLPC) has led to the area becoming hands-off except for those who are willing to pay, or to no one at all. That needs to change.

To read the rest of this editorial, visit the Standard-Freeholder web site.

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