Monday, 30 May 2011
EXCLUSIVE - Ontario Conservatives to implement mandatory Hardworking Family ID cards
Four months away from the provincial election, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has taken his rhetoric on the province's “hard-working families” he claims to be the champion of to a new level. In this Lacking Credentials exclusive, he has declared to me that his first order of business as premier would be to make the province a paradise for them – by personally sponsoring a bill that would criminalize all other demographics.
“This province is on the fast track to poverty because there are too many hangers-on, creeps, welfare bums, and generally unproductive citizens that our hard-working families are tired of breaking their backs supporting,” he thundered.
It was unclear to your correspondent at first what concrete measures the leader was prepared to take to make good on this promise, until Arizona and its recent notorious “walking while Hispanic” law, which requires everyone to carry ID proving their legal immigration and residency status and provide it to law enforcement officials on demand, came up.
“I like that. They have the right idea. People who shouldn't be there have to GET OUT.”
So it was that our discussion unearthed a brave new prospective third piece of Ontario ID to accompany the driver's licence and health card in your wallet. The Ontario Hard-working Families Membership card. To qualify, residents would have to prove their belonging to a hard-working family (as defined by the incoming government) within 30 days or face deportation.
Hudak admitted to me that the first choice in caucus discussions was Guantanamo Bay, but the thought of Barack Obama or even a Republican president's reaction to this, plus the lack of space, was a sad reality-check balloon deflator. He then said the border crossing in his riding of Niagara Falls was the second choice, but again the pesky American government issue forced them to admit that the neighbouring country would not be willing to accept what had been up until then 6 or 7 million mostly law-abiding Canadian citizens all at once. Plus, a newly elected Ontario conservative-friendly Steve Harper government in Ottawa doesn't need the Supreme Court irked dealing with all those millions of unconstitutional deportation cases. I nodded thoughtfully as I saw him following his logic to what looked like a dead end.
“Then we realized, we just have to drop them off at our two neighbouring provinces. A kilometre over the Manitoba or Quebec border, and we're done! They can't legally set foot here ever again.”
Given the inability of the vast majority to Ontarians to speak the French language, I pondered this seven million strong exodus of old and single people to Manitoba (population: 1.1 million) and wondered how it could possibly absorb them all.
“Manitoba is a dynamic place and we look forward to the challenges of the 21st century with excitement.” Manitoba premier Greg Selinger told me over the phone. “We enthusiastically welcome newcomers and are always looking for people to further enhance and contribute to the quality of life in our communities.” I told him the people he would be welcoming wouldn't be of the exactly, erm, economically productive variety. “Well, I admit as a legislator the idea strikes me as a little strange.” he admitted. But he stopped short of warning against the tidal wave of lonely people, adding “We will not turn down a growth oppurtunity”
The welcoming-growth logic is alive and well in La Belle Province as well, as Jean Charest's Junior Communications Specialist, Lise St-Amand-Barrette told me in an email. “Tous les nouveaux arrivants, qu'ils soient en provenance de l'Ontario ou de tous les pays du monde, seront les bienvenus chez nous pour contribuer à la croissance québecoise et nous aider à bâtir le superpuissance vert mondial du 21ème siècle”
All newcomers, from Ontario and elsewhere, are welcome here to contribute to the growth of Quebec and help us build the world's green superpower of the 21st century.”
Wow. So maybe the grass is greener on the other side after all. I thought of some groups who wouldn't qualify for this hard-working families ID card – widowed pensioners, lifelong bachelors and spinsters, and students first came to mind – and asked Hudak if he really had it in him to kick them all out.
“The hard-working families of Ontario are tired of being taxed to death to pay for everyone else's entitlements” he told me. “If you asked me five years ago, I might have said yes. But the way Dalton McGuinty's bankrupted us with his green energy scams and e-health boondoggles, I gotta get tough. Someone has to stand up for our hard-working, salt of the earth, honest to god, blue collar, church attending, toilet paper using families trying to put food on the kitchen table and having it slide off the mountain of piling up bills and say enough is enough, goddamn it.”
The Progressive Conservative leader collapsed in a heap of sweaty exhaustion after that barn burner of a rant that he was clearly primed for. So, I decided to hit the streets and talk to a few Ontarians myself who were potentially going to be cut out of the Ontario landscape in a few months while he recovered.
“Hard-working families?” asked a grumpy-looking old man who answered the door of an immaculately kept bungalow in Grimsby. “Hard-working families? You call that guy across the street hard-working? He sends his wife out to work at Zellers part time while he sits at home on disability with his medical marijuana prescription. His daughter doesn't even have proper shoes on. And I see that brand new truck of his parked at the casino every time I drive by. In my day a man like that would have been driven out of town.”
Alas, for Ross Banfield, 72, its curtains for him and business as usual for his deadbeat neighbour in October. Even though he was born and raised in Ontario, and raised his kids in Ontario, he's a widower now. His son moved to the states 30 years ago and his daughter lives in British Columbia with her husband and kids. So he is just one more man on the back of those poor folks across the way in the eyes of Hudak.
“Manitoba? Never thought about it.” he said with a dry laugh “But I couldn't move even if I wanted to. I hate to admit it to you, but most of the times I'm driving by that truck in the casino parking lot, I end up pulling in myself.”
Nelly Smithson, 43, seemed to genuinely not take me seriously amidst the commotion of the crowded Tim Horton's in downtown Toronto I met her in.
“You know, he wouldn't be the first person to tell me. It's not like I'm not trying or I'm not aware of the situation. I'm doing everything I can. Plenty of Fish, Lavalife, Ashley Madison, I'm on all those fuckin' things. But at the end of the day, you can't force it.”
I was doing the math in my head – menthols sticking out of purse + too much makeup + shrill voice + 50 extra pounds...
“Anyway, in the end what matters is your own happiness. I got my cats, I got my TV, I own my car, my house. Who gives a shit what people think? I was married once. Everybody loved the guy – my mother, my father, my sister, my friends – except me. So what good did that do? I have not had a year as miserable as those three since.”
I took my anecdotal and testimonial evidence back to the office where Hudak was starting to move slowly around the room again.
“Look, I haven't worked out all the details yet but I'm on a crusade. You don't hear from these families like I do.”
I said I actually had a family myself and he said, great, I'd be welcome to stay.
I also said I had reservations about expelling the province's student population, in the hundreds of thousands I'm sure, that attends its dozens of colleges and universities. He didn't hesitate.
“Their hardware works, they better get it fired up.”
Let that be a message to all of you – if you are an Ontario resident over 18 in possession of reproductive cells, you have four months to put them to work by any means necessary. Otherwise, you'll be an illegal alien before the year's out. You heard it here on Lacking Credentials first.