Twists and turns to explain Grit policies

By JOHN SNOBELEN, Toronto Sun

NO NIMBYS ALLOWED

I like Smitherman but he almost crashed to the ground when he announced the Green Energy Act. Apparently the province has now clued into something called NIMBYism and they don’t like it. Not In Dalton’s Back Yard. People who don’t want the value of their homes to collapse because a wind farm is madly rotating down the street are apparently guilty of bad Karma, and Smitherman and McGuinty are not going to stand for it. Well sort of.

If your concern over a new wind farm is legitimate you are not engaging in NIMBYism. The government will let you know if your concerns are legitimate. What could be fairer? Namaste.

You are also not engaging in NIMBYism if your concern is about something not deemed to be politically correct.

They must have a hot yoga spa for cabinet ministers at Queen’s Park. How else to explain the nimble way ministers are bending backward to explain Dalton McGuinty’s twisted policies?

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne might be the best of the Dalton Dancers. But then she has had the most practice.

For the past few months Wynne has had to avoid using the term “province-wide bargaining.” The province doesn’t bargain. Local school boards bargain. Heck if the local boards didn’t bargain with the teachers’ unions why would they exist?

So Wynne has been engaged in “province-wide conversations.” Not bargaining. When the “conversation” was rejected by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario it wasn’t a failure of negotiation. No sir, this was just a conversation. Namaste.

And when the minister said she wanted peace in the sector and offered a new “conversation” to the union it wasn’t really an offer. Heck only the boards can make an offer. After all, they negotiate. Deep breaths, everyone.

It was embarrassing to watch an intelligent and talented minister twist herself into pretzel-like poses. But gosh, if the government just admitted it has instituted province-wide bargaining all that training for the Dalton Downward Dogathon would be wasted.

Just behind Wynne is my favourite yogic flyer, George Smitherman.

NO NIMBYS ALLOWED

I like Smitherman but he almost crashed to the ground when he announced the Green Energy Act. Apparently the province has now clued into something called NIMBYism and they don’t like it. Not In Dalton’s Back Yard. People who don’t want the value of their homes to collapse because a wind farm is madly rotating down the street are apparently guilty of bad Karma, and Smitherman and McGuinty are not going to stand for it. Well sort of.

If your concern over a new wind farm is legitimate you are not engaging in NIMBYism. The government will let you know if your concerns are legitimate. What could be fairer? Namaste.

You are also not engaging in NIMBYism if your concern is about something not deemed to be politically correct.

Want to oppose a waste disposal site or energy from waste facility. Have at it. Heck the McGuinty government responded to classic NIMBYism when it reversed the landfill approval for the Adams Mine. If my memory serves they declared the whole site a lake after it had successfully cleared years of environmental assessment hearings. Deep breaths, everyone. Deep breaths.

In fairness, the government has not exactly promoted reverse NIMBYism. That would be a citizen complaining about sending our waste to someone else’s backyard or importing energy generated in some other state or province. Shipping trash to Michigan, wet waste to Quebec or recyclables to China is perfectly OK. It’s NIMBYism that offends the premier.

These yogic twists of logic have not slowed Smitherman down.

While stomping on NIMBYism he has also been busy trying to explain how forcing home owners to purchase an energy audit before selling their home will help the environment.

Don’t people do home inspections on properties they are buying now? If the province is going to mandate an inspection in the name of the environment shouldn’t it also mandate that resale houses be brought up to minimum provincial standards? But never mind all that, Smitherman just drops his bomb and yogically flies away.

The premier has come up with a few new twists of his own lately. Apparently you must wear a helmet if you ride a bicycle but not if you ski. Namaste. But it would be a good idea to wear one if you ski so you should tell your kids to wear a helmet skiing. Deep breaths. But you don’t have to. Unless they ride a bike. Meditate on that for a while.

All of these twists and turns have a serious purpose. Maintain the illusion the province doesn’t run the education system. Get a Green announcement out ahead of the serious nuclear energy announcements due in a few weeks. Twist. Turn. Close your eyes. Exhale. Let it go.

I have a feeling that the ministers’ hot yoga spa is about to boil over.