Friday, February 8, 2008
Mr. Premier...We Need
Your Voice On This Issue!
I have written you before about this important issue with little response and no action.
I am today writing you again to request that you make some public comment about your attitude towards large municipalities implementing the general vote for their city councils which they are able to do unilaterally according to "freedoms" they have been given in Bill 130 without this undemocratic decision being able to be appealed to any external body.
The extra rights accorded to municipalities can be used irresponsibly by some self-serving municipalities as has been done in Oshawa and this is a move that could sweep across the Province. This has serious consequences for people right across the Province.
Just as you stood up publicly to denounce The Toronto District School Board's approval of a Black-focussed Africentric school suggesting that this approach is not the foundation for a caring, cohesive society, but stating that you will not introduce legislation to prohibit these moves unless a trend develops across the province, I am asking you to make the same public pronouncements in regards to large cities, specifically Oshawa, implementing the general vote for municipal elections.
A Toronto Star editorial questions, If blacks can have publicly funded Africentric schools, why shouldn't Jews be able to send their children to publicly funded Israelicentric schools – or Muslims to Arabicentric schools, or Sikhs to Punjabicentric schools? The question can be similarly asked, If Oshawa can implement the general vote to protect city politicians from serious electoral challenge, why should it not be extended to many other jurisdictions throughout the Province?.
Mr. Premier, just as the fragmentation of school systems needed your public comment, this municipal governance issue needs your public comment.
We know with certainty that you do not support the fragmentation of schools along ethnic or faith based lines and your public pronouncements will undoubtedly have major impact on stemming the publicly funded growth of these throughout Ontario. With respect, Mr. Premier, we equally have to know whether you support the movement toward the use of the general vote in Ontario Municipalities with its resulting reduction in political accountability and the loss of local community representation on city councils.
We ask that you write the Oshawa Mayor and Council and the local press to express your support or lack thereof for this move. Without your public pronouncements, public confidence in the actions of Oshawa City Council will continue to be questionned.
More can be read about this serious issue at www.oshawaspeaks.ca.
Editor's Comment---This public letter has been sent to the Premier, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Oshawa MPP's, Oshawa Mayor and Council, Local and Regional Press.