Is Ontario too big?
South Dundas - May 27, 2014 - Is the province of Ontario too big to be governed
properly? Are the different regions of Ontario being treated fairly by
one-size-fits-all government policy? Yes to the first question and no
to the second question.
First to Ontario being too big. It is the second largest province in
the country, and has very distinct regions of governance: Western
Ontario (everything west of Toronto/Guelph); Eastern Ontario
(everything typically east of Belleville); Northern Ontario
(everything north and west of Sudbury); Central Ontario (south of
Sudbury/North Bay to the top of the 905, including Cottage Country);
and the 416/905 area (Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara). This is a very
large, unwieldy area with each region having very different needs and
issues from others.
Second is the one-size-fits-all policies from Queen's Park. It does
not matter what party is in power, governance is Toronto-centric.
There is no way of arguing it is not. According to
ThreeHundredAndEight.com, there are 54 seats in Queen's Park allocated
to the 416/905 region, 53 seats for the rest. This means the
Toronto-region can dictate what happens in the rest of the province
A policy affecting electricity rates from Toronto means windmills and
solar farms in rural Ontario because there is no room in Toronto for
them. And it means higher rates in areas of the province which can
A policy that favours the gambling establishment in Niagara by
bringing in more "Vegas-style" casino operators, decimates the
horse-racing industry in Rural Ontario. An agricultural policy passed
for all, may be based on the realities of Western Ontario and be
harmful to the economies of farming in Eastern Ontario.
Education polices that diversify curriculum in schools may work for
large cities like Toronto, but become hard to implement in rural
These are just a few examples. In the end, the 1800's version of what
Ontario should look like doesn't work anymore for all of the
Splitting Toronto and area from the rest of Ontario will not fix the
issues, as you still have vast areas that are different.
It is time to split Ontario. Separate the North from Ontario and let
them decide their own policies. If the northerners wish to develop the
Ring of Fire, then let them decide that. If they want to have Ontario
Northland Railway stay owned by the province, their province, then let
Eastern Ontario and Western Ontario are both more rural in nature with
some bigger cities and manufacturing. Both of these regions have seen
their manufacturing decimated by energy policies set by Toronto. Both
regions have seen their agricultural industries radically affected
again by policies from Toronto. Why should these areas not have
control over their own affairs?
Central Ontario has been under the shadow of the 905/416 region, being
the playground for cottagers while dealing with an increasing
tourist-based economy which is very hard to sustain year round and be
By letting each region manage it's own affairs, it will also help the
country as a whole when there are economic downturns. Ontario became a
have-not province during the last recession, due to the manufacturing
sector hitting bottom. A divided Ontario would have been less of a
drain as each would have weathered the recession differently. One
region's success would not have been dragged down by the failure of
Many times the sum is greater than all of the parts. In the case of
the Province of Ontario as a large, cumbersome, antiquated political
entity, that is no longer the case.
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