Ontario’s pot-selling plan puffs up bureaucracy
The Ontario Liberals, who couldn’t organize a pee parade at a beer festival, are going into the retail marijuana business.
This means another increase in the size of the already bloated bureaucracy. It also means the province will steamroll over entrepreneurs ready and able to do this right.
In addition, Queen’s Park is taking a mealy-mouth approach to sales of a legal product.
A distribution strategy is not about whether the “Mary Jane” we were warned about in grainy scare films in school in the mid 1900s should or should not be legalized.
That debate has passed, but the brain surgeons at Queen’s Park seem displeased with legalization and have come up with a plan that will make it awkward, if not difficult, for many Ontarians to obtain the weed they need.
Let’s back up a minute and look at some of the reasons this government is not qualified to increase its footprint on the foreheads of Ontario residents.
Here are just some examples of poor management from Queen’s Park: the Ornge ambulance fiasco; green energy that enriched offshore companies while driving Ontario residents into power poverty; the gas plant boondoggle; endless scandals; eHealth; puffing up the health-care bureaucracy while making life more difficult for patients; the economic pressure on rural boards of education to close schools.
The first step of the new plan for pot sales will see 80 stores opened to serve all of Ontario. Obviously most of them will be in Toronto.
Although operated by the LCBO, these will be different locations, since Ontarians might be tempted to buy both liquor and marijuana in the same place. Heaven forbid.
But here’s the rub. The government says the pot sales are expected to cover the costs of setting up sales locations, etc.
In other words, hard-pressed Ontario taxpayers will get no relief from pot profits. The new money will go into new stores and more bureaucrats to run them.
All this in a province where overgovernment abounds.
We’ll use my area, about 30 kilometres from Owen Sound, as an example.
Almost all of the new construction in the more than the past decade has had a major taxpayer component.
This includes courthouses, grand health unit headquarters on the best office land in the city, county and city government buildings under reconstruction, schools, a museum and more.
This level of government involvement in the economy is not sustainable. Private enterprise needs to flourish in this or any other first-world country to ensure a solid future.
But the Ontario government is busy driving private enterprise out of the province because of sky -high power costs, endless taxation, enough red tape to stop a buffalo stampede and more.
By the way, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s kissin’ cousin Justin Trudeau is now in the business of making life even tougher for small business with a new tax plan.
That plan complicates the lives of small business owners to the point many of them are likely to wash their hands of the headaches and look for cushy jobs in the bureaucracy. And who could blame them? The tax-and-spend Liberals in both Toronto and Ottawa need to change their ways.
Government has got to be reduced, free enterprise must be encouraged and citizens have to be allowed to succeed without having to fork over most of their earnings in taxation. email@example.com