“People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people” – Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
I am blown away by the apparent pettiness of that sack of air the people of Ontario elected to guide their province. I haven’t lived in Toronto for over 40 years and at the time I loved it. I loved the downtown life style of Toronto as much as I loved the week long canoe camping trips in Algonquin Park. I loved the culture of the Toronto theatre district as much as I loved spending weekends at my roommates parents corn/dairy farm up by Peterborough. All in all it was a good time in Ontario.
I remember the sighs of relief of so many Ontario citizens when Bill Davis and the Ontario Progressive Conservative won their tenth consecutive government but tempered it with a “minority”. People were tired but frightened by the thought of change. It was a different, and many say much simpler, time. Change was slow but Ontario was booming.
This was the early days of learning to vote for the lesser of the evils rather than the best for the province. The Charter was still six years away and Toronto proper was still Toronto. It wasn’t an amalgamated super city yet. For me, it was a time of fun and life was just beginning to take on a more serious turn. I was living my life accordingly and the absences or presence of rights meant nothing to me. It wasn’t fully in my sphere of interest at the time but the shadows were creeping into the recesses of my mind.
I left Toronto in 1976 to return to Vancouver and never got past Calgary. I landed my first job of any real consequence with the Canadian Mental Health Association and entered the world of advocacy. I had, in my past, participated in some anti-Vietnam war protest marches, took some stands for early gay rights, been quietly involved in promoting a more comprehensive building code to acknowledge accessibility but had always seen those as activities that were a vehicle to meet women (yes I was pretty shallow when I was younger). Regardless I matured. Continue reading