Well, we could either cue the outrage or just have a little fun at some Upper Canadian’s expense.
We choose the latter — and, since it’s a Globe and Mail columnist who’s written this backhanded missive (the Globe having unceremoniously bailed out of this province last fall), let’s go.
First, the comments themselves, from the Globe on Monday.
“(Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne) accuses Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government of ‘wilful indifference’ toward Ontario as it reels from the erosion of its manufacturing base, a decline she compares (wait for it) to the early 1990s collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery. It’s a sad day when the premier of the country’s once unstoppable economic engine puts her economically diverse province of 13.5 million in the same boat as a rural outpost of 500,000. Ontario does not have oil, but it has non-natural resources that even newly-rich Newfoundland can only dream of. Yet Ms. Wynne government’s pre-electoral everything-but-kitchen-sink budget accused the Harper government of taking ‘more than 110 unilateral actions that have hurt’ Ontario,” Konrad Yakabuski writes in the Globe and Mail. “Still, Ontario’s new obsession with maximizing federal transfers is the surest sign that a have-not mentality is taking hold.”
It’s a column in which Yakabuski tees off on Ontario’s Wynne for taking a leaf from Quebec’s recent budget book, where that province blamed the feds for everything under the sun.
Now, first to that “rural outpost” thing. Why, if we had dial phones yet, we might well be calling the operator and asking for a station-to-station call to reach that Yakabuski fella. Turns out that any sort of technological advance we may have come up with here in this province falls far short of his standards — and ever shall. That could just make a person tap their corncob pipe on a lobster trap and shake their weathered head a few times.
And he can’t even get his have-nots properly sorted.
Yakabuski opines, “As a weaker Ontario sheds its nation-builder role for have-not status, it risks falling into the trap that Quebec fell into five decades ago. It’s developing the knee-jerk reaction of looking to Ottawa to mitigate its fiscal woes, fostering a culture of dependence that will be difficult to break.”
We should at least point out, while we are geographically far from the Ontarian core-of-the-nation, it is not Quebec who came up with the “blame Ottawa” defence — we’ve used it so often here, we could trademark the sucker.
And while “rural outpost” might have a nice pat-on-the-head convenience for columnists, we should point out that this province is so computer-literate and savvy, his own newspaper can’t sell a single paper copy here anymore.
And as to that “culture of dependence” reference why, we were accused of that way back when Stephen Harper wore blue sweater-vests.
When it comes to this province, have-not may be no more.
Know-not? That’s a little harder to shed.