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It’s perhaps time to look in the mirror - Michael Atkins 04/04

Generally, I try not to rant more than once a quarter. It is bad for business and bad for my health.

Generally, I try not to rant more than once a quarter. It is bad for business and bad for my health.


The three largest governments that happen to do business in this province, (the federal, the provincial and the City of Toronto governments) have all got some explaining to do.


It’s a wonder we don’t have to pay bribes at the counter to get a driver’s license.


If the ordinary folk in this country took their cue from some of their leaders we’d be in a jurisdiction that would make Nigeria look like student government.


What I don’t understand is why do these people think it is all right to skulk around and fix themselves up at public expense. Why do they feel entitled to take what they can get their hands on because they can? How did they get to the top and then fall into the muck. I doubt very much they got into politics to get an untendered contract somewhere. They started with a belief or at minimum a career interest.


Judging from the minimal comment we are getting from them they still think this stuff is just fine.


We could write another 10 books on this material. Just follow the donations to political parties in this province over the last 20 years and it would tell a story that would make the hair rise on the back of your neck. For starters, track who bought land from either the federal or provincial government in the last 10 years.


We must amend the laws of Ontario to restrict donations to political parties in the same way it has been done in Quebec and now the federal government. If we want to reduce corruption we have to pay the price to keep it clean. Dalton McGuinty, when I ask him, (now three times in the last year), says he agrees, but I never hear him talk about it. It is a great policy initiative for a guy with a big deficit. It won’t cost much at all.

The reality however is that if our culture is approving this kind of nonsense by looking the other way in disinterest no laws will save us from ourselves.


We have a problem. It is not one level of government. It is not one political party. We have a pervasive abuse of the public trust in this province and this country and it won’t stop until the people of this country say they have had enough.


The arrival of a new mayor in Toronto is encouraging.


Let’s see what the rest of us have to say.


Michael Atkins is president of Northern Ontario Business Ltd. He can be reached at