By Arthur Weinreb
Friday, September 8, 2006
Ok, so Caledonia isn't really burning – at least since the fire has been put out. One of the homes was set on fire late last month on the occupied Douglas Estates but it was quickly put out by Six Nations firefighters. The Caledonia Fire Department simply sat by and watched, not being allowed on the land that the province of Ontario has ceded to the natives who are occupying it.
Nonetheless, Dalton McGuinty is fiddling which at least is better than dithering which was the hallmark of one of our least illustrious prime ministers whose name has been all but forgotten and will go unmentioned. Dalton McGuinty is at least willing to make decisions. His government has just announced that the OLGC, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, will be dropping the "C" from its name. The corporation, assuming it is still legal to use the "c" word in Ontario, will henceforth be known as OLG instead of the more cumbersome OLGC. Well, Dalton likes to call himself the education premier so no doubt part of the reason for the mighty change is to make it easier for students to memorize the name of the company that sells them all of those wonderful lottery tickets.
The cost of dropping the "C" is estimated to be in the range of $4 to $6 million. It's a good thing that we don't have any health care crises or any other urgent spending needs to be able to spend the big bucks necessary to rid the provincial corporation of the "C". And it was recently announced that the government has a surplus and let's face it, what good is a lot of money if the government isn't going to spend it. We should all be grateful that we live in a province that can afford to spend millions on such luxuries as dropping the odd letter from a government body.
Of course the government denies that the up to $6 million that will be spent is just to drop the "C". It is the total estimated cost of "rebranding" the OLGC, oops OLG, whatever that means. No doubt some of the taxpayers' hard earned money will be spent in an effort to get them to spend more money on lottery tickets. Lotteries have always been referred to as being a tax on the poor. No doubt the rebranding will induce single mothers on welfare to buy more tickets and thus pay more in "taxes". It's about time the poor paid more "taxes" because since Dalton McGuinty came into power, everyone else has been paying more. Selling more lottery tickets to those who can least afford them and adding more to government coffers is only fair and Liberals have no reason to exist if not to be "fair".
Years ago, the then Toronto-Dominion Bank announced that they were going to spend millions of dollars to drop the hyphen from their name. It caused quite a stir but if people didn't like it, they were free to change banks. You can't change provinces as easily as you can change banks. You can always hope that Ontario leaves you as they left the residents of Caledonia but even those former Ontario residents have to pay to drop the almighty "C".
Sadly this is not Dalton's first foray into rebranding. Back in June he changed Ontario's trillium logo so now, depending upon who you talk to, it looks like the Liberal Party logo or a leaf from a poison ivy plant. Anyway we got off lucky on that one – the cost was estimated to be a piddling $219,000.
During the remaining time that Dalton McGuinty has in office, which hopefully will be only 13 months, he will undoubtedly introduce further cosmetic branding changes that have no possible relevance to peoples' lives other than those who work for Liberal-friendly advertising agencies. Perhaps McGuinty should consider changing the OPP to the OP; drop the word "police" from their title out of respect to the residents of Caledonia who are currently under siege and deemed unworthy of real police protection.
Dalton McGuinty may be fiddling with names of corporations and logos; but it's Ontarians that have to pay the piper.