Right in the centre - Too many regulations– again!


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

We Canadians are being badly duped by political parties and by many media outlets. Take, for example, the neat idea for an on-the-lake splash park at Minnedosa. It’s a really neat idea that will be a kid pleaser, for sure. Not sure if it will be financially viable, as that remains to be seen.

What is absolutely mind boggling is a little paragraph in the press release, “…the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans completed an environmental assessment prior to authorizing the project. Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation (MIT) have now granted final approval for the business to place the structure in the water this June.” Seriously folks? DFO and MIT have to approve such a project. Governments should be embarrassed to even be asked about such a simple children friendly initiative. To think we actually pay civil servants to check this stuff out is a sad commentary.

Another example is the whole recycling industry in Manitoba. The two cent container tax is a joke. All that money is collected, the bureaucratic cut is absorbed and then some money is sent out to towns, cities and municipalities. There is no incentive to make recycling viable. The people who do the recycling, that is the businesses and households, get nothing out of it. Because there is little or no incentive to recycle cleanly and effectively, thousands of tons of potentially valuable material gets contaminated and ends up in the landfills. Media and governments will tell you how wonderful recycling is, and it could be, but they don’t really mean it or the system would change. Recycling in Manitoba needs a complete overhaul and until that happens, neither industry nor individuals will be able to afford embracing the concept.

Perhaps the reason that we have so much bureaucracy and so little efficiency in so many parts of our society is rooted in our political party structures. Fresh-faced and eager, well intentioned men and women enter the political arena. They think they are going to make positive changes and sometimes they do. The problem is that, once elected, they are told how to vote. The leader, backed by a bunch of hired help, make all the decisions. The MLAs, or caucus, is informed of decisions on a “need to know” basis. If MLAs, of all political stripes, are truthful, they will tell you they have little input into policy. Their only hope is that the leader and the hirelings happen to agree with their views. Dissent is not allowed. The leaders approve a candidate’s nomination and so it’s a matter of toe-the-line or don’t bother running again. Sadly, many candidates have learned that the hard way.

I feel that leader-approved candidates is not the way to go. I know parties and leaders don’t agree, but it should be up to the individual constituency voters to decide who the party candidate will be. If an elected politician screws up by saying or doing something that is considered wrong, it’s the individual constituency voters who should decide their fate, not the leader, in my view.

Like a lot of Canadians, I am tired of a make-believe, play-time democracy. If we had a true democracy, we would have a lot less bureaucratic waste, a lot more efficiency and governments that would more closely reflect the views of the voters.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer president of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.