The Garden City Refugee

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Dear Nate Erskine-Smith

November 21, 2023

Dear Nate Erskine-Smith:

Thank you so much for the brochure you sent me in the mail the other day. Along with your persistent phone calls, I’m surprised, but pleased to see that you’re still interested in keeping this right-leaning conservative/libertarian in the loop with respect to your candidacy to replace Doug Ford as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. Just like the case with the other candidates, you’re clearly putting your money where your mouth is when it comes to inclusion as the membership in your party that someone signed me up for as what I can only assume to be a practical joke has long since been canceled.

Reading through your brochure, I was surprised to learn that you had been an MP in Justin Trudeau’s caucus for the last eight years. Though you’ve never held any cabinet position during that time, I’m sure your work behind the scenes has been invaluable. That said, I can’t blame you for trying to hustle up another job. The federal Liberals are a sinking ship right now and the rats are jumping off left, right and center. Justin is hardly going to notice one more backbencher looking out for his own hide.

Despite no longer having an active membership, I read through your platform with interest. One of the items I noted was how you expressed support for the per-vote subsidy for political parties under the guise of reducing corruption. I thought I should tell you that Ford, your party’s current leader, already beat you to the punch on that front. Oh sure, he campaigned against it. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund political parties, he said, only to promptly bring it back in when the party saw donations plummet and soon began drowning in red ink. Perhaps you indicated your support for his policy in the hopes of getting a job with him in the future if your leadership quest doesn’t quite go the way you expect. Best to cover all your bases in the turbulent world of politics.

Other items on your platform piqued my interest, including the one on ending chronic homelessness. Even though no government in the Western world of any political stripe has ever been able to tax its way out of a homelessness problem, you say you have the magic formula up your sleeve that will give each and every street person a roof over their head. I look forward to reading more details on your plan if your leadership bid is successful, as I’m sure other leaders across the world do.

The item on removing barriers to unionization interested me as well. I wasn’t even aware there were any barriers to unionization for workers anywhere in this country. Perhaps you know of one or two obscure items buried in the back pages of a statute somewhere in the halls at Queen’s Park. I commend you on your diligence. It takes an awfully dedicated individual to dust off a 300-page piece of legalese and comb through it with such tenacity. Solidarity forever!

I couldn’t agree more that digital ID needs to be adopted and used in Ontario. Those tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorists who think the government will just it as a tool to force compliance with every one of its mandates are full of it. And I don’t know why the voting age hasn’t been lowered to 16 long before now. This shouldn’t even be an issue, and I’m so glad to see that you’re putting that on the front burner of your platform. But that’s just a start, I’m sure. I look forward to the day, hopefully not too far in the future, when 12-year-olds will be casting ballots as well. They deserve just as much of a say as you or I do with respect to the future of our province and our country.

Of course, there’s the health care human resources crisis, which is also prominently mentioned in your platform. It is absolutely critical that we open the door to immigrants and recognize their credentials instantly. That’s the only way out of this conundrum. Never mind those people who keep whining about rehiring the frontline staff who the government illegally fired. They can just go to hell.

The idea of freer votes for MPPs is an issue I’ve wanted to see for some time and I’m glad to see you address it as part of your platform. Our elected representatives should be allowed to vote according to their conscience. Except, as you pointed out, for human rights and Charter issues. They should and must fall under the exclusive domain of the leader. Only he or she should determine what rights the masses should be allowed to have. Those pesky civil liberties groups will just have to cool their heels.

Finally, I couldn’t help but notice the list of prominent Liberals who are endorsing your candidacy, none more distinguished than Catherine McKenna. This country has never seen a more passionate champion of environmental causes than her and knowing that you share the same climate policy as her makes me sleep better at night. Solastalgia sure won’t be a problem for me knowing that you and “Climate Barbie” are on the front lines working tirelessly to save us from a global meltdown. Part of me wishes I hadn’t canceled my membership, but I’m confident that her endorsement alone will be the deciding factor in getting enough votes to put you over the top. For the life of me, I still can’t understand why so many call her a pea-brained idiot. Paying taxes to Justin Trudeau is the only logical way to stave off this existential threat to our planet.

Though I hope to be removed from your mailing list, I wish you the well with your leadership campaign. But if you’re not successful, best of luck in your future endeavors when the Trudeau government is defeated.

Because you’ll soon be joining thousands of state media operatives in looking for work.

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