Letters to Editor

What are the Marijuana Rules

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould

House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0A6

Dear Mrs. Wilson-Raybould;

I write to you about the legalization of Marijuana. My concerns come to you from a landlord’s point of view.

I do find the legalization of marijuana sending a mixed message to people that smoke or may consider smoking.  Our Canadian Government has spent millions of dollars over the years trying to perfect the regulation of cigarettes and the smoking of them. Cigarette packages are now covered with warnings. Health issues from smoking has become a serious cost to the country. Stores that sell this product are now regulated with how they are shelved and displayed. The list goes on and on. 

 My husband and I live in a small community North of Barrie, in Ontario. We own rental properties.  We also live in a condominium and understand apartment living, having neighbors above us, below us and beside us all between common walls under the same roof.

In most of our buildings the tenant pays for their own hydro. However we have two buildings where the rent includes the cost of the utilities. It is not feasible to have this changed.

If Marijuana is legalized I would like to see a clear mandate with the rules for tenants.  As the government has done in hospitals, government offices, nursing homes etc., regarding cigarette smoke,  I would like to see where Marijuana cannot be smoked within several meters of the front door of the rental building.

I believe that if you rule that a person can grow 2 or 3 plants, that that person must own their property to do this.  In an apartment building, a tenant will be bringing in lamps to help their plants grow and also be using the ovens for drying their harvest.  This creates higher hydro bills. It will be unsafe using the ovens to dry their plants and the smell becomes unpleasant. For safety reasons Insurance premiums will most likely rise.

Who is going to police all this?  If the rule right from the start is that you cannot smoke or grow marijuana on a rental property then most of these issues are resolved.

The cost of refurbishing an apartment that someone has smoked cigarettes in is more costly than if there is no smoking in that unit. To now have to work with marijuana odors opens a whole new avenue.

If a landlord wants to allow people to use marijuana in their buildings then so be it, BUT I feel that should be the choice of the landlord and owner of the building.  I would also like to see an easy solution for the landlord to be able to evict a tenant who goes against the house rules of no marijuana, a solution that does not involve the costs of working with the Landlord and Tenant Act.

 Please don’t rush this.  Get it right, the first time.  Please consider all those beyond your decision walls that will be involved and affected by this.

It is an individual choice to smoke marijuana, but please don’t permit it at other peoples expense.

I understand the Federal Government Task Force is working on this; however I am sure some of the decisions and rulings are going to be passed on to each province.  Therefore I have sent this letter to our Federal and Provincial decision makers.

I appreciate your efforts in this decision and hope this helps with some of your rulings.

Thank you.

Yours truly,  Gloria Woods

 

'' CELEBRATION 150 ''

   A short letter it was, my first to our current Prime Minister, and sure to be lost in the thousands he receives on a monthly basis - BUT - one has to at least try and make a statement, call to light something you see as blatantly wrong. I concluded with, 'Celebrate, yes, but show the World a truly honourable moral compass'.

   My point was, here we are in the 'True North Strong and Free', engaging [or about to] much hoopla and grand spectacle [self-indulgent], while literally millions [of real people] are dying of thirst and starvation in other parts of the World.

   No surprise it was [I suppose], to find out that our current Federal Gov't is throwing half a BILLION dollars at the 'problem' - sorry, 'solution', as to how to properly celebrate our great nation's 150th anniversary.

   Well, enjoy the fireworks and other celebrations; it's all in place in any case.  I do love the opportunity and freedom given to us as Canadian citizens, and we create and sustain the spirit of our nation. I also remember, in Grade 4, whenever we were ready to do so, we had to stand at the front of our classroom, [my teacher's idea], and recite the names of all of Canada's provinces - before we were given the little metal Maple Leaf pin, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of confederation.  Grade 4 is also when we began our French language classes; I always thought Canada special in that regard also, having two official languages, and I love them both, especially rewarding in living now in this area of Ontario.

   To stay with the '150' theme - and to also state that what is just and proper to some - may not be so to others, I cite a local 'historical / political' event.  The President of one of our two N/E Tiny Community Associations, sitting down with Tiny's Planning Director at that time, and deciding between themselves, that 150 feet of a parcel of public land, the road frontage, should be 'chopped off', thus land-locking a 25 or so acre block of recreational land, thus turning it over to the 'interested party', a local hunting camp owner, for the MINIMUM allowed 8,000 purchase price.  Appraisal - which I asked to view in 2010, with my name in the political arena - came in at a curious 6,000 for the total 28 acres - I was only allowed a printed copy of the 'cover letter', by the way. 

   The interesting 'conclusion' here - though I am far from done with 'local politics' - is, hearing, from across the road from the Community Association's annual meeting and picnic [myself not ALLOWED to attend on said parkway] - that if the Association would like to purchase the 'remaining' 150 ft., for a proposed community center, it could be acquired for the [Tiny] tidy sum of 150,000.

   Isn't politics a world of fun …

 

B.C. proves to Ontario Conservatives that ‘revenue neutral’ carbon taxes are a myth

By: Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director

This article was previously published in the Financial Post.

There are lessons to learn from British Columbia’s carbon tax, and the biggest one is for the leader of Ontario’s official opposition, Patrick Brown.

The lesson is a simple one. Revenue neutrality doesn’t happen.

Politicians sold a carbon tax to British Columbians on the promise of revenue neutrality – the idea that the overall tax burden on the public remains the same because the carbon tax is offset by tax reductions in other areas

But a recent study by the Fraser Institute has found that British Columbians are on track to experience a $599 million net tax hike from 2013-14 to 2016-17 as a result of a carbon tax that politicians sold to them as “revenue neutral.”

The biggest problem with revenue neutrality is that politicians get greedy.

When the BC carbon tax was first implemented in 2008-09, the government enacted four offsetting tax measures. These included reductions for income tax for the lowest tax brackets, tax reductions for large and small businesses, and a tax credit for low income households. These were all new tax reductions designed to offset the increases caused by the carbon tax.

But give a politician an inch and they’ll take a mile. 

Soon the government of British Columbia began including other pre-existing tax credits into the “revenue neutrality” calculation. In 2014-15, the BC government added tax credits for training, film production and scientific research into the “revenue neutral” calculation.

Even in theory this makes no sense. How do BC families’ higher gasoline and heating bills get offset by subsidies to Hollywood movie studios?

Even if film subsidies could actually offset higher household bills (they can’t), the subsidies weren’t even new. Which is the whole point of so-called “revenue neutrality.” A new tax is supposed to be offset by new tax cuts. Instead, what we saw in BC was a new tax on families being offset by old corporate welfare.

When those tricks are removed from the accounting, the Fraser Institute found that the net tax increase has been $599 million.

The BC government essentially acknowledged that the carbon tax has not been revenue neutral, by taking measures in the recent budget to correct some of these problems. These included removing three of the six pre-existing tax measures from the revenue neutrality calculation.

But the BC experience shines a light on the way revenue neutrality can be used deceptively by politicians. Governments looking to boost their tax revenue can use the veil of revenue neutrality to raise our taxes while telling us they aren’t. Cap-and-trade isn’t the only way of obfuscating carbon tax hikes, BC shows us that “revenue neutrality” can serve that purpose as well.

And BC’s finances are objectively better than Ontario’s. Ontario’s government has more than doubled the debt since 2002-03, making us the largest sub-national borrower in the world. The province is also gripped in an electricity crisis, and whoever wins government in 2018 will be tempted to use tax dollars to solve it. Making a carbon tax hike all the more tempting to politicians who told us we wouldn’t pay more.

Perhaps this explains why Brown is plowing ahead with his plan to campaign on a “revenue neutral” carbon tax for Ontario.

He claims that his tax will be a “revenue neutral plan that will reduce emissions and put money back in the pockets of Ontarians.” But so far, voters aren’t buying it. A poll commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation found that 58 per cent of Ontarians are less likely to vote for a politician that proposing Brown’s model – a straight carbon tax on fuels.

It’s an unpopular idea that the evidence shows us doesn’t work, which means it’s time for Brown to do the right thing and reverse his carbon tax course. Unless, as BC shows us, his carbon tax really is just about the money.

For more information:

Ontario Director Christine Van Geyn cell: 647-607-6633, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

'' CELEBRATION 150 ''

   A short letter it was, my first to our current Prime Minister, and sure to be lost in the thousands he receives on a monthly basis - BUT - one has to at least try and make a statement, call to light something you see as blatantly wrong. I concluded with, 'Celebrate, yes, but show the World a truly honourable moral compass'.

   My point was, here we are in the 'True North Strong and Free', engaging [or about to] much hoopla and grand spectacle [self-indulgent], while literally millions [of real people] are dying of thirst and starvation in other parts of the World.

   No surprise it was [I suppose], to find out that our current Federal Gov't is throwing half a BILLION dollars at the 'problem' - sorry, 'solution', as to how to properly celebrate our great nation's 150th anniversary.

   Well, enjoy the fireworks and other celebrations; it's all in place in any case.  I do love the opportunity and freedom given to us as Canadian citizens, and we create and sustain the spirit of our nation. I also remember, in Grade 4, whenever we were ready to do so, we had to stand at the front of our classroom, [my teacher's idea], and recite the names of all of Canada's provinces - before we were given the little metal Maple Leaf pin, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of confederation.  Grade 4 is also when we began our French language classes; I always thought Canada special in that regard also, having two official languages, and I love them both, especially rewarding in living now in this area of Ontario.

   To stay with the '150' theme - and to also state that what is just and proper to some - may not be so to others, I cite a local 'historical / political' event.  The President of one of our two N/E Tiny Community Associations, sitting down with Tiny's Planning Director at that time, and deciding between themselves, that 150 feet of a parcel of public land, the road frontage, should be 'chopped off', thus land-locking a 25 or so acre block of recreational land, thus turning it over to the 'interested party', a local hunting camp owner, for the MINIMUM allowed 8,000 purchase price.  Appraisal - which I asked to view in 2010, with my name in the political arena - came in at a curious 6,000 for the total 28 acres - I was only allowed a printed copy of the 'cover letter', by the way. 

   The interesting 'conclusion' here - though I am far from done with 'local politics' - is, hearing, from across the road from the Community Association's annual meeting and picnic [myself not ALLOWED to attend on said parkway] - that if the Association would like to purchase the 'remaining' 150 ft., for a proposed community center, it could be acquired for the [Tiny] tidy sum of 150,000.

   Isn't politics a world of fun … Peter E Davenport, TINY, ON Peter E Davenport

TINY, ON