Is Ontario the Ban Capital?
As 2008 expires, CBC.ca is calling it the "year of the ban" in Ontario. An article on the website points out that the provincial government has moved to make a number of things illegal in the province, including using hand-held cell phones while driving (editorial comment: which is a good thing if you have almost been hit by a car running a red light piloted by an oblivious, cell phone using driver. I think this has happened to me about 14 times this past year) and the cosmetic use of pesticides.
Of course, opposition leaders have accused the Liberal government and Premier Dalton McGuinty of paternalism and big brotherism, etc.
"Acting Conservative Leader Bob Runciman says it shouldn't be the job of government to tell people what's good for them.
'This is Big Brotherism at its finest,' said Runciman. 'If you look down the list, it's unprecedented.'
The McGuinty government announced bans not only on pesticides and smoking in cars with children, but on tobacco displays in stores, flavoured cigarillos and truck speeds. Trans fats have been removed from school cafeteria menus.
Recreational sturgeon fishing was also added to the banned list.
Some accuse the government of being paternalistic.
But Runciman says the multitude of bans were really "an attempt to distract focus from the economic challenges, the manufacturing job losses, the jeopardy facing the auto sector."
And NDP house leader Peter Kormos thinks too many bans breed contempt for important legislation.
'If you ban too much then you've banned nothing because people just ignore it, ignore it in spades,' he said.
Near the end of the year the government tried to place more restrictions on young drivers — and got its comeuppance.
The government tried to introduce a new regulation limiting young drivers to carrying only one teenage passenger.
Within days more than 150,000 people had joined a Facebook page devoted to defeating the measure.
Premier Dalton McGuinty quickly abandoned the idea."