Slogans like “open for business” and “cutting red tape” have been at the forefront of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s campaign of deregulation, language often parroted by his PC MPPs.
Raymond Cho, an MPP for Scarborough North and Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, tweeted a graphic boasting that the province is home to “the lowest number of regulations per capita of any province in Canada,” as if that were a universally agreed-upon benefit of living here.
But not everyone seems to think that a lack of regulations is something beneficial (and I’m going to quote the premier himself on this one) “for the people.”
Unless you own an asbestos factory or something why would you want to live in a place that brags about having the “lowest regulations”?? Ah man I’m sick of living in a province with REGULATIONS take me to a place where factories can put unlimited arsenic in the apple juice https://t.co/ByiDf44mvi
— ℳatt (@matttomic) February 2, 2023
Responses on Twitter piled onto Cho, pointing out that a lack of regulations protecting residents from things like pollutants is not exactly the kind of thing you brag about to the general populace.
Corporations, sure, I get it, but most of us normies aren’t going to drink that Kool-Aid.
This isn’t the flex you think it is
— Gregory Balloch (@GregBalloch) February 2, 2023
One commenter responded to Cho’s Twitter boasting, asking the MPP, “Did you know about Walkerton, just to name the most obvious?”
The comment is a reference to the Walkerton E. coli outbreak of 2000 that affected over two thousand residents of the small town, including 27 serious cases and six deaths.
Never forget the Cons’ greatest success when they killed Walkerton residents by recklessly trashing water safety regs
— Bruce (@BrucewMitchell) February 2, 2023
Even just this week, in Northern Ontario, a water treatment plan allowed improperly treated water into its system, putting residents at risk of possible illness.
And this is how we kill people, Raymond. They died at Walkerton. They die on construction sites. They die of dehydration, soaked in their own feces in privately-owned long-term care homes.
Regular inspections, checking credentials, applying safety standards … isn’t red tape.
— Not-A-Bluebird (Parroty account) (@catfish8888) February 2, 2023
Deregulation also affects already-suffering long-term care homes in the province, another thing commenters suggest Cho shouldn’t be holding his head high with pride over.
Not something to brag about as it leads to:
Number of Ontario LTC homes which were fined or lost a licence, even for gross neglect, during that period: 0
— Peter Hambly (@HamblyPeter) February 2, 2023
Even just the methodology of measuring regulations per capita is facing criticism on social media, ridiculed as “nonsensical.”
What exactly does this mean? We have a lot of people so a per capita number is nonsensical. Why would we want a low number? Regulations actually protect us
— Joan Finegan (@thoughts4youtoo) February 2, 2023
The lesson to be learned here is probably that if you’re going to brag to Twitter about how your government is removing protections as people literally die, be prepared to be reminded about how people are literally dying. Seems fair.