Up until recently, I was a believer in the old adage "Never take sides in a civil war" At one time I believed that agreement kept the world fine. Never argue, don't express an opinion contrary to the status quo. Waves lose friends. Keep smiling!
I am now at that stage in my life that I find it no longer necessary to hold my tongue. Tape my fingers so QWERTY is silent. Turn off my active and compassionate mind.
When I read or hear of an injustice, I now speak out!
Recently in our little town, the Province completed and opened a highway. Now back in the 70's, before most of our town council was of age, I was protesting the paving of green paradise. the people stopped the Spadina expressway. We had sit in's when paradise was being paved for parking lots. We rejected the idea of need for more airports. We boycotted aerosol sprays.
So imagine my disappointment when my town council decided to open this new highway with a celebration! The good denizens came out in droves to walk, ride and roller blade on this new expensive stretch of asphalt and concrete.
They celebrated in huge crowds with families arm in arm, joyous to have a massive strip of 6 lanes of sad grey in lieu of fertile, green, gorgeous farm land and trees. All hail the almighty car! We have more reasons to drive now! What a day it was in July 2016 when the town of Whitby partied all day in praise of 10 Kilometers of gorgeous grey substrate. No need to take Go Transit now, we have more highways. stop planning new bus routes, we don't need them! They danced and sang songs that day!
I was not present at the family asphalt-a-thon. We took our dog and went to the lake and enjoyed a kayak ride and the serenity of nature.
Fast forward to last week.
The Province always intended that this was to be a toll highway. Not a freeway. We all knew this. All the celebrants that were skateboarding the 10 K grey belt knew this. NO surprises.
The town councilors used their Facebook marketing skills to announce that they are passing a motion to lobby the Government of Ontario to make this toll highway a freeway! Why should we pay tolls to drive on this? The citizens agreed and cheered! Yes Councillor! Thank You Mr Mayor!
Not yours truly.
I used their FB announcements to question why on God's former Green earth, would we want all the tax payers to pay for a 10K strip of grey that will be used by 2,000 residents? Their answer was "all highways should be and are free"
My Answer: Because those 2,000 people who live in Whitby, all vote.
But so do the seniors who do not drive or will use the toll highway. So do the students who take public transportation to school and pay tuition.
So after I spoke out and made clear my position, and from an economic position, I was lambasted. When I dared to suggest that we look at tolls as a "sin tax" like the one on cigarettes and booze, I was called "Twisted and demented". When I suggested that a toll might encourage those to look at public transport, car pooling or even bikes, I was called a "Libtard". One commentor asked if I was "Lefttarded"
Look people: Get used to a new world where if you want a bit of luxury you pay for it. If you don't want to drive in bumper to bumper, pay the toll to the mean old troll on Highway 407. If you don't want to stand in line for hours at Pearson airport, then get the Amex gold card for a big fee and skip the line. If you hate lining up at Disney land then pay the extra $130 US and get "go to front of line"
But don't ask me or my 83 year old mother (who will loose her right to drive soon due to eyesight issues" or my 22 year old son who takes a bus, to PAY for your it!
You partied in July when you correctly walked and biked. Now pay up if you want to use your carbon spewing mobile to save the 3 minutes.