Scorn for Wynne-ter storm

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In late December, an ice storm struck southern Ontario, hitting Toronto the hardest and leaving hundreds of thousands in the dark for days due to power outages.

The storm came during the holiday season so its effects were amplified, as Christmas dinners and other celebrations or gatherings had to be rearranged or cancelled at the last second.

The immediate government response to the ice storm was disorganized, and important long-term issues highlighted by the ice storm are being ignored. Ontarians and Torontonians should demand better from their elected representatives.

In general, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s attempt to provide grocery gift cards for people whose food had spoiled due to power outages was commendable.

The process of distributing those gift cards left much to be desired, however. It’s likely many who didn’t truly need the gift cards received them while those with less mobility in more isolated areas of Toronto didn’t. Means-testing or some other more orderly process of distribution should have been attempted.

It’s unfortunate that the news and debate about the gift cards has dominated the coverage of the ice storm, as more important long-term issues desperately need attention.

Ontario’s energy infrastructure is old and susceptible to breakdown. Power lines should be buried and trees should be properly maintained in the meantime so they don’t fall on wires and cause blackouts.

Ontario and Toronto need politicians and political movements willing to make the case for this investment. The current norm of politicians constantly campaigning and staging photo ops won’t ward off future chaos caused by weather and negligence.

— Journal Editorial Board

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