Ontario can be a funny place. Many of our cities are Blue cities, voting conservative like clockwork. Some cities are Red cities, voting liberal like clockwork. The late Jack Layton (may he rest in peace) brought a refreshing Orange Wave and certain ridings were Orange for a time, but it didn’t last. Brampton? We tend to paint to the town Red and vote Liberal fairly consistently.
The funny thing about funny places, its not always a laughing matter.
Within the last year, the Province announced new health care funding. Brampton did not receive a proportionate share of that new funding commensurate with its population. As a result, even with the new funding, we have less than 1 bed per 1,000 residents. As a result, we have people lying in beds in hallways, and rely heavily on the hospitals in other cities to access health care.
Within the last year, the Province announced new High Speed Rail (HSR) planning. Brampton did not merit a Stop on the HSR route. As a result, we will have to travel to Malton to access this amenity and engage fully in the Innovation Super Corridor.
And now, the Province and the Feds have announced new transit funding, $20.1 billion for public transit. So did Brampton, which has always welcomed Justin Trudeau with open arms, receive a proportionate share of this new funding commensurate with its population? It’s not looking that way. It’s looking like Mississauga received a disproportionately larger share of the funds than Brampton did. How so?
Populations of Brampton vs. Mississauga: 593,638 to 713,443 Ratio: 0.83207488194 to 1 Transit Funding: $349,740,113 to $618,672,709 Ratio: 0.5653071614639462 to 1
The Province and the Federal Government clearly have a different view of Brampton than I do. It’s increasingly clear that Brampton is nothing but a speed bump to them on their way from Union Station to Kitchener, where all the sexy tech innovation is taking place. It’s increasingly clear that they just don’t care about Brampton. We are an after thought, an “oh right, we gotta include them” on their list of places to spend money.
I could play guessing games for years on why this might be the case. But at a certain point, the reasons don’t matter. We aren’t being fairly treated. We aren’t being equally or even equitably treated. We are either bullied or forgotten. We are never the priority.
So. We are on our own. I suspect its time we accept this reality and stop waiting for our older siblings to finally wanna hang out and play with us. It’s time we took matters into our own hands. There is an election coming up. Make sure you ask each and every candidate, at every level, what they have actually done for Brampton? How have they elevated Brampton on the provincial and federal stage? What projects did they attract to Brampton? How have they actually achieved more health care and transit funding for Brampton? Can they show you letters, emails, and meeting minutes where they stood up for Brampton and demanded immediate action to bring our funding levels in line with a city of our population?
We can’t be a Blue City or a Red City or an Orange City. We have to be a Wild Card. We have to be willing to stand up for ourselves, and make it clear we will be out on voting day, making our voices heard loud and clear.
It’s time to forget our loyalties to them, and demand their loyalties to us!