A Conservative MPP wants Toronto to become Canada’s 11th province.
Bill Murdoch, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound says rural Ontario is fighting a losing battle against what he calls “a Toronto mentality.”
He wants residents who live in the Greater Toronto Area to remain part of Ontario, while Toronto becomes its own province.
Murdoch should pay attention to his own backyard and ask himself why creative young people leave his riding for the south. I’m one of them. I grew up knowing that I’d have to leave, because I just didn’t “fit”. Smart queer boys with big dreams and gentle creative spirits don’t fit the vision of Murdoch’s Ontario of rural monoculture.
My hometown of Owen Sound sits in a pretty little corner of Grey County, cradling a beautiful part of Georgian Bay. From Toronto or south-western Ontario, Owen Sound acts as a gateway to the Bruce Peninsula and the beautiful sunsets of the Lake Huron shoreline.
The area is typified by socially conservative attitudes stuck in another century and a lack of opportunity for young people. Murdoch’s romantic idealism for rural past glories is not helping Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound thrive in the new century.
Murdoch’s perfect Ontario without Toronto would keep the 905 region surrounding Toronto. He needs to get a bit of Economic Geography 101. Toronto and the urban agglomeration around it operate as a single integrated economic unit. If we’re going to separate Toronto, we should also separate the entire Greater Toronto Area.
If Toronto were to become a province, it is rural Ontario that would suffer the most. It would lose the economic welfare benefits of taxation over the richest and most economically vibrant part of the province. The rest-of-Ontario would become a poverty-stricken rural rump saddled with an aging population, high healthcare and social welfare costs and insufficient economic activity to pay for it all.
Luckily for him, Murdoch’s dream is unlikely to come true.