Pubdate: Fri, 01 Dec 2000
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2000, Canoe Limited Partnership
Contact:  380 Hunt Club Rd., Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 5H7
Author: William Smith
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor; headline by newshawk


I had the pleasure of watching a short skit enacted by one of the cast 
members of This Hour Has 22 Minutes with Mike Harris concerning his giving 
a urine sample and this got me to thinking.

I support Mike's efforts 100% concerning his initiative to get addicted 
persons on the public coffers the help they need and deserve. However I 
feel that he has not gone far enough. Considering the massive waste and 
inefficiency present in bureaucracies shouldn't we be seeking these tests 
for all persons on the public coffers? After all, considering the amount of 
waste present, addiction would certainly explain some of these deficiencies.

Mr. Harris, you have demonstrated, with this new spirit of concern and 
helpfulness, your desire to improve the situations of those on welfare. 
However I'm having difficulty reconciling this with your past massive cuts 
to welfare recipients, to the extent that it's virtually impossible for one 
of these people to both pay the rent and feed their children.

Perhaps the money necessary to enact such a program might be better spent 
on educational programs which might allow more of these people to get off 
the system. I doubt highly that there is a very high percentage of those 
people on welfare who are there by choice.

Remember Mike, the buck stops here. Accountability and responsibility to 
the taxpayers is a concept long overdue in politics and government.

In all cases you should lead by example and not by unsubstantiated claims 
or estimates as to the number of people on welfare who suffer from this 
illness. Hairbrained initiatives designed primarily to gather media 
attention at the cost of those already suffering hurts us all and further 
wastes taxpayer money. Balanced budgets and integrity in government are not 
produced by this type of foolishness. Get a grip. Let's get back to the 
business of improving life for all of us.

William Smith, Kemptville

(We have to agree, although, as today's editorial states, we do like the 
idea of testing politicians)
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MAP posted-by: Terry F