The silliness of those in government and those who work in the related bureaucratic infrastructure never ceases to amaze me.
As we all know from the doomsday headlines, the avian (also known as bird) flu is coming. People are infected and dying in Turkey and other parts of the world, and it's only a matter of time before the bad bird poo somehow makes its way around the globe.
All together now: oooooohhhh (come on, make the big, scary sounds with me!)
So the government of our esteemed province of Ontario (I live in Canada, so it's OK to poke fun at our leaders without running the risk of being branded a traitor and getting thrown in jail) has, in its infinite wisdom, introduced legislation giving the premier "special powers" if the flu descends on our part of the planet.
Essentially, it allows the province's grand poobah and supreme leader to authorize overtime and restrict business travel.
I wrote this column because it struck me as remarkably dumb that a government should have to legislate what comes as natural behavior for the mere mortals who have not chosen a life of cri...oops, public service.
Here's what I wrote.
Is this legislation really necessaryYour turn: Should this kind of thing be common sense? What will they legislate next? Government employees washing their hands after using the washroom?
Published Wednesday, January 4, 2006
The London Free Press
I can now sleep at night knowing the Ontario government is introducing legislation granting our premier special powers in the event of an avian flu pandemic.
The bill, which would make it easier for the government to require staffers to work overtime and restrict their travel, is expected to become law by mid-year. It was introduced at the end of the last legislative session by Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter.
Its introduction raises the question of whether we need special legislation at all. I guess government works differently from the rest of us. In my work world, when there’s a big project or a heavy deadline, everyone pitches in to just get it done. No one needs to enforce something as basic as a work ethic.
Even the timing is questionable: Cross your fingers a wave of bird flu doesn’t hit the country before this bill becomes law.
I shudder to think that our government needs legislation to dictate behaviours that are simply common sense to the rest of us.
One last thing (for now): This is the first piece I wrote from the fabled coffee shop. I first wrote about the experience here. The place is called the Bad Ass Coffee Co. It's named after a hardworking Hawaiian donkey (yes, you should feel ashamed of yourself!) The grand opening of the Deerfield Beach, FL franchise where I wrote this is Sat. Jan. 14 (tomorrow). I wish I could be there...they're bringing in a real donkey.