(This blog entry has been updated)
I'm the last person to want government meddling with my life and trying to tell me how to live, but his opposition to this bylaw raises the question: What is the role of government?
Are they not supposed to look out for the best interest of the public? They rarely do, so why would we thwart them at a time like this when they are actually trying?
I think Mr. Mitchell has some explaining to do. Does he think it's heavy-handed for governments to demand that industries don't dump waste in our harbour?
Is the smoking bylaw heavy-handed?
We already know that he has no use for police officers pulling over reckless, speeding drivers. Apparently that's intrusive too.
We've all seen the data regarding pollutants from vehicles and their direct effect on our health. A McMaster research study had car drivers head straight to the hospital and have their carbon monoxide (CO) levels checked, and the results were astounding.
Not surprisingly, the longer someone was in a running car, the higher their levels.
If government is just supposed to let everyone do what they want, who will pay the medical bills? Billions of dollars are spent in Ontario every year for medical treatment of smog-related illness.
Why is it that people have no problem with smoking bylaws, but our vehicles are off-limits?
We refuse to un-time lights on Hamilton's streets and remove excess traffic lanes, even though we know more lives will be lost (roughly 30 last year â€“ imagine if 30 people were gunned to death in Hamilton).
We don't care about human lives. Why? Our cars have become god.
Our kids have to walk into school zones breathing drastically unsafe levels of pollutants from idling parents, all because our cars are more important than their health.
Calling attempts to remedy this state of affairs 'Meddling, heavy government' is not a logical response to this issue. But hey, if Mitchell can convince his fellow councillors to go along with this line of thinking, perhaps I'll convince my family and friends to join him.
From now on, maybe I won't pay my municipal tax bills, speeding tickets or medical bills. Why should I cave into the heavy hand of government if my own city council won't?
Update: this blog entry originally stated that drivers had their carbondioxide (CO2) levels tested after driving. As Ted Mitchell pointed out in the comments, it was actually carbon monoxide (CO). Thanks for pointing this out! -Ed.
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