Friday, May 23, 2014

Response to ACORN 2014 Ontario election questions

Remittance Justice - Legislation that will cap the fees of money transfer companies (like Western Union and MoneyGram) at 5% of money transferred. This would be inclusive of all fees. The legislation would also include enforcement and disclosure.

David McGruer, Freedom Party candidate response: No.
The Freedom Party believes that the only proper role of government is the protection of the individual rights of life, liberty and property and logical extensions of these.  As such, government should not interfere in the free decisions of citizens who choose to engage in economic trade. Thus, legislation to force companies to adhere to an arbitrary price determined by someone else's wishes is not a proper function of government. The Freedom Party would gradually withdraw interference in the trade between citizens so they may return to un-coerced exchange of goods and services without a sudden shock to the economy.

Healthy Homes/Landlord Licensing - Call for a policy review of the Residential Tenancy Act for the first time since 2006 in order to re-balance the act between landlords and tenants. To be included in legislation:

  •  Vacancy Decontrol for full rent control.
  • Successor landlords need to comply with Landlord Tenant Board orders placed on predecessor landlords. 
  • Protect tenants from above the guideline rent increases that circumvent rent control laws in Ontario. 
  • Implement a province-wide system of inspections and enforcement for rental housing standards.

David McGruer, Freedom Party candidate response: No.
Since government does not have a moral and proper role in controlling innocent people's lives, landlords and tenants must be left free to negotiate the terms of contracts they choose to enter. In a free society there should be no price controls of any kind and no government dictates about how citizens conduct their peaceful business affairs. The Freedom Party would gradually de-control the housing market so as to allow citizens and their businesses time to adapt to the changes, knowing what change is coming well in advance.

Minimum wage - Raise the Minimum Wage to $14/now (if no, then to what wage level?)
Index the minimum wage to the cost of living

David McGruer, Freedom Party candidate response: No.
Under a political system of freedom, where the individual rights of all citizens are protected equally, there are no rules that coerce citizens into or out of any specific economic contracts. There is no interference in the right of workers and employers to negotiate their wages.  Basic economics demonstrates that one effect of using force against innocent citizens through a minimum wage law is to create a class of unemployed people who are prevented by government from working. This causes damaging ripple effects through the economy and the lives of citizens. In a free society there is full employment for anyone who wishes to work. The Freedom Party would eliminate artificial barriers to employment that contribute to poverty.

Disability Rights - Greater allowance instituted before the claw back is administered for both Disability and OW.  Restore the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit.

David McGruer, Freedom Party candidate response: No.
In a free society the government is responsible for protecting the rights of citizens and disabled citizens have identical rights to all others. The act of taking money through force in order to give it to other people, whether they are disabled or not, is contrary to all the principles of fundamental rights and freedoms.  In a free society such functions are all done voluntarily through benevolent charities. The Freedom Party would work to gradually withdraw government from wealth confiscation and distribution but would work to make sure the most disabled in society are provided for. After decades of crowding charity out of this area, it will take a long time to restore a normal situation and so some existing programs would have to continue for a long time.

Payday Lending - Lower cap on interest to fixed fee of $10 plus interest charged at an annual rate no higher than 60%, plus a fee that is a fixed percentage of the dollar amount of the loan no larger than 5%.
Create a two tiered where people on assistance have access to a lower rate. Enforce the Ban on Roll-Over Loans by creating a real time user database to monitor and avoid roll overs company to company.

David McGruer, Freedom Party candidate response: No.
In a society of rights protection, no business that is making voluntary exchange with customers can be forced to adopt any arbitrary policies. Those who do not like a particular business method are free to shop from competitors or do without the service.  A free society allows all alternative business methods to be tried out and the market of customers determines the business success through their free choices.

Inclusive zoning enabling legislation - Inclusionary housing programs are a way for municipalities to use their development regulation and approval process to have private developers provide some affordable in all (or nearly all) market projects. It increases the amount of housing stock. While inclusionary housing policies are set by local governments it is very much up to the Province to ensure that these municipal approaches can be enforced and are not subject to endless challenges at the Ontario Municipal Board. The Province should ensure that municipalities have the authority to establish inclusionary zoning practices.

David McGruer, Freedom Party candidate response: No.
Housing has been made far more expensive than necessary through massive interference in the marketplace. Through zoning regulation, building regulation, labour regulation and other ways, the provision of low cost housing has been made uneconomic and undesirable by government policy.  In a free economy home builders will build homes at a wide range of qualities and prices to meet the wide range of demand and ability to pay.  In a free economy, adequate housing could be provided for a fraction of today's cost and charities would fill in the gap for the tiny fraction of citizens who are truly unable to afford basic aspects of life such as housing. The Freedom Party would gradually de-control the housing market so as to allow citizens and their businesses time to adapt to the changes, knowing what change is coming well in advance.

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