By John Swartz
SUNonline/Orillia profiles candidates from each party in the forthcoming provincial election. Each candidate was asked the same set of questions. All candidates were invited to participate, however Mark Douris of the New Blue Party and Jill Dunlop of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario did not make arrangements to meet with SUNonline/Orillia.
By John Swartz
William Joslin is not your typical election candidate. First, he a Libertarian and we haven’t had one run in some time. Second, you can tell he is not an office creature and hasn’t been a chair warmer. No, he’s a working man.
“I work for the railroad. I started off as a grunt, just out there swinging a hammer. I worked out of Parry Sound for quite a few years, I got hurt and they put me on modified duties as a flagman protecting people working close to the tracks and that is what I was doing until November 11th,” Joslin said.
He’s been a life-long Simcoe North resident too.
‘I am originally from around here. I was born in Washago, lived out there for a couple years and then went to Uhthoff, then moved back to Washago when I was a teenager. When I went out on my own I lived in Washago, then I moved into Orillia for 9 years. Work took me around quite a bit to, and then after that I bought a place out in Waubaushene and I been there for the last 20.”
Joslin is married and has a 30-year-old son. It’s always a curious thing to find out what motivates people to run for office. Most people are afraid to, and those that have will say it’s a scary task.
“I didn’t realize these guys existed up until 4 weeks ago and that’s because the last two elections I’ve really soured. I thought, there’s got to be somebody else to vote for. The wife and I sat down, started at the top and read everything that was printed about each party. When I came to these guys (Libertarians) we run parallel. We reached out to the fellow who had written this, very receptive and he said, ‘We don’t have a candidate in your area, would you be willing to take a run at it?”
“We looked into the New Blue Party as well. I didn’t like some of their ideals. There’s 27 registered parties in Canada. We looked at them all. I was upset the Libertarians had been around since 1975, I never heard of them. Why isn’t there more press on the little guys?” Joslin said.
Many Libertarians have been so for a very long time, it’s not often you find a new convert. But Joslin has been committed to exercising his vote since he was first able to.
“My grandfather, when I turned 18 just so happened to be an election year, he was proud as punch to take me to vote,” Joslin said. This being a rural territory, many will say they voted the way their parents and their parents did – and told them to. Not in Joslin’s case.
“No. he said, ‘You’ll be given very few choices when you become an adult, but these choices will yours and yours alone. You will answer for them one way or another. It’s like a birthright and that’s what I’ve been telling people, there are other options,” Joslin said.
Work on the rail road often takes people away from home, which can leave lots of time to pass. It’s not surprising when Joslin is asked how he finds what he needs to inform himself, and how that will work if elected.
“You get on the Google machine. There’s been a few things I’ve looked up. When I was away at work I was in the hotel room from 6 o’clock at night until 5 o’clock the next morning. In that time I would research and I found out an interesting thing about the Google machine that if you go through everything, you’ll finally hit bottom and then at the bottom in fine print it says – we’ve gone through the stuff that was relevant to what you asked for, but here are other (links). Then I start going through that. I dig down as deep as I can get because I do not believe the first three things I see. And, if they give me references to books, I love thumbing through books. If I can get literature, go to the library and get the books that are there.”
Using Google is an art trying to find worthwhile information. Joslin takes time to follow links and investigate just who is providing the information.
“I have done that a few times. In an argument, I hate to be wrong. I think I’m like anybody else because if you are wrong, you are wrong,” Joslin said.
“There was little bit of a discussion going on, on Facebook and somebody posted something about what this guy has said. I thought, well that’s pretty profound, but let’s see what else this guy has talked about. In the span of seven years he had gone from being what people didn’t listen to because he was on this side, and then all of a sudden he wasn’t selling enough so he switched over and now he’s on this side (the other side) and now everybody is, ‘oh, he’s a great and wonderful writer.’”
“I took screen shots and I sent them on to the person and I said, ‘sounds like a very intelligent man to me, l but before you start putting him too high on a pedestal go back and check out how he did in the past.’”
“People can have their ideas change, which is good, but the part I was trying get to is he wasn’t always this way. He had to grow as a person to get here, so don’t throw it out like he is the great and wonderful Oz.”
What about the Libertarian Party does Joslin like and what would he change?
“They have this undying belief in you and me and everybody that you can make your own choices. You have to live with those choices, but you are allowed to make those choices and the government shouldn’t be under the thumb with you all the time. That and the Canadian Charter of Rights, they are steadfast behind that. As long as you are not infringing on somebody else’s property or personal being, you do you, I’ll do me, everybody gets along.”
“The one I would change, there’s not enough voice anymore. More people should know that they (Libertarians) are out there. That’s where they are losing. I mentioned it to my dad, and my dad will be 74 this year and I asked him, ‘have you ever heard of the Libertarian Party? The Liberals? No, the Libertarian party. No, never have.’”
All candidates were asked – does privatization make healthcare better? as a starting point.
“It can make it better. Will it? That’s up to the people doing it. A friend of ours had to go in for foot surgery. She was referred to this doctor and he seemed pretty flippant. She didn’t like the vibe that she got, so through a friend of a friend she found another doctor, but because he was a specialist she was going to have to pay out of pocket. She was looking at about $9,000. He came highly recommended. His bedside manner was extraordinary and she wound up going with him and paying the out of pocket. Her foot is immaculate. Another friend who went through OHIP still can’t walk correctly. They’re a guaranteed paycheck, but I’ve had doctors that are phenomenal,” Joslin said. He also spoke of his mother who had to go out of country for back surgery because there were only three doctors with expertise in her type of case and none of them in Canada.
What kinds of ideas do Joslin and the Libertarians have to restore a happy workplace in healthcare? The pressure of the pandemic amplified some long-standing issues front line staff have had and many are leaving the field.
“I would say 50% may be money, but the other side, respect. I worked right through it when it all came on. We didn’t get masks until we were 9 months into the first of it. We didn’t get hand sanitizer until almost a year. Keep going to work, do your job. I can work around that. Put something in front of me I will sort out a way to make it work, to keep everybody working.’
He thinks some of the public’s loss of respect is because there isn’t a single unifying voice on medical issues.
“Everybody has their own opinion and when some of the doctors are telling you go out, get your shot, do this, do that, this is for the greater good. But, you also have other doctors saying you’re not in the age category to be worried about it, you’ll be OK. So, who do you believe?”
“Why has there yet to be anything about natural acquired immunity?”
“I caught this in February of 2020. Two weeks, it hit hard. I still cannot taste coffee or bananas.”
“Every virus in history has wound down. It has never spiraled up, it has always gone down. This last one, oh you’ll catch it, but it’s going to be just like a cold, whereas at the beginning they were saying it could be your life.”
Like the other candidates, Joslin was asked if he favoured banning or restricting abortion.
“What’s wrong with personal preference? Everybody is put into a situation that can affect them one way or the other. If a young girl is raped by an uncle and (everybody is saying) she has to keep it. Why? Every time she’s going to look at that child she’s going to think of what happened. I believe the person has the choice. Is it a form of birth control? No, that is dumb. There are many forms of birth control, going for an abortion is not one of them,” Joslin said. Restricting access isn’t a solution either.
“People will find a way. If that’s what they want to do, they’ll find a way. If they’ve got to hobo on the back of a train to get up there to get it done, they’ll do it. As far as OHIP paying for it, I don’t think they should, only from the simple fact there are things OHIP won’t pay for that affect everybody. Let’s look at the Shingles vaccine, you have to pay for that out of pocket.”
We just emerged from a classic example of government not listening to experts with this pandemic. There are some who believe the measures taken were profit driven, so maybe people would have more faith in healthcare if companies weren’t allowed to profit from people’s illnesses.
“I have to sit on the fence with that (profit) because I haven’t been proven one way or the other. I do know that nine times out of ten when the government gets involved in something, they’ll screw it up. It doesn’t matter which government. I don’t know if they’re too ambitious, too gung ho, and I’ll show these last guys I can do this. It’s a knee jerk reaction.”
“The people that are doing the job they know because they are doing the job. We’ll look at the government coming in as consultants coming in to say no, this is how it needs to be done. When was the last time one those guys were working in an ER? My doctor said, ‘I can’t do anything for you because this is what the government is dictating.’ You are my doctors, how can they tell me this is the way it’s going to be?”
So government should stick to funding and stay out of policy?
“They have a job and now they want to do all the jobs. They need to take a step back, let the hospitals look after themselves. I’ve been into a couple hospitals, I’ve seen how bad things have gone.”
Each candidate was also asked the same starter question – Why should corporations be allowed to own so much of rental stock (30% in many larger cities) and control prices?
“I don’t know an awful lot about how this runs, but I’m going to assume there are rules in place and the rule should be adhered by. I don’t know if they need somebody to stand over them with a big stick saying no, you can’t do this. You wouldn’t let these guys do it, so why do you think you get to do it?” Joslin said.
There is an element of greed Joslin sees. First, corporations are never happy with a profit – it has to be bigger next year. And buyers buy things they don’t need.
“I don’t’ know why it is If you’ve got this much money, they always seem to want more. Why can’t you be happy with what you’ve got?”
“I’ve noticed and I don’t understand why we need three bedroom, two bathroom, 2400 sq. ft homes being built. Why are these houses being built to this grand of scale when they could build two bungalows for the same price as one of these massive houses. Everybody keeps saying we have a housing crisis, but every time I turn around these houses are massive. You don’t need that much space.”
Work and Social Assistance
Again, a starter question kicked off discussion with each candidate – why is it OK for some Ontarians to live below the poverty line?
“Of these people that are below the poverty line, like the pensioners. Younger ones have a choice in this matter. This below the poverty line thing that hits me is knowing there are retired people who have worked their entire lives and now are on the line or below the line when they shouldn’t be,” Joslin said. He holds a similar view for disabled people.
The legion of unemployed will grow, this much experts are saying. Governments aren’t listening, and if they are they don’t hear the whole message. Automation is already throwing people out of work with no prospect to replace with a similarly well paying job.
“I hope I’m not around to see the day the big trucks are automated. It can’t work. I drove truck, I know what it’s like and anybody who tells you driving is just driving, no, you get behind the wheel of that truck and you are on alert the entire time. All it will take is one of those automated trucks to run over some poor schmuck on a moped and they’ll squash it.”
“I was a boom truck driver for CN. Those boom trucks were brought in three years after I hired on and when each section got a boom truck they did away with four jobs. To this day I have yet to see that boom truck pick up a shovel, pick up a wrench or pickup a hammer,” Joslin said. He does get the argument, but thinks amnesia is a factor.
“Why are we having so much of a problem remembering. Somebody said that then and it’s not just in government, that’s in big business as well. Nobody seems to remember last year,” Joslin said, who thinks on this and many other issues, it’s time to start paying attention to experts.
“Somebody other than the Fab 4 who have been dropping the ball thus far. Why not have somebody else take a look at this? These machines that are made for industry, why isn’t there a levy put on them when they come across? Tax the machine, that’s the initial tax.”
Many professional observers around the world believe society is under organized attack. Social media is the weapon, and the news media is not smart enough to understand they are helping spread messages best left on as few computer screens as possible.
Joslin is just s unsure what to do as many others, even if he knows something needs to be done.
“People are going to say what they want, do what they want to any extreme. If they want to get it out there, they’re going to get it out there. I don’t know about curbing it. Why don’t we go on the other side and tell people not to take it so personally.”
“I could see where we need that back (responsible news media) because anymore anything can make the news. I don’t know if the government should get involved. Maybe put something out there that looks after that. I have yet to see anything the government has put their hands into that has come out for the better.”
And yet, there is a Libertarian viewpoint on this.
“Doing your research. Checking out what is being said. (It’s) all personal choice. If you choose to believe what that person is spewing, that’s your choice. Why is it the government that has to look after this? Why isn’t it the guy who owns the paper? Why did they get rid of that law? Start slapping them with fines.”
Highways Or Public Transit?
The road to prosperity is paved with good intentions. In Ontario’s case it’s going to cost billions of dollars, and experts on urban highway building disagree with the objectives the government has. What experts also say is public transportation is the future.
“Yes. Anywhere down in Toronto you take a look, you’ve got subways, you’ve got streetcars, busses, all of this stuff is already in place. The extension of the 404 (Bradford Bypass), I knew about this years ago because I was working at a job and MTO was flipping the bill for it. I was protecting their workers. I said, ‘that’s coming up through an awful lot of farmland. What’s the purpose of that?’ What happened to running the Go line up that side?”
As a railroad worker, Joslin has had direct experience with government plans abandoned for the flavour of the month. He worked n projects to add track for passenger trains. He also knows they did bridge extensions to accommodate a second railway line 7 years ago.
“All of a sudden they just stopped it. They knew about this then because I did that job 7 years ago, so they are contradicting themselves.”
The Last Word
There’s always something not on the question sheet. Something candidates are itching to talk about. For Joslin it’s a very current affair – gun legislation.
“We have plenty of gun laws in place. I grew up around rifles. Law abiding citizens that own are not the issue. There was two women had gone down into the States, drove back, were caught at the border with 12 handguns. They were arraigned, set out on bail, low and behold two weeks later they’re caught again with, I think it was 32 handguns. Obviously there is a failing in that system.”
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia) Main: Simcoe North Ontario Libertarian Party candidate William Joslin.
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