An amusing sideshow to the tussle over the new border crossing regulations is Premier Pinocchio’s attempt to pick another sissy fight with Stephen Harper.
McGuinty and his tourism minister Jim Bradley are urging the federal government to reconsider creating an ID card that Americans would find acceptable, instead of a passport.
“I think we should be looking at other alternatives before we go to the passport option because it is a great expense for a family,” McGuinty said.
Like a Liberal who can’t see past the next election, McGuinty can’t see the costs of a new identification card to everyone, not just border crossers.
Creating an ID card with biometric features would require new legislation, new bureaucracy, new civil servants, new software, etc. And there’s no guarantee the cost per card would be less than a passport. They might end up costing more.
McGuinty’s thinking is the kind of Liberal brainstorm that created the $2-billion gun registry, when everyone who owned a long gun was already required to have a Firearms Acquisition Certificate, and handguns and automatic weapons were already individually registered (except the ones owned by criminals, of course).
We’ve seen Ontario Liberals introduce a new form of identification before. In the late 1980s, the Peterson regime introduced the Ontario Health Card – in white and Liberal red, natch.
To an Ontario population then numbering 8 million, the Liberals distributed 24 million of these puppies -- including to an actual puppy. Yes, at least one dog applied for and received an Ontario Health Card. (“How was your colonoscopy, Spot?” “Ruff!”)
The Harper government could do something to make passports more affordable, such as reducing the fee, lengthening the term or introducing a “family” rate for family members applying simultaneously. But creating a new bureaucracy where one already exists? Literally priceless.