New budget will contain provisions declaring everyone and everything essential to the health and well-being of the economy


QUEENS PARK – Finance Minister Charles Sousa will table the government’s budget this spring with some radical alterations in mind. Contained in the bill is a provision that will forever change the balance of labour relations in the province and set a precedent for the nation.

Sources close to the Ministry told MetaCanada that the 2014 budget effectually declares everyone and everything in the province of Ontario an essential service. Everyone—from the CFOs of major-Bay-Street financial firms, to the homeless man selling conspiracy-theorist newspapers out of his 1998 Ford Taurus Ghia—will be considered “essential…to the regular continuation of the daily life of the province.”

Arthur Jacobs, Administrative Assistant to the Labour-Minister’s Undersecretary, said that the idea for the bill came out of a stormy legislative debate. In the debate, provincial parliamentarians, attempting to stymie a prospective strike, declared Toronto Hydro workers “an essential service.”

Jacobs spoke candidly about the genesis of this revolutionary initiative: “One of the NDP MPPs—not precisely sure which one, exactly—stood up and said, ‘If you’re going to do this just to prevent strikes, then why not simply declare everyone an essential service and be done with it?’”

After much laughter and balking from the other side of the Assembly, Jacobs suggested the Legislative Assembly went dead-quiet. “Everyone was catching their breath, and in that reprieve—in that moment of silence—we simultaneously realized we were on to something. I mean, after all, everyone is arguably essential to the health and happiness of everyone else at some point, right? Imagine getting up in the morning, driving off to your local Tims, and then finding out that they weren’t open because the counter girls wanted more money? Your day would be ruined. Now imagine if every other store could do that, or every other gas station, or the guys that supply your car parts? Who would make your hamburgers? Who would help you find the off-sized bedsheets at the back of the Wal-Mart? How is your business supposed to run if a bunch of yahoos are running around refusing to work because they can’t afford to eat? Everyone’s essential, that’s this government’s message. Fetuses and ex-pat Americans don’t count, though.” 

Mr. Sousa refused to comment on the bill itself when asked to speak to its reformative potential, saying only, “Mr. Hudak doesn’t think you’re essential. How does that make you feel? This Liberal government feels that each and every Ontarian is absolutely essential to the process that makes this province great.”

MetaCanada’s parliamentary insider has suggested that there is only one civil group that will not be categorized as an essential service under the proposed bill: Members of Provincial Parliament and their staff. On this inconsistency, Mr. Jacobs merely stated, “Well, I don’t know if you’d find anyone in this province who would agree that any of us are essential.”