Since Brexit won the day, can Ontari-out be next?

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Now that a few days have passed since the vote, Britons have stopped pinching themselves since there will be no awakening from the nightmare of Brexit.

It’s all too real. Writing in the National Post Matthew Fisher put it this way: "We are now living the 21st-century equivalent of the 1930s, when reason gave way to naked nationalism and the fear of neighbours who are different, creating deep fissures that will be impossible to repair."

Does the Brexit victory mean the nativists, immigration-haters and assorted other neanderthals will win the day in the United States in November and elect Donald Trump?

And what does this mean for Scotland’s independence movement since the Scots voted to stay in the EU?

In Canada, will it stir up separatist fervour in Quebec once again and lead to yet another round of agonizing constitutional wrangling?

Or how about in Alberta, where separatist sentiment has been bubbling just below the surface for generations?

The move to get Britain out of the European Union was about more than just anti-immigration rhetoric and unreasonable fear.

One factor was frustration with unresponsive bureaucrats.

The conventional view of these bureaucrats is their heads are stuck firmly in the sand except for those moments when they look up long enough to deny yet another request from the people they are supposed to serve.

Or to set up a committee to exhaustively examine an issue that everyone outside their tight little circle already understands.

Because of this frustration with bureaucracies that have taken on such a life of their own that they’ve forgotten for whom they are supposed to be working the Brexit result may prompt other separatist movements where none might have been expected a month ago.

Take Ontario as a possible example. A number of years ago Bill Murdoch, maverick MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, suggested Ontario should separate from the Greater Toronto Area.

That sentiment raises its head each time the bureaucrats in Toronto behave like, well like bureaucrats in Toronto.

Whether it’s pushing through a trails bill that has a huge impact on private landowners without consulting private landowners, or approving wind turbines in municipalities where most of the population is opposed to them, the Ontario government has a unique way of snubbing its nose at anyone and everyone outside of the GTA.

As rural schools continue to close at the feet of the gods of bigger-is-better, the anti-government sentiment is growing stronger and spreading to young parents who probably didn’t give it a thought before now.

British Columbia last week recognized the value of some rural schools to the communities in which they are located and is working on a plan to keep them funded.

Many others in that western province will close, but at least lip service has been given to the fact schools are about communities in some cases as much as about education.

And they should be about communities more than about senior government strategic plans.

In Ontario some parents and community activists concerned about rampant small school closings don’t even seem to be able to arrange an audience with government officials.

So establishing the area outside the GTA as its own province is an appealing dream.

Surely the fact it’s a recurring dream should cause a little wakening at Queen’s Park, in light of Brexit.

jmerriam@bmts.com

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