“Weather is terrible. Premier Doug Ford. Don’t come back.”
This was a message your agent received last spring while on a warm vacation from a snow-bound friend.
This is not the Ontario I know. An entire country was conned by President Donald Trump. Now Trump’s self-styled admirer and devotee is on the cusp of being premier of Ontario. I thought Canadians were smarter. Perhaps not.
His program is called a Plan For The People. Whose people? Doug Ford’s people? What has Doug Ford done for Ontario? Nothing but run for office. How generous. Check his biography. His own biography.
Ford propped up one of the most corrupt and inept governments in Canada … that of his brother Rob at the City of Toronto. That administration embarrassed Toronto and Canada. Could not Doug have stepped in to save his drug-addled sibling? Apparently not.
So we have scenes of Doug Ford abusing people in Toronto’s council chamber. A councillor abusing The People in a hall of democracy. That’s not leadership. That’s bullying. That’s sick.
He abused the media. He praised Trump, a compulsive liar, an abuser of women and a bully. Trump’s day of judgment will come. With luck, before his death.
Ford was appalled by the appointment of candidates by former PC leader Patrick Brown, then appointed 11 of his own.
His campaign document is that of a simpleton. Catch phrases and slogans to capture the stupid. Cheap beer. Better access to beer and wine. Cut the price of gas (how?). Cut wait times at hospitals (how?) Put more money in your pocket (how? and hasn’t your idol Trump been good for Ontario with tariffs and the like? Less money in Ontarians’ pockets.) Restore respect for taxpayers (what does that mean?). Cut hydro rates. Create good jobs (after your mentor Trump has taken them away).
Now on the cusp of an election, no accident to be sure, his brother’s widow claims that Doug Ford siphoned off millions from his brother’s estate that should have gone to herself and her children. Ford responds by saying she has a substance-abuse problem. Like his brother. Now his sister-in-law. What did he do in those two cases to help them? Take their money? None of this has been proven in court and, unfortunately, won’t be heard until long after the election.
And in general, prior to Ford’s successful leadership bid and after, the Tory party has been run like the Gong Show. No, that’s not true. The Gong Show had a semblance of organization. How can Ford, whose party is in shambles, be expected to run a good government?
The Gong Show: The PC party in action.
None of this sounds like well-respected Tories such as Bill Davis, John Robarts or Leslie Frost. More like the Gene Gene The Dance Machine.
All this astounds me how Ontarians could fall for this crap. Politics has declined to a couple of catchphrases … such as “Lock him up” or “Make Ontario Stupid Again.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne appears to be a non-factor now. She won’t be elected but were she, Ontario’s already-high deficit would rise immeasurably in a good economy. That would be inflationary and would hurt the working poor, seniors and the disabled. If you want to begin massive new social programs, do it when the economy needs the money. That’s not now. Today is the first time since 2008 to pay down debt.
Also inflationary is boosting the minimum wage drastically over a short period of time. That the three groups of people above profoundly. If you want to boost the minimum wage, do so gradually so inflation doesn’t swallow the increase.
Under Wynne, we’ve had prisoners sleeping in showers and major court cases stayed because the judicial system is a mess. That is fundamental to the rule of law and the Liberals have let us down on that score. It’s not as if the Grits haven’t had time to fix that over the last 15 years.
Worst of all is according to Ontario’s auditor-general, Wynne cooked the provincial books. That’s unethical and unworthy of your vote.
At rest, your agent is a liberal and the Ottawa area has a number of good Grit candidates as The Bulldog’s endorsements hopefully attest. But their leader is unfortunate.
The easy way to get out of this endorsement dilemma is to say no one should be backed for premier. None are worthy of the job. And that was considered.
But it is also a cop-out. The people will vote but The Bulldog can’t make a decision. Not a very good example.
Personally, your agent doesn’t like debt and doesn’t have any. I’d rather have people pay me for my money than pay other people for their money. That’s a waste. I believe in self-reliance and, so far at least, your agent has been self-reliant. I think the disadvantaged should be helped. I strongly support universal healthcare despite its limitations.
Someday universal drug and dental care should be available to all but not today. Ontario has too much debt now. Maybe somewhere down the line those services will become available. I hope so. But maybe they won’t.
Which of course brings us to the NDP. It wants universal drug and dental care … now. They purport to end hallway medicine and increase senior care. Cut hydro bills by 30 per cent and buy back Hydro One. Have the government take over student debt. They will create thousands of jobs for students. And the NDP will ask the rich and corporations to pay more (I guess that will create more jobs for students).
None of this warms the cockles of my heart. Some of it is nice to have. Some of it is impossible to have. Some of it is unintelligent to have.
But credit where credit is due, NDP leader Andrea Horwath has not lied to me.
That’s better than the other two.
What Ontario needs is for the Grits and Tories to lose so they can renew themselves, find new, smart leadership and lead Ontario rationally and progressively.
In the meantime, reluctantly, The Bulldog endorses the NDP in Thursday’s provincial election.
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