Premier Wynne, taking on Ford Nation.

Premier Kathleen Wynne could be taking on far more than she has bargained for in commenting on the situation at Toronto city hall. It is more like a yappy cocker spaniel taking on a couple of pit bulls than a premier dealing with her responsibilities. She is definitely trying to pick a fight way out of her weight class.

While the province has responsibility for the city, there is nothing in the situation over the past couple weeks that requires the Premier to act on behalf of Toronto citizens. Neither Premier Wynne, nor the Toronto Star, nor the Globe and Mail can serve as judge and jury in this situation. As long as Rob Ford is free to carry on his responsibilities as Mayor and the city continues to function, there is no reason for the province to interfere.

Even if the Premier was answering a direct question from the media about the Toronto situation, she needed to be more diplomatic and to stay out of it. If the questions about the Mayor’s recreational preferences are ever really answered, there is going to be serious spatter for everyone involved. She hardly wants to be a bystander when that hits the fan.

And do not forget that any politicians or news media outlets that go after the Fords are also taking on Ford Nation. While amorphous and unstructured, Ford Nation is still real. It is more of a concept than a movement. It is the same ‘get even,’ ‘get ours’ mentality that Conservative Leader Tiny Tim Hudak counts on across the province. It is no bastion of liberalism. They are the same people as those moving their lips as they read the Toronto Sun on the subway each morning.

If Wynne even wanted to neutralize some of the Ford Nation vote, she never would have fired Lottery and Gaming tsar Paul Godfrey. Paul wanted a casino in Toronto and he was the one person who might have made it happen. Wynne crippled his efforts by ordering that there would be no special deal for Toronto and then fired him because he could not do his job. Paul hardly headed back to his duties running Post Media to pout.

The Toronto Star recently helped Kathleen Wynne celebrate her first 100 days as premier. The newspaper thinks she has done a pretty good job so far. The Toronto Star has been wrong before.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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