Posts Tagged ‘Doug Ford’

Ontario’s petulant premier.

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

After more than a year of silly stickers on our gas pumps, Ontario voters have got the message. And the Ontario Court System has finally got around to noting that that the Ontario government’s stickers are in breach of the retailers’ Charter rights. Is this a fair resolution to the foolishness?

If it were not for the surveillance cameras mounted in gas stations across the province, many of us would have liked to make our own comment on Doug Ford’s affrontery. And what is the court going to do to recompense Ontario citizens for this inaccurate and appalling politicizing at the pumps where they go to get fuel for their gasoline-guzzling automobiles?

It looks like the Canadian Civil Liberties Association let us down this time around. We do hope that the court, at least, saw fit to award costs of the action to the association.

It seems appropriate that the court should announce its decision on the same week as we are having an official visit by the premier of Quebec. It was an excellent opportunity for the citizens of both provinces to note how much smarter the premier of Quebec is than the premier of Ontario.

This was the smart premier who stuck with his province’s promises to California in the ‘Cap and Trade’ deal. Cancelling Ontario’s participation probably cost Ontario taxpayers more money than their premier would really like to admit.

But then we never seem to know which Ontario premier we are getting these days. There is the petulant Doug Ford who wants to get even with his old foes at Toronto city hall. And then there is the warm and fuzzy Dougie who refers to Toronto’s mayor as his best friend forever (BFF).

And what about his other BFF, prime minister Trudeau?

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

I’m Ba-ack.

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I have spent the past three weeks in hospital. I remember waking up after an operation to put my ankle back together. I was completely disoriented but conscious of the need for a washroom. I remembered where I was when a gaggle of hospital attendants were standing over me, on the washroom floor, asking how the hell I got there.

Having had only brief occasion to assess Barrie’s darling Royal Victoria Hospital in the past, I was unaware of the mess Covid-19 and the Ontario conservatives have wrought. The Ford government has created a guessing game as to what items the hospital will be short-shipped this week.

I think the biggest mistake the hospital has made is furloughing all its local volunteers who had found their way in this stupid maze of a hospital. These people, in their blue vests, were the ambassadors for the hospital to their community. They kept the charity funds flowing and the hospital operating at a high level.

Mind you, there is no earthly rationale for the abdominal food they feed their patients. One wag of a team leader told me that is how the hospital convinces patients to go home. If that had been the case, I would have been home on day two.

And what ever happened to the quaint custom of daily rounds by the doctors? I think I saw a doctor once in over three weeks. I have no idea just where these guys and gals hide. They seem to work as ancient alchemists hiding in the background, creating new and more insidious mixes of pills to confuse your bowels. Frankly, I am tired of discussing my bathroom habits with youngsters in tight scrubs who are the same age as my grandsons.

Maybe tomorrow, I will come up with something acerbic about our politicians

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Ford follows mentor Trump.

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

From the low of being booed at the Raptors’ celebration in Toronto last year, Ontario premier Doug Ford feels it is time to hear some applause. After all the exposure he has gotten from the pandemic, he is ready to go on the road again. Like Donald Trump in the U.S., Dougie feeds on the approbation of his sycophants.

Since the province is not yet ready for large crowds of voters to gather and cheer the premier, he is cherry-picking the Covid-19 success stories around the province to keep the media interested. As long as the television reporters are there with their cameras, Dougie considers it a win. That is one thing that he has seen for himself with the daily news appearances at Queen’s Park to report on the pandemic and what might or might not be news. He revels in it.

Trump, conversely, has to have his numbers. It is his followers he needs to see at his rallies. When there were empty seats at his last rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his campaign organization had to develop a plan for once or twice per day Internet events for his followers. It is the numbers that are critical. That is why his organization requires a ticket for each virtual event attendee.

While Ford is reaping the rewards for listening to the medical experts, Trump is suffering the consequences of his brushing aside the experts in the U.S. Putting vice president Pence in charge of the of the federal committee dealing with the coronavirus was a serious mistake.

The only problem Ford has with his approach is the bad timing. Any lift his approval numbers gained this far ahead of the election could be history when Ontario next goes to the polls. Too often the leader in the polls when the election is called, is not the leader on election day.

But then nobody really thinks that Trump or Ford are really politicians. They really just need someone to pat them on the head and give them an ‘attaboy.’

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Dougie has “lost the plot.”

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

A chap from ‘Ole Blighty’ was talking the other day about the United Kingdom’s prime minister Boris Johnson. He said “Bo-Jo has lost the plot.” The description fits too many politicians today. Johnson is just one of many. America’s Trump certainly fits the part. The Donald seems to have never read the script. The point is that there are too many pseudo politicians today who think the play is about them. And it is more serious the closer they are to home.

Consider Ontario premier Doug Ford. He has the news media all excited that they are seeing a new Doug Ford because of the job he appears to be doing on the pandemic.

They seem to forget that this is the candidate who was least qualified for the job of premier in Ontario. He came into the job two years ago in total ignorance of what the position entailed. His first serious action was to get even with the Toronto politicians who ridiculed him when he was a Toronto councillor in the seat of his late brother Rob. In a truly destructive act, he cut the number of Toronto city council seats in half when the election process was already underway.

His first cabinet was a collection of prima donnas and blowhards. They were playing their own games and he soon had to start replacing bad actors. Caroline Mulroney quickly proved that her training and experience in New York was of little use in Ontario. But again, legal experience was hardly the consideration when Dougie replaced Mulroney with a small-town ward healer from Severn, up near Orillia. He put a trusted sycophant in finance and replaced a fumbling education minister with a slick operator who had interned with Stephen Harper.

But what really happened was the coronavirus. Both Dougie and his health minister found they had no choice but follow the lead of Ottawa and the health professionals. The only thing that would keep Dougie from getting into serious trouble in the next two years would be if the pandemic lasted that long.

The point is, Dougie does not know how to be a good premier.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The new Ford is still a Model T.

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Not to be confused with products of the Ford Motor Company, today’s comment is about Ontario premier Doug Ford. It harks back a hundred years to that time when you could have any colour of Ford Model T, as long as it was black. And you need to face facts Ontario, the model Ford you bought in the 2018 provincial election is the same ignorant, blowhard you are seeing today.

Just because an incautious news media tells you Doug Ford has changed, why should you believe it? Why do you think he usually appears for those Queen’s Park briefings with two or three of his more credible ministers? This does not display self-confidence. This is a man relishing his time of control but ready to step aside and let someone else take the blame.

His favourite fall-guy is minister of education, Stephen Lecce. While the pandemic takes away the headlines, Lecce has been quietly giving in to teachers’ demands for when classes are returned. And watching him in action, you have to admit, the pandemic has taken much of the wind from Lecce’s sails.

Ford might think he has been smart to keep health minister Christine Elliott in the forefront. If only that lady knew how to dress for her job and control her facial muscles when listening to Ford speak, she would have a future in politics.

Using economic development minister Vic Fedeli for some supposed financial credibility in those one-act TV plays at Queen’s Park is probably Ford’s weakest move. It is more like inviting a viper to a friendly picnic in the park.

But Doug Ford has not changed. He is biding his time. Nobody wants this pandemic over and done with any sooner than the label salesman from Toronto. This nasty man has more mindless conservative extremist measures to inflict on Ontario. Be ready, be watchful.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The future is ours.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

As the song asks, “How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?” That was a song that many believed after the First World War. It is also a lament for those politicians who think they can give the public greater freedoms and then expect to be able to take them back. There is too much blowback.

Take the simplest of changes. Ontario premier Doug Ford slipped one in recently that I did not notice. It is called off-sale of alcohol by bars and restaurants. It means that a customer, ordering a pick-up or delivery order can include a bottle or so of appropriate wines or beers to go with the order. It is what we used to call bootlegging.

I was quite pleased to see this convenience on the web site of one of my favourite restaurants. That is smart marketing. Not that the restaurant had the advantage for long. When one leads, the others will follow. The only mistake I see being made is that the restaurants are trying to get away with their normal doubling of the price of the wine. They can probably get away with a $3 or $4 convenience charge but doubling the price of a decent wine is a bit stiff. You can justify a higher mark-up when it is served at dinner in the restaurant but not when it is an off-sale.

As it is, I am getting used to ordering my weekly box of goodies from the liquor control board. They have the order ready for me when I get to the store—no line-up, no waiting. I would be happier though if the LCBO would fix that damn ordering program. It is clunky, over-sensitive and badly designed.

Over the years in the computer industry, I never wrote a line of code but, at different times I had programmers reporting to me on projects. They would bring me their completed code for this or that part of the project. The objective was to see if I could find fault in how it carried the function. I did, too often!

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

“Do as I say, not as I do.”

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

It is part of being of the political elite. We have no royals like the Brits. And we have little of America’s Hollywood. We have to settle for talking and speculating about our politicians. We put them on pedestals and then complain when they take advantage of their position to do as they wish.

And even a provincial premier can end up falling off their pedestal for doing what we were told specifically not to do. Premier Doug Ford of Ontario got ripped for telling us not to go north to our cottages over the Easter weekend. Yet he made a quick trip up to his family’s Lake Country cottage—to check the plumbing—we were told.

And then for Mothers’ Day, the premier had all four daughters home to honour their mother. He thinks that it is alright as he did not invite the sons-in-law. He apparently does not realize that they might be sleeping with his daughters.

But the elitist el supremo in this country is our prime minister. As the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau, Justin has spent a life of privilege. He hobnobs with the rich and famous. He is a long-time friend of the Aga Khan, one of the world’s ten richest royals. You might remember when the prime minister and his family spent Christmas with him on the Khan’s island in the Bahamas. (Last we heard, the RCMP still had not reimbursed the Khan for accommodating the PM’s security detail.)

Justin’s latest display of his elitism was sending his wife and children to Harrington Lake in Quebec last month after she recovered from her bout of covid-19 at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. Travel between residences has been banned in both provinces and unnecessary travel between provinces is also being discouraged. While it is easy to understand the wish to visit with his wife and children, Canadians do not need a reminder that Justin Trudeau considers himself to be exempt from any rules.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Who will bell Ford?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Before you bell the cat, you had better learn something of its habits. This is not an animal that has been de-clawed nor rendered toothless. Nor has Ontario premier Doug Ford. You have to remember that Ford is a bully and a braggart and there are no Marquess of Queensbury rules in his erratic approach to politics.

While we have no idea yet on what the conservatives will build their next provincial campaign, we do know something about the party leaders who will be involved. And we have already mentioned the conservative’s Doug Ford. He has gained a bit of credibility during the pandemic but who knows what he will do to rattle voters before the June, 2022 provincial election.

We also have an idea who his opponents might be. The leader of the opposition is Andrea Horwath of the new democratic party. We have all seen her in inaction and if her party is happy with her leading the party, the public obviously is not. The only reason she became leader of the opposition in Ontario is because liberal Kathleen Wynne announced her party’s defeat before the public got a chance to vote. Horwath was the only alternative for those wary of Ford.

Kathleen Wynn’s replacement is Steven Del Duca, the former MPP from Vaughan. He has yet to seek a seat in the legislature. This makes it difficult for him to get much publicity or to ask questions of the conservative government.

From what I know about Del Duca and his key advisors is that they failed to contain or block Ford and his conservatives in 2018. I was not even impressed with how they made Del Duca leader of the party. He is right wing and from a different era of politics.

I am coming to believe that we will be going into a different political era post pandemic. I hardly think of Ford being the answer in the new politics. Nor do I see Horwath or Del Duca as being any improvement.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Facing facts for Ford’s fortunes.

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

So, you think Ontario premier Doug Ford is riding the white charger towards a 2022 election victory? You are probably deluding your self. Much can happen in the next two years. And there is more than enough of the old-Ford poking through the current veneer to convince us that he has hardly traded in his crude, rude and bombastic approach to politics. What Ford has shown too many times is his impatience for political realities.

What he has yet to realize is that if you want to drain the swamp at Queen’s Park, you had better have planned ahead for questions, such as, ‘Where are the alligators going to live?’.

But pre-planning is not Ford’s forte. He is, at best, an uneducated, seat-of-the-pants salesman. When it is your father’s business, you can sometimes get away with bluff and bluster. And his late brother left him with a limited understanding of politics. His first 18 months at Queen’s Park were not so easy.

Ford was rescued by a pandemic. He started out bluffing it, and then looked around and realized that everyone else was just as confused, and as scared as he was. He also saw that the smart politicians were listening to the medical experts and following their instructions. He could do that. With some rough spots and a bit of bluster now and then, he got with the program.

Unlike prime minister Trudeau who does a single at the Rideau Cottage cuckoo clock, Ford uses political and civil service back-up for his briefings. Sometimes, it is worth it to watch health minister Christine Elliott’s limited range of expressions as Ford does his spiel

Ford must have liked it when he started getting kudos on how good a job he is doing. That could go to his head.

And he looked silly as he vacillated on the question of people going to their cottages. The economy of the lake country of Ontario depends on that traffic north that marks holiday times.

In politics, it is win some, lose some. It is still a long way to the next election in Ontario.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Glen’s coat of many colors turns Green.

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

Former mayor of Winnipeg, former member of the Ontario legislature, former Ontario cabinet minister and former executive director of the Calgary-based Pembina Institute, Glen Murray, has a new quest. He wants to replace Elizabeth May as head of the Green Party of Canada. It might not be one of his best ideas.

What best illustrates the problem with Murray is when you google his name and the Pembina Institute. What you get is two announcements. One is his appointment as executive director of the institute and then, a year later, is his resignation. It makes you wonder what happened in between?

The only statement of interest about the resignation was made to a reporter at the time. It was the information that he was returning to Winnipeg, and ‘No, he was no longer interested in politics.’

Murray was the first openly gay mayor of a large Canadian city. When he came to Toronto, he quickly became part of Toronto’s large gay community and when the local MPP stepped down, Murray was acclaimed to run for the liberals. He won in 2009 and served in the liberal cabinet over the next eight years in the portfolios of innovation and research, transportation, and environment and climate change.

Murray even ran for the leadership of the liberal party. He gave this up to make a deal with Kathleen Wynne two weeks before the convention. He virtually gave her the role of premier of Canada’s largest province. And served in her cabinet until his resignation in 2017. It was the next year that the party was decimated in the general election and conservative Doug Ford became premier.

The only accomplishment that Murray took the credit for in the liberal cabinet was the implementation of cap-and-trade to lower carbon emissions. If this is what he has to offer Canada’s green party, they need to understand that cap-and-trade is something that is very hard to explain to the general public. It is carried on out of public view and requires lots of explanation to the voters.

Doug Ford killed cap-and-trade in Ontario as soon as he took over as premier. The voters will probably never know how much it cost them.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me