Posts Tagged ‘Doug Ford’

Repeating history with Doug Ford.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

The worst of the mistakes made by Mike Harris, conservative premier of Ontario from 1995 to 2002, was the downloading of provincial government expenses to municipalities. It was a stupid and ill-advised. And despite the lessons learned, we now have premier Doug Ford following in Harris’ draconian footsteps.

Where the municipalities had thought the Ford government had backed down on some of these moves, he announced them anew this week at the annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). Where he had backed down on cutting funding for ambulance costs, daycare support and public health retroactively this year, he has now promised the cuts for next year.

These are all services that the previous liberal government had assured the municipalities would be looked after by the province. While there were few details in the speech that the premier read from a teleprompter, it is assumed that it will be at least 30 per cent of these costs will end up coming from municipal revenues.

Each of these services is essential to the well being of Ontario’s municipalities and they can only pay for them with substantial increases in property taxes or cutting of other core services.

These changes are believed to be designed to aid the provincial government in covering more of its deficit without raising taxes. It is supposed to make the provincial politicians look better at controlling the taxpayers’ money than the municipalities. When premier Mike Harris did it, he had little understanding of the economics of the province and its municipalities and many of the cuts he made caused serious results in services delivered and even deaths from failure in delivery of essential services that people had trusted.

Doug Ford, on the other hand, continues to want to get even with Toronto for the way the city treated his brother when mayor.

Mike Harris wanted to create a legacy. Doug Ford is just vindictive.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The Funny Farm runs the election.

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

It is that time of year. Mid-summer is no time for serious. Even Elections Canada has joined the fun. In a television interview yesterday, an Elections Canada spokes person said with a straight face that she did not know what is being told to environmentalists about the rules of arguing with politicians who are climate change deniers.

It was the same laugh as I had when as president of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a friend, who happened to be a member of Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet, told me I would have to register as a lobbyist before asking him to increase funding for medical research. All he got for that advice was a raising of my middle finger.

It seemed the media were having some fun yesterday interpreting the election rules that no judge would allow to waste the time of the court. While technically you could say that the MS Society was spending more than the limit for media space during the period of the election, that media time and space was all donated to the society by the print and broadcast media companies.

The entire discussion is inane but a friend called me yesterday to discuss the idea of the flat earth society running candidates in the election. He thought it would be funny if we would all have to stop showing the earth as round during the election.

But this is closer to the truth than you think. As much as you might think Maxime Bernier has scrambled a few marbles, he has a right to his disbelief in climate change. He seems to think this is all just some form of hysteria.

But what is even funnier. I am thinking we all should be complaining to Elections Canada about these stickers that Ontario taxpayers are paying to put on gas pumps in the province during the election period. How much did those political advertisements cost?

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Big Brother baffles business.

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Ontario premier Doug Ford claims he is really just a businessman. Prior to becoming premier, his only claim to fame was his second banana role for his late brother when Rob Ford was mayor of Toronto. Before that Doug was just a salesman for his father’s label printing company. Where did you think he got the idea for stickers on gas pumps? It originated with the oil companies when they were tired of being blamed for the high taxes on gas by both feds and province.

But why are the oil companies acting so gutless when asked to put only part truths on their pumps? No court would order them to comply. And what if the federal government gave them a bigger sticker to put on their gas pumps? Would they say enough is enough then?

And what would Ford do if the oil companies told him to stick his stickers where the sun does not shine. The idea of the federal carbon tax is that the costs at the pumps will be rebated to consumers. The rebate goes up along with the tax. And while Dougie thinks he is shafting the feds, he is making money for the sticker business and making himself look childish.

The only thing that is concerning is whether Justin Trudeau will know when to stop attacking Ford. The Ontario premier might not have the political common sense but the federal prime minister has advisors who can tell when Dougie has been belittled enough. It would hardly pay to have voters feeling sorry for the sorry Ford.

It would be best to leave the outcome of this sticker foolishness to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. That worthy organization has already made it clear that the Ford stickers are a direct denial of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Waiting for Doug Ford.

Friday, August 16th, 2019

C’mon Dougie, Let’s see some action here in Ontario. You talked the talk. You walked the walk. Now, when do we see some action? A populist makes promises and people expect things to happen. We were promised beer in the corner convenience stores. Make it so!

You might not have been the first politician to make that promise but you are the first to be expected to deliver on it. Other politicians gave the corner stores lotteries to help them survive. They have had cigarette sales to help their income. (It is a dying market—in more ways than one.) It will be six packs of beer that will bring these family-run stores the traffic they need. Think of how healthy it will be to walk to the corner store for a six pack and a bag of pretzels, or a bottle of plonk for dinner.

Only a man of the people would think of it. Hell, that woman you replaced as premier only wanted the six packs in the grocery stores. She let the bureaucrats make sure that the grocery stores made next to nothing for their effort. Is that the way to do things? You give Costco and Walmart the two-fours, the grocery stores the dozens and the convenience stores the six packs. And if you let them set their own selling price all will be right with the world. Let the market decide.

And heads should be rolling about the fiasco with the liquor control board’s ordering system. I never know what the hell I will be bringing home in the way of vin ordinaire these days. And even in ordering from the back of an envelope, those idiots should remember to always have lots of the good stuff from the Beaune region of France. Their penalty for screwing up should be no six packs from the big three brewers until they get things right.

And in the couple years you have left in the premier’s chair Dougie, you might just consider this: If you need another ten billion or so to cover some of your missteps you have made in the premier’s office, you can always sell the LCBO. And do not sell it as a package. Keep the ordering system (when fixed) because the volumes are important. Sell the stores one at a time and make a potful of money. Sell boutique wine licences for more. And remember to take taxes coming and going. The government needs the money.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Diogenes, Leadership and SNC-Lavalin.

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

There is no time left for what might have been. Canadians are going into an election when what we so desperately want to say is ‘None of the above.’ Are we condemned to face a future of failure? Are we helpless? Have we found there is no honest man?

Justin Trudeau embarrasses us. Jagmeet Singh insults us. Andrew Scheer frightens us and there is no other workable solution.

Justin Trudeau has been weighed in the scales and found wanting. He should have resigned six months ago and given the liberal party a chance to regroup. His chief of staff knew to resign. The clerk of the privy council chose to resign. Justin Trudeau believed that he was untouchable. He was aiding his enemies. He was creating a conundrum for Canadian voters.

In a world facing disastrous climate change, we are seeing the frustration of electorates and civilizations around the world. Populists of the right and left are our false prophets. We turn to a Trump or Brexit and wonder at the failures.

In Canada, that so welcomes those seeking freedom from oppression, a single ethnic group swamps the membership of a political party. Singh embarrasses the NDP. This is no solution.

And it has been an extended silly season for the conservatives in the past few years. They had a federal leadership that chose the least of potential leaders in a federal lottery that proved that leadership does not matter. And then they chose right-wing demigods in Alberta and Ontario to claim the conservative brand.

With two months to go before the election, there is much to resolve. Canadians are resourceful. Let us find that solution together.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The gang that can’t even sell pot.

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

It is hard to believe that Doug Ford’s gang in Ontario cannot even get a handle on the pot business. Is there no part of government in which they have some expertise? Did the late Toronto mayor Rob Ford fail to pass on some tips in drug marketing to his older brother? The word we are getting from the streets is that the government-controlled pot shops are operating at serious losses while many Ontario buyers are going back to their old street sources.

And the legal shops are failing to compete. It seems that the government has been unaware of the three cardinal rules of retailing. They are location, location and location.

Who can afford to waste money on locking up an ideal location when the license will be drawn by lot? Who can compete when your pricing is controlled, as are your promotion efforts?

But what did you expect when a former cop made all the rules at the federal level and general incompetence is the order of the day at the provincial level?

What can the legal shops do when the illicit vendors are pricing themselves at an average of 40 per cent less than legal marijuana? In some cases, outside of Toronto, there are reports of illegal vendors offering product at about ten per cent of prices by licenced vendors.

And that is just one more problem that this government cannot seem to handle: The facts are that the rest of this province is not the same as Toronto. The premier is so busy fighting old municipal battles in Toronto, that he has no time for the problems elsewhere.

What our governments need to realize is that the legalizing of marijuana was designed to get the market out of the hands of criminals. It is most upsetting to have to report that, in Ontario, the criminals are winning.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The Brits are crazy too.

Monday, July 29th, 2019

There is a pattern emerging. What particular hell we are heading for might still be a mystery but I fear the pace is accelerating. What you would have thought impossible a few years ago is to-day’s horror.

To make matters worse, there is no discerning a rational path for the phenomenon. For one, I think it started with Donald Trump arguing with President Obama about where he was born. Now, why would that lead to Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton? You can hardly blame Clinton for not knowing how to put down Trump. Nobody knew what to do about Trump; least of all Trump. He was surprised as every other American when his ridiculous campaign won the Electoral College and the presidency of the United States of America.

And America has suffered the indignity ever since.

But Canadians have nothing to laugh at. We had an indication of the problem when that misogynist Jason Kenney torpedoed Rachel Notley in Alberta. A third of the Canadian population soon got their come-uppance in Ontario when that nitwit Doug Ford suddenly landed in our laps as premier of our province. And we had no idea why we deserved it. All we knew was that there was a strange disease invading our lands. We were electing fools and charlatans.

But, not to be undercut by lesser minds, the Brits were out to show us up. It started with some Brexit agitation and soon got out of hand. In their typical way, the Brits delegated the task of soothing the pain of Brexit to a person who would do better running a private girls’ school.

They have now replaced the headmistress with one of the nincompoops who started the Brexit business. Would you believe that the guy with the perpetual bad hair day is now the first minister in the Queen’s cabinet? This could drive the poor old dear to consume more of the palace’s Sherry.

Can you not just imagine Boris Johnson flying back from Brussels one day soon, waving a piece of paper and claiming: “Brexit, in our time!”

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

A house divided or a leaderless nation?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

There was an excellent discussion in Progressive Bloggers the other day by the gentleman who writes under the nom de plume of The Mound of Sound. A very small quibble you might have with the article was there were a couple times that you might be confused as to whether he was writing about the United States or Canada? I would argue with The Mound that the current tensions in Canada might be more serious than America being a world-wide laughingstock.

To put it to rest, I think the Americans have been living with their corrupt political system for too long not to see their road to redemption.  We can have high hopes for people such as those four young House of Representatives members that Trump brought to prominence in his usual boorish way. Those, and others who share their drive and ambition, are the ones who can help lead the fight to unseat emperor Trump next year. Without them, there would be no hope for America.

I feel much more concern for the imbroglio Canadians are heading towards in just three months. This election is becoming unwinnable for any party. It is based on regional greed, regional barriers, angry aboriginals, mistreated veterans, open bribery, serious environmental concerns and a lot of lies and a large helping of stupidity (and don’t ask me which party has the largest share of that).

It is very hard to believe that I live in a riding open to a win by the liberals and the incompetents running the liberal party have no candidate here, with an election in less than 100 days. I have no idea why these people cannot learn anything. These idiots have known about this coming election for four years yet they have allowed the riding to lose more than two-thirds of the party membership it had four years ago. Explain the genius behind that and you get a gold star.

That hardly could explain why conservative leader ‘Chuckles’ Scheer needs to find a way to silence Jason Kenney in Alberta and send him and Doug Ford to Antarctica to check out global warming for the next three months.  Justin Trudeau is going to walk up one side of Chuckles and down the other in this election and it will hardly make any difference in the final result.

All I know is that, whatever happens, Justin will not like it.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

When Premiers come out to play.

Sunday, July 14th, 2019

It was an interesting pack of premiers around the conference table at this year’s Canadian premiers’ meeting. They hardly had Justin Trudeau under their thumb. And they hardly bothered to try.

This was a meeting to plan for October’s federal election. The odd men out were the bookends—John Horgan of British Columbia, NDP, and Dwight Ball of Newfoundland and Labrador, liberal. It was hardly a surprise for the premiers to recognize François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) as an honorary conservative regime.

The conservative cohort were all invited to a preplanning meeting and a flapjack flipping event at the Calgary Stampede the week before. At that meeting, the real chair of the premiers, Jason Kenney held sway. The only notable aspect of that event was when they found out that Doug Ford could not flip a flapjack without burning it.

But then Ford was out of his element at both meetings. The other premiers found him boring, competitive, wrong and rude. He made the opening gaff of the conference in Saskatoon by not attending the opening meeting with some of Canada’s aboriginal leaders on a reserve just outside of town. (God forbid that he ever learn anything or to even respect others.)

What was different at the actual conference was the unanimity of the premiers demanding that more be done to combat Buy America policies in the U.S. that run counter to the new North American trade agreement, that might or might not be approved by Congress in the next year.

There were also the usual promises to do something about trade barriers between provinces that business people have been struggling with for many years. It was just another chance for Ford to do some sloganeering about Ontario being open for business. They knew that.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Do-Gooders be Damned.

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Why do these do-gooders settle for half measures? If the medical officer of health for Toronto has decided that booze is bad for you, why is she allowing any sales to the unsuspecting public? If booze is bad for us, why doesn’t she have it banned?

It just seems silly that, if we are pickling our livers with demon rum, her job is to save us from ourselves. ‘Ban the booze’ should be her answer. They made the point with cigarettes. It is only a small percentage of the population that are still bent on killing themselves with smoking. We all seem to know that smokers are a dying breed.

Are we citizens who like a cold, frosty beer on a hot summer day next? Or are we to be done in by stealth by an excellent cabernet sauvignon? Or is that after-dinner brandy, to be our nemesis?

It seems unfair that the delightful margherita is no more than an adult slushie in disguise. In my misspent youth in Alberta, I took my beer with tomato juice and I credited it for my excellent health. I guess I was deluding myself.

But this discussion started when Toronto’s medical officer of health objected to the sale of beer and wine at convenience stores. God forbid that we should make the purchase of a six-pack more difficult than a healthy walk to the corner store. What the hell is her problem? Does she think it is alright to send your chauffeur to one of those smelly recycling places to get you a two-four?

Let’s face facts. In Ontario, it is tough enough to find anything that the Ford government does, to be responsible, or smart, or responsive. If just occasionally, they do something that should have been done many years ago, such as putting beer in convenience stores, give the idiots a break. Pat your conservative MPP on the head and tell him or her that they done good. It happens rarely, they will appreciate the gesture.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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