Posts Tagged ‘Doug Ford’

‘Dougie did it!’

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

Mother did not like those words. The youngest of my brothers was Douglas. Of the six kids, he was mother’s pride and joy. She hated to hear the words, ‘Dougie did it’ from everything such as a raid on the cookies to blood splatter. I think she stopped blaming the rest of us when her Douglas got his doctoral degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

I was thinking of that the other day when the Doug of Ford family fame and premier of Ontario stuck his foot in another barn yard plop. This is the new Highway 413 that is being proposed for the area west of Toronto.

This proposed toll highway is also known as the Toronto West corridor and goes from about nowhere to nowhere important. It is supposed to go from one of the most crowded highway corridors in Ontario, which is the Toronto to Kitchener stretch of Highway 401, to the most crowded stretch of Highway 400 in the City of Vaughan.

It is enough to make you wish that premier Doug had not fled higher learning after only two months of Humber College. He wanted to be the super salesman of his father’s decals.

Highway 413 might just be the most useless highway Ontario has ever wanted to build. And here we all thought that Highway 407/412 was going to be the last of the toll roads in the province. To keep giving away highways to private interests to bleed us for money is ridiculous. I have never understood a toll road that costs you more than that new SUV you buy every few years.

About the only excuse for the billions to be wasted on the project is as a favour to premier Doug’s developer friends. The proposed route of the highway is through some of Ontario’s most prosperous farmland, greenbelt, the Paris-Galt moraine, crowded urban development and supposedly protected wetlands.

Reading about this disaster reminded me to call my brother Doug in Ohio to see how he was doing in the pandemic. He used to be pastor of a village Presbyterian church in that part of Ontario. Times, premiers. pastors and highways change.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Andrea Horwath has an easy job.

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Other than being insulted occasionally by Ontario’s premier-in-training, the new democrat’s Andrea Horwath seems to enjoy her continuing role as leader of the opposition at Queen’s Park. The biggest complaint we have heard about her recently is that they never answer the phones in her riding office in Hamilton. You would think with a $4 million budget for the opposition offices at Queen’s Park, she could get her phones answered.

But she is going to have to enjoy her role for now. It is due for a change.

What Horwath and the new democrats do not seem to understand is that what ever supposed electoral successes they have enjoyed over the past twelve years of her holding down the leader role, it was never her accomplishment. Horwath remains an unknown and uninspiring leader of a party mired in the past. Every gain she has made in the elections, during her leadership, have been courtesy the liberal party and its hapless leadership.

Horwath’s first premier as NDP leader was Dalton McGuinty. He was not called premier dad for no reason. It was not a compliment. He was on his last legs as head of the liberals at that time. He might have been an uninspiring premier but Ontario had gained by the environmentalism his party exhibited.

Kathleen Wynne got a majority back in the 2014 election and took the party further down hill every day she was in office. She actually threw the 2018 election by surrendering before election day. She betrayed her party. She left Andrea Horwath to face off against populist conservative Doug Ford.

You have to admit that Doug Ford might be a faster learner than Andrea Horwath. He makes classic mistakes but the problem is that Andrea Horwath has been unable to capitalize on them.

Ford pointed out last week that Horwath was more annoying than anything else. She is unable to get around that pompous ass of a premier. She needs to stop whining and learn to make fun of him. He can be made a subject of ridicule. It is just that Horwath does not know how.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

The silence of Doug Ford’s lambs.

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Sometime in the next couple months, the province of Ontario is expected to offer me the opportunity to get one or two jabs with a needle. This knowledge alone is helping to lift me out of some of my covid-19 doldrums. As I am considered to be among the more vulnerable citizens and supposedly have early access in getting the shot(s), I have been waiting for a call.

But my hopes were somewhat dashed the other day by writer Martin Regg Cohn at the Toronto Star. He says that all we are hearing is static about the arrangements. Nobody at Queen’s Park has any information for us.

And we have already heard enough from the prime minister. Justin Trudeau knows nothing about the problems facing a company making something as complex as a vaccine. It is not his fault that there are no Canadian vaccines yet available. He has placed orders with everyone now delivering and soon to be delivering. He has done his job. There are always a few glitches in delivery.

But there is no excuse for the people in Ontario who are supposed to vaccinate us. A delay in product reaching them is no time for them to sit back and carp about the incompetence of the feds. It is an opportunity for them to get their act together and make sure that everyone is ready to get their shot in the correct order.

Many had a good laugh about them bringing in the army. Personally, I would have called in Purolator. At least those people have a better idea of how to reach anybody and everybody in the province. You bring in the army when you want order and discipline, maybe someone shot—or to shovel their snow.

But why are they not spending this time getting organized? Why are they not arranging the place, who’s wielding the hypodermics, and letting us know? And bear in mind that this first squadron of people to be poked are not those you would ask to stand in line for long. These are people with health problems and maybe age working against them. And for goodness sake, do not order them around. They might fight back.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Don’t believe it can’t happen here.

Friday, February 5th, 2021

There seems to be some arguments these days about whether Canadians have to suffer through the same political mistakes made by Americans. We hardly seem to have to wait long to have our own version of Donald Trump. It is a toss-up whether Doug Ford of Ontario or Jason Kenney in Alberta is the better stand-in for Trump.

I tend to lean towards Ford. Trump proved that he was an incompetent. Ford shows all those same traits. He was still running for office as leader of the conservatives when he was caught negotiating a deal with some developers to let them build on protected aquifer lands that provide the greater Toronto area with fresh water. And Ontario voters were so tired of the liberals that they elected him anyway.

And did you understand why, when once in office, he wanted the Ontario Police to provide him with a roaming bedroom—so he could keep tuned up, so to speak. Like Trump, Ford is always pissed with the news media and tries to give out his own version of events.

Mind you, he is not as bad as fellow conservative Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta. Not satisfied with the efforts of Post Media to please him, Kenney runs his own version of Alberta news from Calgary’s Petroleum Club. The ranting and tantrums that Kenney had about incoming U.S. president Biden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline were a classic. He even said that he was going to sue the Americans for the taxpayers’ money he had put into that pipeline.

We will have to wait a couple years to see if the pundits are right that enough Alberta voters are ready to turf Kenney.

Both Ford and Kenney are supposed to get in line behind federal conservative leader Erin O’Toole in saying nasty things about Justin Trudeau. We suspect that Canadian voters are not interested in a federal election until the pandemic can be declared to be over. And then all bets will be off until the dust of the federal and provincial elections settles.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Our failing democracy.

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

We are all responsible. We are failing to support democracy. We are making bad choices in leaders, bad choices in who represents us and failing to demand that they protect our democratic institutions and customs. And we can only blame ourselves.

We need to face the facts: our political parties are failing us. Bad leaders speak volumes about the parties they are chosen to lead. Do you think the Ontario conservatives are pleased with their choice of a blowhard such as Doug Ford as leader? Do you think rank and file new democrats across Canada are pleased with the leadership of Jagmeet Singh? He has no idea where that party needs to go. And I would say harsh words for the federal conservative leader but sometimes the parties do not get much of a choice.

But the real challenge is in the court of the federal liberals. We laughed with Justin Trudeau in 2015. We were so pleased to be rid of the Harper conservatives at the time that we did not pay enough attention. Trudeau lied to the liberal party and we let him get away with it. He promised us a new era of party resurgence. The only problem was the party could only go where he wanted it to go. And today, the liberal party is powerless to bring him to heel.

Trudeau has proved himself an elitist. He only lets the party go where he wants it to go. He and his circle rule from the prime minister’s office and never a negative word is heard.

We wondered when he holidayed with the Aga Khan. We cringed when a trip to India was a family dress-up occasion. He seemed forgetful with the We charity. He saw no problem in trying to corrupt his justice minister. He demoted and fired ministers who said ‘no,’ Gender equality seemed difficult.

And when he told us that 2015 was the last time Canadians would use first-past-the-post voting to choose a parliament, many believed him. He failed to democratize the Senate. He chose the selections of elitist committees. He burnt himself in his selection of a governor general.

Canadians want and have the right to demand truth, honesty and integrity in their prime ministers. We need to get back to that.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Canadians are on to O’Toole.

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Every time I look at conservative leader Erin O’Toole, he reminds me of cartoons of the bloated English capitalist.  What makes me laugh though are his on-going attempts to create a conservative party more acceptable to the mainstream of Canadian voters. And I hardly think tossing Derek Sloan out of the party caucus will achieve much.

But it was obvious that something more than confusion, over the name of a donor to Sloan’s leadership campaign, was behind the attitude of the conservative caucus. The very fact of O’Toole trusting the caucus to oust Sloan, said there was more.

The last time, we looked at O’Toole in Babel-on-the-Bay, our opinion was that he was going nowhere. He will have a hard time convincing people that he is fit to follow Stephen Harper. He has neither the smarts, the experience nor the understanding of his party to pull that mishmash together.

And no, he is not as apolitical as Trump but nor is he as dictatorial as Harper. Harper ran the party with an iron hand. He silenced the social conservatives, dominated the extreme right and held those such as O’Toole up for ridicule.

To be fair, O’Toole is smarter than conservative premiers Ford in Ontario, Kenney in Alberta, Moe in Saskatchewan and Pallister in Manitoba, even if they do set a fairly low bar. The only problem is that those are the four provinces that O’Toole needs to have securely in his pocket to leave him free to work the east and the west to have any hope of defeating Trudeau’s liberals. The day that they can deliver the kind of help that O’Toole is going to need will depend on what they had for breakfast. Ford is the least political, Kenney has his own agenda, Pallister would rather be in Costa Rica and Moe seems to prefer to serve as second banana to Kenney.

If O’Toole wants to consider the conservative party as his own, he should have at it. He will only be disillusioning himself.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Ford unlocks his lockdown.

Friday, January 15th, 2021

It is not just Ontario residents who are confused. They are in a “lockdown” that nobody understands. The wife and I very much wanted to see an old friend this weekend. We finally figured out that under premier Ford’s lockdown rules, the two of us could not go and visit the other person but the one person could come and see us. Go figure that one?

To be honest with you, I never have been a fan of Mr. Ford. He is a label salesman gone amok. He was the worst councilor ever on Toronto city council for one term. He lost in his attempt at immediately running for mayor and landed in the premier’s job more by accident than design.

As premier of Canada’s most populous province, he immediately proved himself vindictive—disrupting the Toronto elections by reducing the number of councilors. He showed his true colors as an anti-environmentalist—promising developers they would be able to build on Toronto’s natural aquifer.

And while he never really provided us beer drinkers with his promised buck-a-beer, he proved his calling by ordering libelous stickers making false claims about the federal government’s carbon tax—until the courts instructed the province to take them down.

But when the pandemic first swept through Ontario, Ford was unprepared and rarely listened to anybody. It is the second wave that is threatening to decimate our population that has left him confused and angry. He begs and blusters for the news media instead of directing them to scientific sources. He, shamelessly, uses his cabinet colleagues to confuse and cover for him. He uses expert sources as a last resort.

It is his latest lockdown that has left us all in the dark. He tells us what is open and closed and what hours the open can be open. And what makes no sense is who can be dealing out the front door and who can invite you in to shop and why the big box stores are open when the desperate small store can starve.

This must be what happens when a label salesman tries to run a province. Let us hope that Ontario remembers when the opportunity for change comes along.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Are any conservatives listening?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

It is something of a wonder that Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta, Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, and Erin O’Toole, federal conservative leader, are members of the same political party. The only similarity between the three gentlemen is that they all blame Justin Trudeau for their problems, provincially and across Canada. And that seems like a very heavy load for Canada’s prime minister to carry.

No doubt there are a growing number of Albertans who wish Mr. Kenney spent less of their money on pipelines for diluted bitumen and more on health care. They think he should be paying more attention to the current pandemic than the price of oil—which is obviously not going to suddenly solve all their problems.

At a time when his province is so obviously in need of leadership, Jason Kenney has been reluctant to place any restraints on Albertans. Citizens of Alberta who want to ignore the simple rules that could reduce and prevent the spread of coronavirus are creating the highest incidence of covid-19 in the country.

The news media in Ontario had been giving Doug Ford time to grasp the reins of his job but disillusionment has been growing. Just when you think the guy is doing the job, he reverts to his basic cronyism. Having his majority conservatives approve a bill that includes university status for his friend Charles McVety’s Canada Christian College is a slam at Ontario’s properly run and qualified universities.

Add to that, Ford’s disregard for Ontario’s years of building safeguards for our environment. He is destroying those years of hard work by conservative, liberal and new democratic governments to cater to his developer supporters. It is open season on the environment in Ontario.

And the federal conservative leader is not much help either. He is trying to build a fictitious ‘big tent’ party that more Canadians can support. To do this, he is ignoring the more strident members of his federal caucus such as Pierre Poilievre who thinks we are spending too much helping Canadians through the pandemic and MP Derek Sloan who wants to warn people against vaccines.

It would seem that Canadians would be better off if they had more politicians who put Canadians first and their party second.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

The auditor versus the label salesman.

Friday, November 27th, 2020

It might not be a fair fight but Ontario voters are enjoying it. The ups and downs and the tantrums of former label salesman and now premier Doug Ford are generally entertaining but when he and the province’s auditor general cross swords, the province can see the problems with better clarity.

The problem might be that both of the protagonists are out of their depth. The problem is that Doug Ford’s limited education and political experience, ill prepared him to do battle with both a coronavirus and an experienced auditor general.

You can also make the claim that, once again, auditor general Bonnie Lysyk has overstepped the bounds of her job. That does not make her wrong in telling us that Ford and his Tories are doing a lousy job on the pandemic. When the conservative premiers have made it very clear to Ottawa that the federal role is to do nothing but send money, we have to hope they know what they are doing.

And we agree that Bonnie Lysyk continues to exceed her financial accountability role to point out the lousy job the politicians are doing. She has also pointed out that the province’s medical officer of health is also not doing his job.

But why should that matter when the Ford government is not listening to him either.

What this all boils down to is that once again, the auditor general of Ontario has pointed out the deep pile of do-do that the Ontario government is driving us into. That is her job. How she does it is another matter. She did the same things to the liberals when they were in power.

But we know for a fact now that Ford and his Tories are doing a lousy job. And we have also learned that Ford’s minister of health is no better at her job than the premier is at his.

We hear a retired army general will be reporting in at Queen’s Park to take over distribution logistics for coming vaccines. Let’s hope that he does a better job at that than the politicians have done so far.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Back to the Bully Pulpit.

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

It might have been a term coined by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt but our prime minister Justin Trudeau did the bully pulpit one better. It was living in Rideau Cottage while the official residence at 21 Sussex was under repair. Trudeau did a cuckoo clock single out the front door of the cottage to address the latest news of the coronavirus.

Where lesser Luminoso would need support by technical experts or henchmen, our prime minister does it alone.

It actually seems more crowded all the time at the Ontario political updates. Despite the team effort, Doug Ford is losing traction with his voters as he rants on. His problem is that he little understands the experts and leans heavily on his own solutions. People are questioning the science behind some of his answers. The largest puzzle he presented recently is closing virtually all small business in the most populous cities in the province while leaving the schools in operation. And it will not help to look to education minister Stephen Lecce for answers.

But even from his bully pulpit, Justin Trudeau knows better than to challenge how some conservative premiers are handling the pandemic problems. Health care is in the hands of the provinces and the feds would be crazy to intervene. All Trudeau can really do is support the provincial efforts and plead for public cooperation in these serious times.

Even when we have some vaccines in the offing, the rapidly escalating case loads of pandemic sufferers is of growing concern. Hospitals in some provinces are reaching capacity and there are fewer and fewer healthy health care workers to fill the gaps.

But what Trudeau can do is throw more aid money into the maw of the coronavirus. In some provinces we are looking at disaster as more and more of our small businesses are ordered to shut their doors, never able to re-open. We will suffer the sores of this pandemic for years to come.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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