Posts Tagged ‘Doug Ford’

Keep your enemies close.

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Ontario premier Doug Ford has found out that shuffling cabinet members is more difficult than the original creation of the cabinet. He not only has to deal with broken promises and damaged egos but he has to evaluate the anger generated by demotion and the ability of those wounded to get even. It is even more of a problem when the major change really needs to be made at the head of the cabinet table.

This is a game that the Fordster cannot win. For every problem solved, two or three are created. Dumping North Bay’s Vic Fedelli as minister of finance was something akin to pissing off a python. The best-dressed guy in Northern Ontario might have a vicious streak. (Just ask former conservative leader Patrick Brown.)

It is really a question as to who makes the first move to get even. One of the two Lisa’s might be the more dangerous. Lisa MacLeod could be angry as Ford punted her from social services to tourism and sport.

But then, Lisa Thompson was all set to go to war with the teachers’ unions when she was yanked from education and dumped into government and consumer services. It is likely it will take her a while to understand the differences between the two ministries.

But speaking of being sidelined, what do you think of what Doug did to Brian Mulroney’s kid? He took an axe to her dreams of fame and fortune in Canadian politics, in daddy’s footsteps. Mind you, Ford replaced her with a ward healer from Orillia who had been airlifted into Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte by the Ford brain-trust in the election last year. Neither of those failures to launch is ready for the heavy duty of being chief law officer for the Ontario government. Now who is going to keep our Dougie out of the courts of justice?

With seven new faces in the cabinet, Mr. Ford hardly wanted any of the ministers he dumped, turned loose to do him harm. It is getting a bit crowded around the cabinet table.

And we should mention Rod Phillips, Ontario’s new finance minister. Maybe minister Phillips will bring some of his magic from when he was head of Ontario Lottery and Gaming to the job. I have always thought of him as Paul Godfrey’s errand boy. My, they grow up so fast!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

If you paint a pig green?

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

The question is if you paint a pig green, would it no longer roll in the mud? And if we are concerned about the environment, should we vote for a party called ‘Green’? Is it that simple? Have we solved the problem of global warming, have we protected the environment and will we all live happily ever after?

Maybe life is not so simple. There must be other political parties that care about the environment. Why, just the other day, the prime minister announced that we were going to do something about single-use plastics. He painted a rather gruesome picture for us of whales washing up on shore with their stomachs full of plastics that are drifting through our seas.

Of course, the PM allowed for exceptions. He figures that we will need at least four years to determine what plastics to ban, what to convert from plastic to some more degradable material and what will have to be an exception for later banning. He sees it as an opportunity to create some new industries. He was vague on details.

We could check on the new democrats. They always have good things to say about the environment in their pamphlets. Maybe they will not look like such hypocrites now that former NDP premier Rachel Notley is no longer beating the drum for more tar sands bitumen to add to world pollution. She wanted pipelines and rail cars to get the bitumen to ports where the stuff could be shipped to countries that do not worry so much about pollution.

And you would think that the NDP opposition in Ontario would be making the most of their opportunity to show up premier Ford and his conservative cronies for their appalling ignorance about the environment and the causes of global warming. So much for the NDP!

And as for Mr. Ford and friends: Those ignoramuses are using our taxpayers’ money to say they have a better plan for global warming. I think it includes toasting marshmallows.

And that basically leaves those people painted green. They remind me of the ancient Britons who were druids and worshiped trees and painted their backsides blue.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Chuckles’ is Counting on Chaos.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has reason to worry about the antics of Ontario premier Doug Ford. With less than five months to the scheduled October election, the conservative leader’s team knows the election is really going to be fought in British Columbia and Ontario. The other provinces are predictable. It is a butterfly already flapping its wings on the west coast that will create the chaos in Ontario.

And Chuckles Scheer is counting on that chaos. He needs something to upset the balance of Ontario’s traditional voting patterns. He needs warning signs on the economy. He needs layoffs and union unrest.

Scheer is looking for seats in liberal Toronto. He needs NDP seats in Hamilton and Northern Ontario. And it is the chaos caused by premier Doug Ford that can help deliver that. Without chaos, Ontario remains a federal liberal fortress.

And to further frustrate Scheer, he cannot be seen condoning Ford’s foolish antics. All he had planned to do this fall, as Ford tore into Trudeau, was to tsk-tsk and comment that boys will be boys.

But Dougie might be planning to hide out for the summer at the Ford’s summer compound. He wants to be as far away as possible from the antics at Toronto’s Pride parades and festivities. The whole idea was for Scheer to act as the only adult available in October and be seen as a stabilizing factor by the voters.

While it would be hard to believe of Ford, he might have even promised himself to stay out of the federal election. After all Kenney and Moe in Alberta and Saskatchewan are hardly going to make a difference leading their provinces against the liberals. The Plains are no happy hunting ground for Trudeau. He might as well overfly and forget those two provinces.

As for B.C., Trudeau’s fate hangs by the thread of the Trans Mountain pipeline. If he can just find some way to get out from under the weight of that pipeline, he might not come to a complete slaughter at the polls in that part of the country.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Mixing ignorance and ideology in Ontario.

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

It’s a bad combination. Ignorance in itself is bad enough but in a mix with an ideology as strident as conservatism, it is simply bad government. It is a colonic that the people of Ontario do not need.

It is hardly surprising that today you listen to the quiet admissions of the loudest and angriest voters in the last Ontario election. They told you bluntly to shut up last year when you tried to explain the dangers of a blow-hard fool of a leader and a get-even attitude.

Maybe it is not as dangerous as the situation in the United States. Donald Trump has no ideology and governs on ignorant whims. At least Doug Ford is not allowed to declare war. Mind you, it was similar that as soon as coming into office, he ripped into the Toronto politicians who disrespected him and his late brother. Premier Ford and his cadre of cronies were on a vindictive rampage.

And in the manner of tyrants everywhere, Ford claims the enemy is the budgetary shortfall and failings of the previous government. And here, in a time of high employment, he claims bad times have come and austerity the only answer. Rather than solving any problems, we have elected Ford to create problems.

Ford not only creates problems but he creates them as he ‘supposedly’ solves others. He fires the ‘six-million-dollar man’ and creates costs of many millions more. He reduces critical funding to cities and is forced to recant by the hue and cry of the citizens.

And even he can find out he is wrong. He tries to implement a ‘buck-a-beer’ promise and finds that Ontario alcohol taxes have driven the cost of a single beer far over a dollar.

Ford’s latest gambit is legislation to freeze the public service wages. This is a direct ideological attack on unions and it will likely end up before the courts. There is no economic rationale for such a freeze.

Ontario went through eight years of ideological stupidity with former conservative premier Mike Harris 16 years ago. This is far too soon for another economic enema.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

No Intervention for Doug Ford.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Those people who are promoting an intervention for premier Doug Ford’s beer bonanza are missing a few clues. First of all, an intervention is normally conducted by people who give a damn about the person who has strayed. Secondly, we figure that an intervention over beer and wine is for someone who is addicted to beer and wine. Dougie does not drink!

But I do. And I am sick and tired of the stupid, greedy, corrupted politicians of all parties in Ontario who have been playing footsie with the beer barons for more than 90 years. The real addiction is with the unconscionably high alcohol taxes inflicted on beer drinkers that Ontario drinkers have been paying over the century.

And we know that these people proposing an intervention do not give a damn for Dougie. He is simply no kind of lovable bastard. Maybe his wife and kids tolerate him because of the family money but nobody loves a pompous ass. It is just in this case, he has done something right. He has freed the peasants. And that is from the way the prohibition politicians have been treating us.

And why the hell do we only have interventions for something that the blue-stocking crowd thinks is bad for us? Why do they think having a beer at 9 a.m. is a sign of alcoholism? And why does a gentleman never send his lady friend to that smelly, disreputable Beer Store to get him a two-four?

And why does Costco not sell two-fours? The questions roll on.

But one thing for sure is that Doug Ford is not pandering to the alcoholics among us. Hell, Dougie has never cared for anyone else in his life other than maybe his mother and his deceased brother.

His brother Rob taught him that as soon as you are elected, you start campaigning for the next election. It is party time in Ford Nation.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Opportunity calling Andrew Scheer.

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

For a guy who got his job by surprise, conservative leader Andrew Scheer MP is a happy camper. He can hardly believe it when public opinion polls show him defeating liberal leader Justin Trudeau.  All he could do two years ago when he got the job of leading the party because of a dumb voting system, was put his head down, try to make peace with the unruly losers in the leadership race and concentrate on the rules of parliament. That was what he knew best.

The Saskatchewan MP was Speaker of the House of Commons during the time of Stephen Harper’s majority in parliament. All he had to do was what the prime minister told him to do. No hassle. No trouble. Maybe a bit embarrassing having to contend with the shrill antics of MPs such as Paul Calandra and Pierre Poilievre during that time but the perks of being Speaker soothed his guilt.

But now he is expected to go out on the hustings without a parachute. He has to read speeches about things he is not so sure about. The way his speech writers have him leaning on these people crossing the border to try to get refugee status in Canada has him worried that he might sound like a bigot. It is bad enough that sometimes people wonder if he wants to build a wall along the Canada-U.S. border. There might too many zeroes in that speech for him to count.

He wants to just give friendly ‘Gee-shucks’ speeches to those non-judgemental folks in his riding of Regina—Qu’Appelle. They are hardly about to question any facts or figures that the speech writers have dreamed up.

And he sure as heck wants people to stop calling him ‘Chuckles.’ He can hardly help it if his high cheek bones remind people of the Joker in the Batman comics.

But he sure hopes that people will stop asking him about global warming. He is not as sure as those guys who are helping him, premiers Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta. They know all about that false news promoted by liberals that the world is going to get too hot for humans. Maybe he thinks by then, we will have better air conditioning systems.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Fighting the facts of the future.

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

In a discussion of what is currently happening in politics, the realization emerged that provincial politicians such as Alberta’s Kenney, Saskatchewan’s Moe and Ontario’s Ford are denying our progeny a future.  It was not a question of a planned or malevolent denial of a future but simple ignorance. These men are choosing the direction that conservatism dictates, as they as they slash and cut at anything that they do not understand.

At the four-day Collision Conference, with attendees from around the world, in Toronto last week, premier Doug Ford was booed when he came to promote Ontario as the place to do business. It was the same time as his government announced that it was cutting funds to assist in the development of artificial intelligence. The $24 million might not have produced any breakthroughs in AI but was critical to positioning Ontario as a place to create the future. That one foolish error probably cost Ontario billions in investment down the road.

And look at Alberta. Jason Kenney has already announced that he will end all of Alberta’s green energy programs—as well as ending the carbon tax. He might be too late to stop the opening of Alberta’s pioneering geothermal electricity generation plant. This is something the Italians have had for the past 100 years but the Alberta facility that takes the steam to power it from below the earth’s surface will be a first in Canada.

Why conservatives do not like anything they cannot touch, taste or smell is beyond this writer’s understanding. Does the world have to end with a bang one night to convince them that global warming is a threat to human life? The world is already into the throws of turmoil as the ice caps melt and the oceans rise. Drier weather in our west is feeding wild fires while the heavier snows of winter in the east are flooding the water systems in spring. The world is responding to the carelessness of mankind.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Scheer would do better if he shut up.

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Sure, it is almost five months until the federal election but everyone is out stumping anyway. You would swear that the election was in June and everyone is getting desperate.

But there is no excuse possible for the blather we are getting from the conservatives. Who told conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer that he had to have an economic plan? He is a conservative. What else do you need to know?

The good news for Chuckles is that A) Not too many Canadians know anything about him and B), he is not prime minister Justin Trudeau. Add those two facts together and that, according to the public opinion pollsters, spells “winner.”

But every word Chuckles utters about the economy seems to be reflected back by premier Ford in Ontario. Ford never had an economic plan for his province. Why should Chuckles have one for the country?

The current problem is that premier Ford has fallen from grace. It seems that some of the cuts he has been making in everything for which the province has responsibility, are causing some second thoughts. It means that quite a few Ontario voters might look elsewhere rather than trust another conservative in Ottawa.

This situation might also be exacerbated by that new premier in Alberta. Here again we have a conservative who forgot to tell people that besides being a known misogynist, is also strongly opposed to abortion. His conservative caucus is probably dominated by social conservatives who are likely to try to end abortions in Alberta.

That is unlikely to become a problem in the other provinces except for the fact that Chuckles is also anti abortion and electing him might just get the arguments going again in this country in concert with those anti-abortion Neanderthals south of the border.

Bear in mind that there are certainly more conservative provincial governments now than there were in the last federal election. Chuckles will expect to have cooperation and endorsements from most of them. He also knows that their support of him comes at a cost.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Choosing Chuckles for Canadians?

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Of all the ridiculous strategies for the coming federal election! Why should the liberals attack the conservatives when their real opposition in the October election is themselves? To waste time attacking conservative leader and Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer is assuming that he concerns Canadians. He never has been the problem.

The liberal problem is that they have not kept their promises very well. They have made some boo-boos. They were heavy-handed with a couple of their women cabinet ministers. Yet they can hardly resort to the 1935 campaign when the liberals posed the slogan “King or Chaos.”

You can well imagine that last year in Ontario, if the slogan had been “Wynne or Chaos.” Even more voters would have voted for the Doug Ford brand of chaos. And they are getting that chaos—in spades!

It seems to this political apparatchik that there might be two types of liberal parties. There is the liberal party that owns up to its mistakes and tells the voters how it is going to do better. And then there is the party that says, “So what, we are still better than those other guys.”

I hardly think the voters give a damn for that second approach. It just makes them angrier.

And even if Chuckles and his party remain climate change deniers, how are the liberals better if they go about doubling the Trans Mountain pipeline? The Trans Mountain pipeline equipped to ship tar sands bitumen to the ocean port in the Burrard Inlet would be a disaster. It would make Justin Trudeau Canada’s number one climate-warming hypocrite.

There is no economic, environmental or political rationale for the liberals twinning that pipeline. And they would lose more votes than they could win for the effort. The world environment does not need the added carbon pollution. The old pipeline can recoup some of the taxpayers’ money as it is used to send the west coast refined gasolines and other products. It will be needed long enough to support the changeover to less-polluting forms of energy. And then it can be dismantled.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

A crying towel for the Beer Store.

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

The Ontario government must be serious about Doug Ford’s promise to open up beer and wine sales in Ontario. We have both the Beer Store management (at Brewers Warehousing) and the Beer Store union paying for TV spots complaining about possible lost jobs. I wonder why? This is an opportunity for more jobs with the company, not less. To suggest that as many as 7000 unionized jobs at the Beer Store are at risk is a flat-out lie.

To begin with, there is the need for practically doubling the current distribution capability of the Beer Store. That means building new distribution nodes and hiring staff and more drivers. Why would any other company be given the right to distribute to as many as another 10,000 convenience stores, large box stores and grocery stores. It would likely make the Beer Store the largest distribution company in Ontario, if not Canada.

Secondly, the Beer Store organization could also become the largest recycling operation in Canada. Sales at all those LCBO, grocery, big box and convenience stores would stream back to the Beer Store for recycling. Some of the stores could keep their two-four business as a side line but could do far more recycling. They might even learn to do a better job of it.

Ontario citizens know that the current government at Queen’s Park would have little understanding of what is required to back up the needs of expanded retail systems. After the thrill of watching the government look stupid trying to get marijuana retailing off the ground in Ontario, we know this will not be the problem with beer and wine. We have a reasonably good distribution system in place and all we have to do is look at doubling it.

Just why the province would be paying some guy from Alberta $1000 per day to tell them how to do this, is a tough question. Maybe he could go back to Alberta and teach that province to do a better job in booze distribution with what he learns in Ontario.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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