Posts Tagged ‘Doug Ford’

Singh’s sendoff into the sunset.

Friday, October 11th, 2019

New democratic party leader Jagmeet Singh is not going quietly. He caught some wind in his sails from that disgrace of an English debate this past week and is running with it. It was such a bad debate that Singh came out looking better than usual. And yet, it is the cruelest of deceptions to think he is on a level playing field with the two major parties in the election. Reality will return.

And reality is that we can expect the Orange Wave to be washed from the Quebec electoral scene. Few seats in Quebec will hold for the NDP? The NDP are going back to Ottawa with a greatly depleted number of seats. How many less is the question?

There is no future for a third-party leader to go through the election insulting the two leading party leaders. All it does is emphasize the futility of his position. It makes him sound mean and angry. It says to loyal NDPers that a vote for their new democratic candidate is just aiding a less progressive party candidate.

It is admittedly more difficult for a third-party leader to stay above the fray when the two leading contenders are constantly reminding the voters of each other’s weaknesses. In the end, it just turns off the voters to both.

Babel-on-the-Bay is hardly the only progressive commentary that refers to the conservative leader as ‘Chuckles.’ The man looks like a clown and often acts like one.

The biggest laughs in this federal campaign, at least in Ontario, are that the conservative leader can actually campaign in this province without ever mentioning our conservative premier Doug Ford. Wait until you see how fat Ford is getting, sitting in his Queen’s Park office and fuming. He hardly took out a gym membership during the legislature’s extended holiday.

But Doug Ford will recover and Jagmeet Singh might not. My guess is that the NDP will soon be looking for another saviour. I hear there is a former Alberta NDP premier looking for a challenge.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Jason Kenney: Doug Ford’s understudy.

Monday, October 7th, 2019

Every actor needs an understudy. It just seems appropriate for the much-detested premier Doug Ford in Ontario to have a truly obnoxious stand-in during the federal election. It is conservative leader Andrew Sheer’s good buddy, Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta, who was standing in for premier Ford this past weekend.

It seems that nobody trusts Ford to behave. What makes them think Jason Kenney is housebroken is open to question?

But real conservatives love Kenney. He is a misogynist, selfish, mean-spirited and a global warming denier. Since he was at a Catholic college in San Francisco, he has shown his dislike for women. He is a social conservative but insists on calling his upcoming budget slashing in his province by the more diplomatic words: fiscal restraint.

To put it simply, Kenney thinks he can hide the fact he is a weasel by telling people he is really a loveable koala. He has the majority of Alberta voters convinced he is the second coming of Peter Lougheed. They think he is going to get the Trans Mountain pipeline twinned so that the province can ship diluted bitumen to Pacific nations and carry on the free ride for Alberta taxpayers while the foreign owners of their tar sands companies get rich.

It was reported that when Kenney was in Toronto, he was busy campaigning at Buddhist temples and checking out the dim sum at local restaurants.

But while campaigning for the conservative candidate in Doug Ford’s federal riding, Doug Ford was nowhere to be seen. In helping that conservative candidate in Ford’s riding, Kenney was campaigning against Ford’s late brother Rob’s widow, who is running for the People’s party. It is assumed that not everything has been patched up between Ford and his sister-in-law.

Jason Kenney also visited Ottawa while he was in Ontario. This might just have been nostalgia for the time Kenney was playing a role in the Harper government—a much bigger pond than the Alberta legislature.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Doug Ford: The man who isn’t here.

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

We hear that premier Doug Ford is low bridging this federal election. It is at the begging of his friend Andrew Scheer. Conservative leader Scheer did not want to be upstaged by his provincial supporter. Scheer’s handlers have enough trouble convincing voters that ‘Chuckles’ is not just a tool for the premiers.

It is hardly surprising that Scheer’s opponents travel around Ontario always mentioning the conservative leader and his provincial pal in the same breath.

But an education workers strike that will hit Ontario next week will be the convincer. It will be a fine example of what conservative policies will mean. Electing Scheer would mean erratic cuts in critical fields of government responsibility. Just one example will be a disaster for companies that export around the world. The other day Scheer said he would cut the small amount of foreign aid that Canada provides by 25 per cent. Just think of that as creating another 25 per cent decline in foreign purchases.

And Doug Ford does not need to say anything to make that connection. He is not just a blow-hard who recklessly cuts programs needed to help people. He is a man who thinks wealth has its privileges. He lied his way through the last Ontario election, saying he was ‘For the People.’

As soon as he was elected, he showed his vindictive side and proceeded to get even with the people of Toronto by cutting the number of councillors to a minimum that could not do the job for constituents. He downloaded social costs to municipalities stripping them of their ability to budget effectively and he took away municipal control of their mass transit operations. Doug Ford has since turned his sights on the health and education portfolios of the Ontario government. He has cut and has had to restore programs critical for the sick. He has reduced the number of teachers and increased class sizes in our schools.

This is the conservative strategy for all of Canada. It would be bare bones government if we elect Andrew Scheer and the conservatives on October 21.

And if you do not think he is like his friend Doug Ford, you did not pay attention when Scheer was speaker of the house of commons for the last four years of the Harper conservative regime. It was an unruly, disrespectful government and past legislation that shamed Canadians. We do not want to go backward.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Death by a thousand tax cuts.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Canadian voters are being nickel-dimed and conned by their politicians. Even Elizabeth May and her greenies have joined into the game of making promises, with funds, from where, they do not really know. It is a game that voters should not buy. Let’s face facts: Sheer is no savior, Trudeau is untrained in being a trustee, Singh will be lucky if there is a party with him after the election And Ms. May and her rag-tag army would not last a day in a real battle for the environment.

It is time for everyone to take a dose of reality before they vote. You are deemed to be adults, you know! You are supposed to have some idea about what you are doing.

Those wonderful people out on the Wet coast are fighting a desperate action to protect their Orcas, their pristine mountains and the best ski hills in the Americas.

Our people in Alberta, who blew all the money from their first oil bonanza, are lying to themselves that bitumen will make their foreign investors and themselves rich again. And Saskatchewan and Manitoba want to be part of that rodeo?

Ontario is facing its own disaster with the guy running the circus at Queen’s Park. If they can survive that fiasco, Ontario voters are ready to take on the world.

Quebec is still cloistered with its own demons as the anger of the past passes into a confused history. And God bless the Atlantic provinces as they provide Canadians with an anchor.

Everybody should pay attention to the upcoming televised leaders’ debates. Make your own decision. And if you cannot believe any of those people, check out your riding candidates. Try to pick the smartest liberal or conservative. You need someone in a position to do something. They will need to know what they are getting into. We need people who can make a difference.

And do not worry about all the promises. Few of them will be kept.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

“How dare you?” Greta Thunberg.

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Somebody must have explained to the 16-year old from Sweden that you have to be brash to get noticed in North America. She would be quite unlikely to say ‘How dare you?’ to her elders back home in Sweden. Yet it worked at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Tuesday.

But the point is that it took that small-sized girl to tell hundreds of climate representatives from around the world that their climate change plans are inadequate to save the planet.

She is coming to Montreal to take part in a climate awareness march on Friday. Many schools are shutting down for the day to encourage their students to take part. And if our politicians also pay attention, it will be worthwhile.

But it is tough in a country that has climate change deniers ruling key provinces and contending in the current election. We have the premier of Alberta fighting to get the Trans Mountain pipeline twinned so that more polluting bitumen from the tar sands can be shipped to other countries to pollute some more. And he is supported by the premier of Ontario, our largest province, the other Prairie premiers and the leader of the national conservatives, Andrew Scheer.

“How dare you,” Mr. Scheer? And, “how dare you,” Mr. Trudeau?

Yes, Canadians also want to know what prime minister Trudeau intends to do with that pipeline.

Canada cannot even meet its reduced carbon emissions by 2030, let alone the proposed new targets for 2050. Maybe our politicians are hoping they will not have to take responsibility for their failures in another 30 years. Will the politicians of 2050 just move the targets to 2100? What will be the point if nothing is left? Do we want a planet, no longer worth saving? Is greed to decide our world’s future? Are we sewing the whirlwind that will destroy our world?

“How dare we?”

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

They’re not your father’s conservatives.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

What happened to the red Tories? Is the decency of Ontario’s once premier Bill Davis a memory of the past? Whatever happened to the conservatives with whom I could share a joke? I used to like many of these people. They worked hard for charities. They were good neighbours. They would listen to your liberal proposals. They were honourable and respected people.

At all levels of government today, the conservatives are disappointing us. The saddest are on municipal councils, awaiting their opportunity to move up the ladder. In my Ontario riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, we have another empty suit from city council wanting to move up and also do nothing in Ottawa but vote the party line.

I was laughing the other day at his lame offer to voters to restore the Lake Simcoe environmental clean-up program. It seems that he blames the liberals for ending the program. Actually, the program ended when the conservatives said that it would end. The job was as complete as it would get. The only serious phosphate pollution left that is destroying Lake Simcoe is either airborne or washed in from farmers’ fields. I would love to see the first conservative politician in Ontario who tries to do something about that.

Maybe, he should talk to his friend premier Doug Ford about that problem.

But what really gets me about the promises, that Andrew Scheer is running around the country making, are the boutique style cuts that are really only for his rich friends. These are promises such as money for start-up businesses, or if you spend money for your kids’ sports, fitness programs or registered education savings, or travel to work by public transit or commuter trains or want your parental benefits tax free. These are ideas launched by the Harper conservatives that almost require you to have very thorough tax accountants doing your taxes. If these programs ever come into existence again, they will make a lie of the ability of the average Joe and Josephine being able to do their own taxes.

Many people have a hard time separating the Ontario conservatives at Queen’s Park from the Stephen Harper style conservatives in Ottawa. The lack of decency, the mean-spirited approach does not suggest the type of people we want running this country.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Trump tramples on our territory.

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

The other day something caught my eye on the opening page of Microsoft’s browser. The company was doing a survey to find out why people dislike their MSN News. I did the survey, but I was reaching for different ways to spell ‘crap.’ This is news lifted from news-gathering people. Microsoft takes no responsibility for the authenticity.

The other day, they even had some Canadian news among the Hollywood trash. It was an item about president Donald Trump commenting on the current Canadian election. It was a lift from U.S.A. Today and, in it, Trump says he has always had good relations with Trudeau. And if you believed that, you could be sitting on the moon eating all the green cheese you want.

You always know when Trump is lying. He is moving his jaw bone.

The truth is that Trump has always been jealous of Trudeau. He hates him for his good looks and youth. He resents his ease in speaking French and he was obviously annoyed that at the recent G7 conference, French president Macron and Trudeau could chat in that language and leave Trump out in the cold.

And Trump also knows that the Canadians bested him by simply holding their positions in the recent free trade negotiations. Trump had obviously been advised by his negotiators that what they got was all they were going to get and there was no reason to prolong the negotiations. Trump does not like losing. He does not like Trudeau.

Donald Trump’s kindred spirits in Canada are people like Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, Jason Kenney, premier in Alberta, and Andrew Scheer, whom Trump wants to see win the current Canada-wide election. These are much friendlier people who would support him next year in what is shaping up as very iffy election for Trump.

Mind you, I expect that Trump’s chances next year are about as good as the chances of Microsoft becoming a respected news source.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

From Rae Days to Ford Years.

Monday, September 9th, 2019

It does seem odd to think of current conservative premier of Ontario Doug Ford and former NDP premier Bob Rae at the same time. The other day Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star tried to compare the two in an opinion piece. He failed. The reasons that Bob Rae failed as premier and Doug Ford will fail are very different.

Doug Ford will fail because he doesn’t listen to advice: Bob Rae failed because he did listen. Rae listened to Thomas d’Aquino. At the time, d’Aquino was running the Business Council on National Issues—the most powerful business group in Canada.

It was d’Aquino who convinced Bob Rae and his finance minister, Floyd Laughren from Sudbury, that the most serious economic problem facing Canada in the 1990s was the out-of-control deficits at the time of both federal and provincial budgets. He convinced the provincial politicians that Paul Martin, finance minister for the Chrétien government was already on board.

The problem was that, as a left-wing economist, Laughren had no solutions to the growing deficits. Rae of course, was more of a middle of the road liberal and bought into the Martin solution. Rae ended up giving his name to the imaginative solution of civil servants taking unpaid days off instead of pay cuts, which they were anyway.

Rae became a laughing stock and his government was easily defeated by what Ontario residents found was much worse conservative government of Mike Harris.

There are many similarities between the Harris government of 1995 through 2003 and the present Ford regime. The very fact that Harris won a second term was more a commentary on the weak opposition facing his government at the time than any high approval rating. And after the deaths in Walkerton, Ontario in 2002, because of the poor management, Harris was toast.

Since Doug Ford’s style is just bluster and incompetence, nobody expects him to be around after the next provincial election.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Can Kenney, Curly (Ford) and Moe pull it off?

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Conservative leader ‘Chuckles’ Scheer might not offer much of a challenge to Justin Trudeau but when you consider the three stooges running in the back field, it makes you think.

Canadians, outside of parliament and his Regina riding, have little reason to have an opinion of Chuckles. Very few of them know much about him. And nobody was wasting time calling for his head when he was such an inept speaker of the house of commons from 2011 to 2015. And in the time, he has been leader of his party, he pales behind the image of his former boss, Stephen Harper.

But having the three stooges running his backfield offence might just be the focus that pulls it off. They would add weight to any football team. They are certainly more colorful than most. Jason Kenney might be premier of Alberta today but he knows the tricks and lies needed to work the Ottawa scene. Curly (Doug Ford) premier of Ontario might be a bit of a bull in a china shop, but bull is bull and he is full of it. Scott Moe, premier of Saskatchewan, on the other hand, is an experienced Prairie politician.

And Jason Kenney has put together a particularly lethal false news team in Calgary. It is made up of writers from Paul Godfrey’s PostMedia and some key conservatives. That is potentially the deadliest weapon in the arsenal but it has not yet had a chance to really show its stuff.

It is assumed that Ford is just puttering around in the backfield awaiting a call when his style of bluster is necessary. Chuckles did publicly ask that Doug take a break and do nothing but that is not part of Ford’s nature.

While premier Moe would have been in the Regina MP’s corner anyway, he is probably more suited to the team approach.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

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