It reminds me of the story of the dog and the scorpion. “It’s my nature,” explains the scorpion before they both drown. In Ontario, we are seeing the nature of premier Doug Ford that is taking Ontario into a corrupt past.
In the same way as Donald Trump found to by-pass a reluctant Congress with presidential orders, Doug Ford has found that ministerial zoning orders (MZOs) save time and money for his friends in the development business. It also means they have more profits to put into Doug Ford’s re-election next year.
As developers can tell you, when you help get a Ford into politics, driving through the morass of environmental assessments, municipal council zoning and local community activists is easier. An MZO can put all that aside. And time and legal fees set aside is all just profit.
As developers say “We have found a friend in Ford.”
The only problem is that careful zoning, protection of wetlands and the planned development needs in Ontario are being set aside by these MZOs. It is the properties with the quick profits that are now getting the attention of Ford’s developer friends.
And Ford does not understand the problem. His one-term experience in city hall in Toronto only showed him the resistance side of zoning and planning. He and his brother saw it as a bother to their comfort position.
And to say that Doug Ford is ignorant of the rationale behind this careful and painstaking planning is only half the problem. The Ford family flotilla creates a large wake as lesser conservatives get to join in on the party.
Maybe if Ford had more time on Toronto city council, he might have come to understand what was behind all the back and forth of planning and zoning. He only saw it as a bother. Nobody is excluded from politics because of their limited education but Ford does seem to revel in his lack of a questioning mindset. We have seen it in his handling of the pandemic. There have been days when he might have listened to the experts. And there are days when he obviously did not.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to [email protected]