No film influenced me for life more than Walt Disney’s Fantasia. The 1941 animated film gave me a lifelong love of classical music. And it also provided lifelong images of hippos in tutus and a perplexed Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I was young and impressionable at the time.
But I was thinking recently of Ontario premier Doug Ford, who is built like a hippopotamus, and his apprenticeship. It is unlikely that many of the people who voted for his conservatives in the last provincial election could visualize him in a tutu. Nor would they realize the lack of training he had in how to do premiering.
Doug Ford is a salesman who believes bluster beats brains. He had to have back-up for those announcements during the worst of the pandemic. He is a private person in a public job. He saw the prestige his father gained through being a member of the legislature and never understood the work involved.
Whatever Doug Ford knows about politics, he learned from his younger brother. It was a wild apprenticeship at Toronto City Hall. When Rob Ford died in 2016, he left his brother Doug as a loose cannon in Canadian politics. As the apprentice, Doug had tried to step into Rob’s shoes in the Toronto mayoralty and lost to a better politician John Tory.
One gets the impression that if Doug Ford was paid by the hour for the actual time he puts into being premier of Ontario, he would starve to death. There is nothing he wants to reveal to Justice Rouleau’s commission into the emergencies act. He spent most of that time in question wondering what to do.
All he did about the shut-down of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor was bluster. It was the emergency act that got the Ontario provincial police to clear the blockade.
Doug Ford is probably unaware that the use of the act saved his backside. And if he had ever faced any real opposition at Queen’s Park, he would have been back to selling labels long ago.
I have this wonderful image of an endless line of brooms with scrub pails marching down the central staircase at Queen’s Park and a hapless Doug Ford standing at the door demanding that they stop.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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