You have to admit; doing things democratically is tough work. Doing things openly and honestly is even tougher. You would think that Ontario premier Doug Ford would understand that by now. And we all thought Toronto mayor John Tory knew that at the get-go. We were wrong.
We know that Doug Ford is no Bill Davis. He has neither the experience nor the training nor the intellect needed to work within what we accept as democratic measures. Instead, he sees the democratic process as a challenge. His time at Toronto City Hall was a constant struggle of ‘us against them.’ He saw democracy as a blockage in the business of politics. It was an inconvenience
Practically his first act as premier, was to override the Toronto council’s decision to double the number of councillors to better serve the diverse and growing population of the city. Watching Ford create his first provincial cabinet was not an act of who could do the best job for the people of Ontario but an act of selfishness to help him. He made some interesting mistakes.
Quitting the embarrassment of Ontario’s health ministry was the smartest thing that Christine Elliot did in her political career. Doug Ford used her. He hid behind her. He has shown his hand in betraying our trust in his government doing right by our health-care workers.
Yet it took the threat of a province-wide general strike to get him to back-off with our educational CUPE workers. The next troubles for Ford’s administration are the teachers’ unions and they are not going to accept the ‘not withstanding’ clause nor Ford and his fledgling education minister’s blustering.
The biggest disappointment in Doug Ford’s anti-democratic ways is that mayor John Tory is more than willing to use his new anti-democratic powers. The one person that Torontonians have trusted over his past two terms as mayor, has gone over to the dark side with fellow conservative Doug Ford.
John Tory has already made a senior city appointment without going through council. Going to council would have been the polite thing to do. And, if Tory had checked with them, he might have found that council would have made the same choice of city manager as the mayor.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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