Somebody must have told premier Doug Ford that he could use MPP Paul Calandra as a smoke screen to cover up what he is letting happen in the Greenbelt. By making Calandra minister of municipal affairs and housing, he has the perfect cover for what is happening. He can thank former prime minister Stephen Harper for inventing the scheme. Along with many others, I have asked: What does Paul Calandra know about the Greenbelt?” The answer is ‘Not much.’
But that is the great part of the scheme. Do you remember when Calandra was a member of the federal parliament and parliamentary secretary to prime minister Harper? He used to address the questions to the prime minister that the prime minister did not want to answer in the House of Commons. The point was that the prime minister did not give a damn what Calandra told the house, as long as he did not answer the question. The members in the house and the news media became used to Mr. Calandra talking about something else, that was irrelevant to the issue.
Doug Ford should be warned though that this scheme does not work as long as the premier might like it to last. The problem was that the news media took to ridiculing Paul Calandra and after about a year, he broke down. He had been asked to apologize to Thomas Mulcair, who at that time was leader of the opposition in the house. He started to weep as he tried to state his apology and over all, it was a sad scene.
This proclivity to cry seems to be a part of the story of Paul Calandra. There are some men who have trouble understanding a man becoming emotional but most are sympathetic. We only wonder if it can be brought to the fore when there is a need?
It seems Doug Ford is loading Mr. Calandra with lots of stressful work. Here he is minister of housing and has been challenged to get busy building the 1.5 million homes for Ontario residents that will be needed in this decade. He is also minister of municipal affairs and in that role, he is supposed to review the regional governments in Durham, Halton and York, as well as help sort out the problems in Peel County where Patrick Brown is demanding more from Mississauga in the breakup of Peel County. Doug Ford might want to ease up a bit before he pushes Paul over the edge.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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