Reader wonders what Ontario voters were thinking electing Ford as Premier

What were the voters of Ontario thinking when they elected Doug Ford?

With his past record of being a lazy Toronto councillor who is recorded as attending only half of their meetings and with his checkered past as a young man in Etobicoke, I’m not sure why anyone would have voted for such a person.

Considering the sordid manner by which he became the Conservative Party leader with the forced exit of Patrick Brown, then running on absolutely no platform and with his association with alt-right white nationalist Faith Goldy, I can’t believe he was elected at all!

Despite the “Buck-a-beer” fairy-tale, the tailgate parties and the big cuts to make our province appear to be more financially viable and “Open for Business” Moody’s downgraded Ontario’s credit rating last week.

So much for Ford’s social engineering and mean-spirited politics being respected in financial circles – obviously they are not.

The only excuse offered by Ford to explain his actions is the provincial debt and other boogeyman stories of how the sky will fall on our heads if we don’t support him.

Yes, the Liberals made a mess of things – particularly the energy portfolio- but it was nothing that couldn’t have been fixed over time.

No, the Liberals didn’t deserve to be re-elected but we sure don’t deserve what Ford is doing now either.

When you consider the changes made in just ten months and a great number of these changes have little to do with balancing the budget, I begin to wonder if Ford isn’t taking lessons from United States President Donald Trump.

Among the “Highlights”:

•Ford’s threat to invoke the “Notwithstanding Clause” in order to carry out his anger on Toronto Council and violate the rights of millions of voters. •Eliminated equal pay for equal work under the Workers Compensation Act.

•Cancelled the $15 per hour minimum wage, but kept the corporate tax rate to compensate businesses.

•Invoked performance targets for Universities and Colleges and threatened them with the loss of 60 per cent of their funding if they don’t comply.

•Ford cost the taxpayers of Ontario $137 million by interfering with Hydro One and its takeover of an American company.

•Spent $106,000 on “Open for Business” signs at Windsor border crossing on the same day Chrysler Canada announced 1,500 workers were being permanently laid off.

•Ford cancelled support for the Commission on Violence Against Women, and cancelled increased funding for Rape Crisis Centres but gave $10 million for horse racing subsidies.

•The cancellation of the Sexual Education curriculum has not saved any money but has placed our young people into jeopardy as teachers were told to instruct from a 1998 curriculum.

I believe the items mentioned above show more about where Ford’s priorities lie, rather than any budget balancing skills he may claim to possess.

Other cuts that the Ontario Government claim that will save money are not only highly doubtful but are mainly cuts that most do not want to see and they will create great harm to many people:

•Library Services cut by 50 per cent.

•Cancelling $1 billion needed for school repairs.

•The cancellation of 758 renewable energy projects.

•Healthcare cut by $100 million and growing.

•$335 million cut from mental healthcare.

•Cutting $1 billion from Public Health.

•Funding for Autistic Children cut from $100,000 for each child to $20,000.

•The promised Ford carbon rebates have yet not appeared – but Ford is willing to spend a lot of our tax money challenging the Carbon Tax in court and on radio ads and gas pump stickers.

•A new law slipped into the 2019 Budget prevents anyone from suing the provincial government.

None of what we have seen in the first ten months, has shown any signs of intelligence coming out of Queen’s Park.

The idea our debt is so large that such measures are needed is total nonsense. Our province is a strong and wealthy place and nothing has changed that – if money is truly needed, then why hasn’t our government decided to tax those who can afford it and to leave the poor and the sick alone?

Doug Ford really doesn’t stand up for the little guy – does he?

Dennis Fox

Northport