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Letter: Ford government remains mired in controversy

If the first six months of Ford's and Fedeli's second terms are any indication, you can expect his government to move on an agenda with tactics and policies that continue to raise plenty of controversy
Doug Ford PDAC 2020 (2)
Doug Ford. File photo.

To the editor:

If the first six months of Ford's and Fedeli's second terms are any indication, you can expect his government to move on an agenda with tactics and policies that continue to raise plenty of controversy.

As always it appears, in my opinion, very little leadership, or support from our local MPP-Vic Fedeli who is consistently more interested, it appears in getting re-elected than the truth or integrity that he often avoids. 

Like too many others who feel they have been treated the same, arrogantly, it remains shameful and inexcusable given both the appointments he professes are transparent, accountable, and done with due diligence but vaguely and selectively ever truly living by the democracy, pledges, and promises he has sworn to abide.

Since forming his new cabinet this summer, Ford's ministers, including our local MPP, brought in a raft of legislation ostensibly to increase the pace of housing construction. The changes drew criticism because they also open up pockets of the Greenbelt to development and weaken the powers of the conservation authorities, limit the municipalities, can charge developers for infrastructure costs,  and give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa the power to push through bylaws with the support of only one third city council.

One of the government's most controversial tactics so far in its mandate was invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights to ban education workers from striking, and then Ford. doing a u-turn and repealing the bill.

While inflation runs high and Ontario faces recession Progressive Conservative insiders say the economy must be the top focus. while other insiders note the viability of Ontario's healthcare system will be one of the ongoing biggest political challenges.

Health care is in people's faces in a way few other issues are if somebody's waiting in an emergency room for a dozen hours on end. You can't get around that, you can't sugarcoat that with messaging. That's an issue you have to deal with through a system change.

Ontario needs to fund more private clinic surgeries, and send patients to temporary LTCs to ease health -care pressures.

Ford and Trudeau, who share a lot of the same voters in ridings that decide elections, need to be more willing to work together on healthcare funding, the electric vehicle industry, critical minerals for EV batteries, transit reducing emissions from steel plants, and tackling the housing shortage.

Ford's time as. premier has shown it can be difficult to predict his and his government's moves with great or even any accuracy. From slashing the size of Toronto's city council in 2018 to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2021(after previously freezing it) to breaking his oft-repeated promise not to touch the Greenbelt, in 2022 Ford has done things as premier that he'd not signalled ahead of time.

So it's likely safe to expect in 2023 that Ford has other items on the horizon and Vic will no doubt be as much in the dark again or not forthright with many of these,

  • skilled trades workforce
  • who are the GTA developers set to benefit from Ford  government's land swap
  • provincial budget
  • court battle to keep cabinet minister mandate letters secret
  • the Ontario Court of Appeal, Superior court of Justice. Privacy Commissioner ordered the government to release,  but Ford appealed the ruling
  • refurbishing of Pickering Nuclear plant. Slated for shutdown in 2025.

With so. much facing all of us in our daily lives we remain at the mercy of our local MPP and our premier. With his government, unfortunately, more is often accomplished by volunteers and local organizations, churches, and local citizens.

Frank O'Hagan

North Bay