Are We Really Doug Ford’s ‘Friends’?

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

“My Friends …. We are going to turn this province around so that our children and their children will feel proud to call Ontario their home.”

Doug Ford likes to call us his “friends”.

That was the vow Doug Ford delivered before cheering crowds of supporters on the night of June 7th – on the day that just enough Ontario voters gave him the number of seats his Ontario PC Party needs to enjoy the next four years as a majority government in the province.

An Orwellian chill shot up my spine when I heard Ford make that election night vow, and not just because he used the words “my friends” to set it off.

There is something about politicians who repeatedly use “my friends” in addresses to crowds that makes me cringe – like someone I am not sure about putting a sweaty hand on my shoulder.

I never heard Bobby Kennedy, or Bernie Sanders or, for that matter, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, any time during the election campaign, using those presumptuous words. They respectfully left it to we, the people, to decide whether we were going to be friends or not.

Having said that, I am going to keep quoting this line from Ford every time  he and his government move in any significant way to cut vital services like public health care or education or transit, or cut programs or resources for protecting the environment or for giving working people across the province a fair shake.

And I know that I am going to be quoting that line often in the weeks and months ahead because I know, and you must know, that those cuts to key services and programs are coming – they have to come if Ford, as he promised, is going to make big tax and spending cuts.

If he wants to avoid bankrupting the province, big cuts to public services are a mathematically certainty. You can’t have those kinds of tax cuts without cutting services too.

Please don’t complain either – not if you voted with your eyes and ears wide open for Doug Ford.

For the next for years, I am going to be doing a bit of a twist on that old adage; “If you didn’t vote you have no right to complain.”

Starting now, I am amending that adage to read; “If you voted for Ford, you have no right to complain.”

Less than two weeks after the election, Ford is already moving to kill the cap and trade program to cut carbon emissions and combat climate change.

Fasten your seat belts folks because we are in for a very bumpy four year ride.

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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