Doug Ford's year of flipping pancakes - 2019-06-10
It's hard to believe that either Scheer or Ford would react in quite this way. First of all, Ford, unpopular as he is right now, is like all politicians, unable to believe he is so annoying that he should lower his profile. Second, although Ford has been told his polls are damning, he will dismiss them as slanted and/or temporary. He thinks the legislation he passed with ease — a pile of golden legal pancakes topped with foaming beer — is quite splendid and it will take time over the summer for its felicity to sink in. I say pancakes because that's a fair metaphor for a certain kind of government run by men like Ford, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and U.S. President Donald Trump. Such governments govern by simply flipping the laws enacted by the hated previous government. Without new ideas or energy or deep thought, they flick switches. They do the opposite.
Ford was brisk with laws, regulations and cuts. He eliminated the 50 Million Trees program, removed electric car charging stations from GO parking lots, ended the emissions-testing Drive Clean program, cancelled cap and trade and killed many other valuable green projects. He didn't propose anything new to protect Ontario from global heating, he just flipped every pancake he could find.
He did the same in the health sector, cutting funding for mental health, centralizing health care and ambulance services, and promising to cut health coverage in little ways that add up for students, vacationers, women needing midwives, and many more people. He struck education hard, flipping much of what Kathleen Wynne's Liberals had done, increasing class sizes, dumbing down the curriculum, cutting school repairs, cutting financial help for college and university students and so on. He did the same in culture, social services, research, and alcohol regulations. Reading Fatima Syed's list in the National Observer of Ford's cuts or planned cuts, one feels dizzy. It is a compilation of negatives, a list of non-achievements in the sense that it is a list of problems he will now do nothing about. The problems remain. Almost all Ford did this year was flip pancakes.
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