Opinion-Policy Nexus

Hon. Doug Ford,

Premier of Ontario,

Queen’s Park, Toronto

My Dear Premier Ford,

You won’t remember me, but I’m the fellow who wrote to you back in July to congratulate you and your valiant crew of Ford Nationalists on leading Ontario back to the Promised Land of the 1950s.

My admiration has doubled – nay, trebled – in the intervening months. Not only have you overturned everything the radical Liberal, Kathleen Wynne, stood for, you have put that stuffed shirt, John Tory, in his place.

He had the effrontery to defeat you when you ran for mayor four years ago. He knows now that you are the undisputed master of Toronto. If you want a city council of 25 members (instead of 47), that is what you will get.

Article 33 of the Charter of Right and Freedoms – the “notwithstanding” clause – will make it possible. And in your new incarnation as a constitutional expert – in the footsteps of the late Eugene Forsey – you have told us you will not hesitate to keep using that dandy little clause.

Article 33 is fun, isn’t it, Sir? You paste it into a bill and, presto, good things happen.

I bet you can hardly wait to use to use it on that insufferable elitist, Justin Trudeau. (If I may respectfully suggest en passant, you really should get the name of his tailor – not that electric blue suits don’t become you, Mr. Premier.)

Speaking, I believe, on behalf of all in Ford Nation, I urge you to ignore the interventions of those doomsayers who decry the suspension of charter rights over something as trivial as the size of a city council. These ancient politicians who crawl out of their retirement caves to shake their fists at you – people like Jean Chrétien, Roy Romanow, Bill Davis, Roy McMurtry and Brian Mulroney – are relics of a bygone era.

As you wisely reminded Ontario Superior Court Judge Edward Belobaba last week, you were elected with a majority government and he was merely appointed. And when’s the last time those other ancients were elected to anything grander than vice-president of a whist club at their seniors’ centre?

You will be ready when Justin comes after you to conscript Ontario into his carbon tax and to force you to share the costs of settling refugees.

It’s time to put him on notice. He needs to know that being prime minister is no big deal in Ontario, not while you are premier. You speak for the people. You make the laws. If Trudeau doesn’t get it, you must hit him with the notwithstanding clause.

Do the people of Ontario appreciate the sacrifices you are making? On Friday, you had to put up with an uproar in your Legislature. The speaker chucked most of the New Democrats out. Security officers arrested protesters in the galleries and led some – nice-looking older folks, actually – off in handcuffs.

So you called an extraordinary weekend session, only to face more protests on Saturday. When that sitting had to be adjourned after 46 minutes, because the opposition stubbornly refused to let you ram through all stages of your replacement Toronto bill, you ordered members to return to work at one minute after midnight on Monday morning to debate it.

Question period was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, after which MPPs planned to rush off to Chatham-Kent for the International Plowing Match, an annual ritual in rural Ontario that no premier – not even you, Sir – would dare interfere with.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s municipal election, still scheduled for Oct. 22, is a shamble about to become a disaster. Because no one knows whether there will be 47 wards or only 25, candidates cannot be nominated, voters informed, or 2.6 million ballots printed. The city clerk has even hired a private lawyer to defend her lest she be blamed for the chaos.

The chaos is not your fault, Sir. You are giving Ontarians the kind of government they voted for.

Your loyal fan, etc.


Monday, September 17, 2018 - 09:07