Hon. Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
My Dear Premier Ford,
I beg you to accept my apologies for ignoring you. Here you are about to present your 2019 budget, wherein you will unpeel the next layer of your vision for Ontario, and I have not offered you a scintilla of counsel. Mea culpa. (That’s Latin for “open for business,” Sir.)
I confess I got sucked into that SNC-Lavalin swamp in Ottawa. You may have heard of it – an ambitious little scandal in which the media worked up a lather, the opposition went bonkers, and nothing happened. No laws broken. No public funds stolen. No bribes paid. Not even a whiff of illicit sex.
Two former cabinet ministers tried and failed to bring down the prime minister who, after considering his options for 54 days, banished them from the Liberal party.
It wouldn’t take you 54 seconds to dispose of turncoats, would it, Sir? You’d hurl them out of your party, out of Ford Nation, and into the wilderness with losers like Kathleen Wynne and Patrick Brown.
That’s why we adore you, Premier Ford. You are a straight-ahead guy. You promised to slash and burn, and you have kept your word. Sure, you’ve made a few enemies. The parents of autistic children see you with horns and a pointy tail. Provincial employees quail at the mention of your name.
Last week, 100,000 students walked out of class at schools across the province to protest your plan to save $851 million by inflating class sizes and chopping 3,475 teaching positions over four years. But you, like the late, great Margaret Thatcher, are not for turning. As you painstakingly explained, “This (protest) is strictly from the union thugs, as I call them, the teachers’ union.”
Those “thugs” then produced a crowd of 10,000 parents, students and teachers at Queen’s Park on Saturday to demand you invest in education, not cut it back. Really, what planet do they live on?
What we, your loyal supporters, most admire, Mr. Ford, is your ability to brush aside petty distractions to focus on the Great Causes of Our Time. Permit me to mention two.
The first, of course, is the huge licence-plate issue. Ontario vehicle plates have long carried a slogan. “Keep It Beautiful” was introduced in 1973, and was replaced in 1982 by “Yours To Discover” (to promote tourism)
Now it is time to advertise the grand priorities of the Doug Ford Era. For commercial vehicles, your deepest thinkers have come up “Open For Business,” inspired by the signs you erected at the border. The entire province awaits with bated breath to learn which three uplifting words you have chosen for private vehicles. Rumour has it the words will be unveiled in the budget.
Oh, it is a tough decision, Sir. Social media have gone wild with speculation. Will it be “For The People” – which, by happy coincidence, is your campaign slogan? How about “No Carbon Tax,” “Ford Nation Rising,” or “Aren’t We Great?” Other suggestions include “Time For Change,” but I wouldn’t advise going there, Sir. “With You Forever,” might be safer or “Drat The Torpedoes” (“Damn” being inappropriate for a family government like yours).
Then there is this social media favourite: “Too Many Squirrels.” I fear some people just don’t take your mission seriously.
Now for your second Great Cause. It is the overwhelming need to boot Justin Trudeau and his radical Liberal carbon-tax swamp creatures out of office in October. This, Premier Ford, is the noblest of causes.
You and your gas-pumping ally, Andrew Scheer, are hard at it. But don’t you worry just a bit about poor Scheer? He lacks your dynamic ability to bully his way through all obstacles. You’ll need to be prepared to carry him on your back to the finish line.
I know you will be up to this challenge, too.
Your obedient servant,