Ontario Progressive Conservatives fired the opening salvo of their June 2, 2022 re-election campaign a couple of weeks ago when they put a paid ad on social media attacking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals. The ad accused the feds of letting COVID-19 into the country by failing to close airports to international flights quickly enough in early 2020. And that failure, the ad insinuated, is why today we have variants from all over the world flying freely into Canada.
There was a time, not eons ago, when earthlings wondered if there might be intelligent life on Mars. A more pertinent concern for Ontario earthlings in 2021 might be if there is intelligent life in their government at Queen’s Park.
There is a middling chance that Ontario voters will be going to the polls twice in 2021.
The more likely one is a federal election. As suggested in last week’s column, Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government will soon be living on borrowed time.
Minority governments are relatively common in Canada, with 14 of them at the federal level since Confederation, but most don’t hang around long – an average of 479 days. Today is the current government’s 434th day. If it lasts until Oct. 21, it will join just five others that made it to the two-year mark.
If COVID-19 has taught us nothing else, it is that deadly pandemics cannot be fought successfully on a piecemeal basis with each province or local authority going its own way, imposing its own control measures, or none at all.
The federal government announced last week it will give the provinces and territories an additional $1-billion to help them keep their long-term care residents safe during this wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
One billion is a lot of loonies, even in these inflated times, but there was no scramble among the 13 premiers to express their gratitude to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Minister of Just About Everything, Chrystia Freeland, for their generosity with the public purse. That’s not way it works in federalism, Canadian style.