Opinion-Policy Nexus

Hon. Andrew Scheer,
Prime Minister-in-Waiting,

My Dear Mr. Scheer,

The rapture is building across Canada!

No, I am not referring to the Toronto Raptors. (If you haven’t been briefed about the Raptors, Sir, they are a team of unconventionally tall men who play a sport called basketball in a place called Jurassic Park. I’ll explain some other time.)

Rather, I am referring to the rapture, that is, the ecstasy, that grips the nation as you, Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, move ever closer to becoming Canada’s 24th prime minister. Just 132 days to go to Oct. 21.

Thanks to your inspirational commercials, the people now know Justin Trudeau is an imposter. He is not as advertised.

As much as I share in the national rapture, I must raise a niggling concern.

First, though, permit me to express my thanks to you for welcoming me into your Conservative family. Every couple of days I receive a personal email in which you greet me as “Geoffrey” – it’s nice to be on a first-name basis, isn’t it, Andrew?

Your emails reveal new perfidies/atrocities committed by Trudeau and his Liberal ilk, while contrasting them to your wholesome “vision” of a more prosperous and united Canada, (The last Conservative leader to suffer from a vision was John Diefenbaker, but we won’t go there.) And in each email you kindly offer me an opportunity to donate to help you turn your vision into reality. How could any fair-minded person refuse?

But what is my niggling concern? Well, Andrew, it involves Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Don’t get me wrong. I am an unabashed admirer of the premier, as big a fan of Ford as Drake is of the Raptors. (I’m not sure I can explain Mr. Drake.)

There is a wee problem. I see from the press that your advisers have noticed it, too. Although as premier he clearly stands among giants like Mike Harris, Doug Ford’s popularity is in a bit of a trough. Some might call it a black hole.

He has done all the really important things right – shrewdly investing  as much as $1 billion in public funds to break that invidious Beer Store monopoly, letting corner stores sell beer and wine, and extending drinking hours so that Ontarians can order a rum and Coke with their breakfast – but he gets no political credit.

He and his government are said to be more unpopular today than Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals were when they were demolished in 2018.

Surely, Ontario voters will come to their senses before the next provincial election. But meanwhile, Ford is determined to help you to rid the country of his nemesis Trudeau and the despised Liberals in Ottawa. He has even sent the Legislature home until after the federal election, which leaves him free to campaign for you for the next 132 days.

That could be a problem. Ford attracts excited crowds wherever he goes. And what would-be prime minister wouldn’t welcome large ready-made crowds? Unfortunately, Ford’s crowds tend to be the angry-excited variety with lots of protest signs, yelling and the sort of language you wouldn’t want your children to hear. They would not enhance your wholesome family image. His unpopularity could rub off on you, Andrew.

What to do? Ford has never revealed the slightest inclination to follow instructions, such as to stay away from you and the federal campaign. He can be perverse, doing the opposite of directions he is given.

The only positive suggestion I can offer is that you hire a few sturdy lads to kidnap the premier and hold him incommunicado until Oct. 21. As it is possible someone will notice he is missing, you will have to hide him somewhere.

My suggestion is the “Diefenbunker,” the Cold War relic that was built at Carp, outside Ottawa, to shelter the federal cabinet in the event of nuclear war. It was never used. Now might be just the occasion.

Your humble admirer,

Etc., etc.


Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 09:40