He isn’t even sworn in but Ontario’s premier designate, Doug Ford, is off to a good start. Ford will officially become premier on June 29 but is already making waves.
It started last Friday with his announcement that he would pull Ontario out of Kathleen Wynne’s cap and trade system with California and Quebec. This is the program that saw hundreds of millions of dollars flow from Ontario to California. Somehow, this was supposed to help the environment.
Ford’s announcement of Ontario’s intention to withdraw annoyed all the right people. In Ottawa, Trudeau’s environment minister Catherine McKenna announced that Ontario would be faced with the federal carbon tax. California and Quebec acted in horror and immediately ordered all trading with Ontario based entities to stop.
Sending a message from the top.
Then on Tuesday Ford announced a hiring freeze, the cancelling of newspaper and magazine subscriptions paid for by government and an end to government paid meals for meetings.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called these moves nothing but an attempt to get headlines.
No, I’d call them setting the tone from the top down.
At their first caucus meeting, held at the Ford family compound in Toronto, Ford paid for a pizza lunch for the caucus out of his own pocket and told them in future they too would have to brown bag it like normal people do. No more catered meals for the PC MPPs.
These are the types of things that annoy the entitled class but that everyday Ontario voters appreciate. Most of us don’t get catered meals from our employers, we bring our own meals or go out and buy them.
Pay for your own fancy car.
From there Ford was on to cutting green subsidies to mostly wealthy people.
Yet that is what Ford has done much to the chagrin of the green lobby groups. The GreenOn program offered homeowners rebates if they did specific upgrades on their homes, upgrades many Canadians can’t afford. Yet they still had to pay for someone else to get their windows replaced.
Soon the subsidies for green cars will fall by the wayside. This should go for the same reason the reno program went. If you can afford to buy a Honda Clarity starting at $39,900 instead of the Civic at $16,790 or the Accord at $26,590 then you don’t need my help.
These were all programs that had come about at the behest of lobbyists, not a real need or call from citizens.
Ford’s critics are dismissive of all of these moves claiming they won’t fix Ontario’s finances. True, Ford will need to do more than this to deal with Ontario’s fiscal mess but consider this, he hasn’t even started.
If this is what Ford can accomplish before even taking office then Ontario is in good hands.