Monday, September 25, 2023

Not In A Forgiving Mood


As I wrote in my previous post, I am not in a forgiving mood, now that Doug Ford, in order to desperately try to salvage his and his government's reputation, has promised to restore and never again touch the Greenbelt.

Judging by a flurry of letters appearing in the Star, I am not alone:

Ford has publicly stated his decision to take land out of the protected Greenbelt for housing development was a mistake. It reminded me of a sullen little child caught stealing from the cookie jar. But it is more than that. He has lost the confidence and trust of the citizens of Ontario. He should do the honourable thing and resign as premier. The quicker he resigns the better off Ontario will be in the future.

John Argiropoulo, Toronto

Ford resignation ‘democracy at work’

Doug Ford cancels controversial $8.28-billion Greenbelt land swap, Sept. 21

For months I’ve been writing letters to my Conservative representative pointing out my unhappiness about the Greenbelt fiasco. I was not alone. Citizens writing letters to the editor, attending demonstrations and contacting elected officials is participatory democracy at work. It makes for change. Voting also works but only when citizens fill out ballots. Ford did an about face on the Greenbelt land deals only because his caucus told him what their constituents were saying. Democracy works!

Stephen Bloom, Toronto

Thanks to the Star for keeping Ontarians abreast of the latest news of Ford’s Greenbelt debacle. Here’s hoping the stench will follow him and all Conservatives for the rest of their careers! As the old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!” The Ontario electorate must remember this fiasco of deceit, lies and corruption in the next election!

Tom Cullen, Toronto

Premier Doug Ford walking back on the Greenbelt plan is a result of journalism, activism and the electorate making their voices heard. Cheers to those who wanted change and did the work for it to happen. The reversal has nothing to do with the premier realizing the plan was deeply flawed. His reaction has everything to do with shifting provincial Conservative support. It is time for the rest of us to keep doing the work to protect Ontario Science Centre and land at Ontario Place.

Rachel Griffin, Ancaster

Ford can’t save himself, even by sparing the Greenbelt, Sept. 21

Premier Doug Ford has decided to make Greenbelt land Greenbelt again. Watching his interview I see a man crying over his lost share of the scam. If I shoot you and later fix the wounds, does that make me innocent? Once the shot is fired, the damage is done. Sorry premier, you cannot just say “I’m sorry.”

Edward A. Collis, Burlington

Ford is humbly apologizing for breaking his Greenbelt promise. He thinks he’ll weather the continuing backlash and he quite likely will. Tell me how many billions, we the Ontario taxpayers, are going to have to cough up to settle possible lawsuits filed by the developers. Back room dealing, a bullheaded premier, possibly some criminal acts and the end result is no housing but billions of possible liability.

Wayne Milligan, Toronto

Let’s be absolutely clear, the only reason Ford reversed his Greenbelt development decision is to avoid further investigation into his obvious corruption. An investigation must still proceed, and while we’re at it, an investigation is also necessary regarding his Ontario Place development.

Al Yolles, Toronto

Premier Doug Ford’s total about face on the Greenbelt shows exactly how unethical he is. The reversal took government resignations, considerable pressure from the public, calls from the opposition and criticism from the auditor general and integrity commissioner. His developer buddies will not be happy but he wants to win re-election in 2026 and the heat on this issue was getting to be too much. His actions prove how unfit he is to be the premier of Ontario. Vote him out in 2026.

Janet Ball, Thornhill

Friday, September 22, 2023

Are We Supposed To Be Grateful?

Make no mistake about it: I am absolutely delighted that the Ford cabal has, albeit quite belatedly, seen the light and is restoring the pilfered Greenbelt lands. But, like puppies receiving scraps from the table of a master who regularly abuses us, are we supposed to submissively wag our tails, lick his hand and forget the fear and revulsion he has regularly inspired in us?

Not a chance.

I watched Ford's self-serving mea culpa yesterday. It had all the trappings of a PR event engineered by that famous crisis-management firm, Navigator. When all seems lost, people like Brian Mulroney and Michael Bryant have turned to them to try to spin things into a positive outcome. Judging by yesterday's performance, if Navigator was involved, they have missed their mark by a wide margin.

To hear Ford tell it, he has been humbled by the backlash, and apologizes to all who held him to account. However, according to his alternate-reality version of events, he did it all because of the crisis in housing, and sometimes in a crisis, one acts too quickly. But his heart, of course, was always in the right place.

Here is a brief clip of Ford's climb-down; I especially enjoy the physical (symbolic?) distance his cabinet embraces, and their stoic looks remind me of people that have been chowing down only to find something very unpleasant in their sandwich spread.

Mr. Ford, in his address, talks about earning back the trust of Ontarians. My own sense is that ship has sailed, but then, I am often wrong in my prognostications. And I do hope I am wrong in my fear that now that the theft has been reversed, the RCMP will conclude there is no need for a criminal investigation. While it might be more palatable to those in the national police force who would rather not ruffle feathers, to come to such a conclusion would only compound an ongoing erosion of faith in our public institutions.

Ford has done much damage over the past year. He has shown that corruption within his 'government' thrives; he has increased public cynicism, and he has made many recoil in abject disgust that such criminality runs rampant in Canada's largest province.

But some good has come out of it as well, primarily in the reminder to an abused public that sometimes, if we don't lose sight of a goal too precious to surrender, we can effect change.  

Well done to everyone who has been a part of this victory!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

What Happened In Vegas

 ... didn't stay in Vegas. Consequently, another one bites the dust. Dean Blundell explains all:

The corruption obviously runs deep, and it runs from the top down. Doug the Slug is holding another news conference this afternoon. Given how deep the premier is in to the developers, expect only the usual misdirections, pontifications, evasions, self-serving justifications and NO reversal on the Greenbelt crime.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Sometimes It's Difficult To Know

Sometimes it's difficult to know what is going on in the mind and motivation of Ontario premier Doug Ford. Is he merely a benighted soul who embraces a simple mantra of 'private sector good, public sector bad'? Is he incapable of grasping the perilous climatic times and food challenges we face? Or is he simply so arrogant that he thinks he can ride out the outrage over the Greenbelt theft? Then again, perhaps his associations and friendships with wealthy developers have warped his concept of the "ordinary folks" he publicly proclaims his affiliation with?

All are legitimate questions, ones prompted by his appearance at the 104th Annual Plowing Match, a yearly genuflection in which politicians show their 'common folk' bona fides. Doug Ford riding a tractor makes us all want to vote for him, eh?

This year, however, as a result of his ongoing theft of valuable Greenbelt lands that house so much arable land, his reception was more muted than in times past, the media describing the crowd as merely 'polite.'

Among the waves and hellos from the sidelines to the premier and his caucus as they wended their way along the opening day parade route in a tractor-pulled wagon, there was also some discontent among attendees at the event held in Dufferin County, west of Orangeville.

“If Doug Ford keeps going the way he’s going — for (future generations), where’s their food coming from? Farmers feed us,” said Mona Blain, whose husband’s family has been farming for 100 years in southwestern Ontario.

“Farmers keep our world from going hungry, and when you keep building on our prime farmland, where’s the food coming from?” said Blain, who voted for the Progressive Conservatives in the last election.

“When you start giving away land for billions of dollars and helping out your friends in the process, there’s something wrong,” she added.

While many attending expressed similar concerns, Mr. Ford, ever the cliche-master, offered this chiropractic bromide, avowing

“we’re always going to have the agriculture, the food sector’s back, but most importantly we’re going to have the farmer’s backs.”

Not so, according to opposition politicians.

Ford “is not listening to rural people, he’s not listening to farmers. They are saying very clearly that they want the land returned to the Greenbelt,” [Marit} Stiles said.

Green Leader Mike Schreiner said 60 per cent of the land removed from the Greenbelt is in the Duffins Rouge agricultural preserve east of Toronto, “and that’s some of the best farmland in North America.”

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser said while Ford didn’t mention the Greenbelt in his speech, it was the “elephant in the room.”

While the plowing match is a celebration, he said, “people are angry, and they are angry in rural Ontario and they are angry in urban Ontario.” 

One thing is certain, however. In appearing on land in which horse manure is spread far and wide, Doug Ford shows he is very much in his element.


Now This Is How You Make A Commercial

Just a change of pace for today. Besides, have you ever seen Samuel L. Jackson give a bad performance?

Sunday, September 17, 2023