Cartoons are posted below but the most recent one is at least one week late.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday July 10, 2019
Doug Ford says he acted ‘immediately’ on patronage scandal caused by former chief of staff Dean French
Premier Doug Ford says he addressed the patronage scandal created by his former chief of staff Dean French “immediately.”
Taking media questions in public for the first time since the controversy broke late last month, Ford — in Alberta Monday for the Calgary Stampede before heading to a meeting of premiers in Saskatoon — said “you know something, I think I addressed that pretty quickly. As a matter of fact, I addressed that immediately when we were in Toronto.”
However, he added, “we aren’t here to talk about Dean French. We’re here to talk about internal trade. This is the first opportunity this country has ever seen in recent memory that from coast to coast, from the east to the west, we have like-minded premiers” which is “incredible for the entire nation.”
Ford also accused the media of wanting “to get into the weeds” when the public wants to know about jobs and the economy.
“Do you really think when I walk down the street in Alberta, people worry about Dean French?” Ford added.
Opposition critics immediately slammed Ford. NDP MP Taras Natyshak (Essex) said the premier was “hiding out instead of taking responsibility for the patronage appointment scandal that has rocked his government,” adding he “finally popped his head up only to pass the buck in Cowtown.”
Natyshak said “make no mistake about it, Doug Ford is the conductor of his own gravy train. He hands out tickets to his cronies and he ditches them when he gets caught. Ontarians expect better conduct from the premier of this province.”
Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser said Ford’s evasiveness when asked about French “demonstrates a lack of respect for the people of Ontario.”
The Calgary gathering of five premiers — Ford, Alberta’s Jason Kenney, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick and Bob McLeod of Northwest Territories — comes ahead of this week’s meeting of all premiers and territorial leaders at the Council of the Federation.
Kenney characterized the pre-meeting — which included a visit to the Calgary Stampede — as a “brief and fairly informal get-together” to talk about jobs and the economy.
Moe, the host of this year’s federation meeting in Saskatoon, said the five are a “table of mutual interest” and not an ideological group, despite their similar political leanings. (Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday June 29, 2019
Time to remind the G20 there’s more to Canada’s economy than trade with China
China’s latest trade attack — this time on exports of Canadian meat — is a fresh warning of the current volatility in global commerce.
As the world’s largest trading nations gather at the G20 summit in Japan this week, there have been stern warnings that a failure to resolve the tariff dispute between the United States and China will have a dire effect on the entire global economy.
But despite repeated warnings of trade Armageddon, the North American economy has shown itself to be surprisingly resilient and the latest economic indicators tell us that Canada is actually doing quite well.
And as painful as it is for Canadian producers that have benefited from the Chinese market, the dark cloud of politically motivated trade action may have a silver lining.
For one thing, it tells Canadian exporters that China, willing to cast aside a long, close trading relationship in favour of short-term political bullying, may not be a reliable trade partner.
For another, it is a reminder that, for Canada, exports to China are by no means the only game in town.
Certainly in the run-up to the G20 meeting in Osaka that officially begins Friday, spillover from the U.S.-China trade battle has been seen as a key subject of discussion. Whether there is any hope of a resolution is widely disputed.
“We were about 90 per cent of the way there and I think there’s a path to complete this,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin this week, insisting he is optimistic talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will lead to progress.
But there have been many other signals from the U.S. administration that there are large issues outstanding. Trump has warned of a “plan B” — including more tariffs — if China does not back down.
So far Xi has been equally intransigent, unwilling to give up key elements of his country’s long-term technology plan, the Made in China 2025 strategy, in exchange for short-term trade peace.
Between those two poles, Canada has been caught in the middle. U.S. hostility toward China, including its demand that Canada arrest Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, has led directly to the Canada-China dispute. (CBC)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday June 22, 2019
Trudeau and Trump meet and U.S. president says he will press China to release detained Canadians
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s third official visit to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump got off to a better start than his last disastrous G7 meeting with the unpredictable president.
Trump welcomed Trudeau to the Oval Office, calling him a “friend” and saying they would have a “positive day” and in a photo opportunity, Trump told reporters he would take up Canada’s cause with Chinese president Xi Jinping to release the detained Canadians “at Justin’s request.”
“I will represent him well, we have a meeting set up with President Xi and it’s obviously on the big transaction that we’re talking about and negotiating…but anything that I can do to help Canada I will be doing.”
Trump also said Trudeau’s going up to Capitol Hill to speak to members of Congress about ratifying the new NAFTA is “a good thing.”
Trump wavered for a moment on the ratification of the new NAFTA however, after a reporter asked about a promise of no more tariffs when the deal is ratified.
“I have to get the Democrats to approve it, so I like your positive thinking. But if — and the if is really subject to the Democrats, let’s see what happens — but I really believe that Nancy Pelosi and the House will approve it, I think the senate will approve it rapidly. It’s going to be very bipartisan.”
Trump did not rule out any further tariffs against Canada and Mexico, saying “they have to do what they have to do.”
He said if there are any “tremendous shipments of certain products” into U.S. markets, he might revive them.
“We were very pleased the steel and aluminum tariffs were lifted,” said Trudeau.
Trump replied: “There won’t be hopefully transshipping. If there’s transshipping, I’ll call Justin and he’ll take care of it, I’ll probably call him a second time and if he does it again, we’ll have to talk.” (Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday June 21, 2019
Ontario Premier Doug Ford shakes up cabinet amid backlash for spending cuts
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has unveiled a cabinet shuffle that moves several prominent ministers out of key roles after he faced fights over spending cuts, sagging poll numbers and loud boos at public events.
A year into his term, Mr. Ford demoted his finance minister, Vic Fedeli, two months after he delivered the government’s first budget in April. The budget contained targeted cuts to municipalities and other services that, since the details came to light, have dogged Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives.
The changes expand the cabinet table to 28 seats from 21, and make room for several newcomers. They follow complaints in PC circles that the government has had trouble communicating its message, as some recent polls suggest that under Mr. Ford, the party has suffered as much as a 10-per-cent decline in support from the 40.5 per cent it won in last June’s election.
Ontario, the country’s most populous province, home of its financial hub and generator of nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product, will be a key battleground for this fall’s federal election. Senior Liberals see Mr. Ford’s performance as a potential liability for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, and routinely link them in public statements. Senior Conservative MPs say they have heard concerns about the Premier from voters.
Lisa MacLeod, who clashed with the parents of autistic children over the government’s changes to funding for treatment, was moved from Children and Social Services to Tourism, Culture and Sport. Lisa Thompson, who, as education minister, faced off against school boards over plans to increase class sizes – saying it would make students more resilient – moves to Government and Consumer Services.
Only eight of Mr. Ford’s ministers kept their jobs in the changes, which come just days after the Premier was booed at an event to celebrate the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship win. In May, he was booed at the opening of the Special Olympics in Toronto.
After Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell swore in the new cabinet, Mr. Ford provided few details on the reasons for the moves. He acknowledged his government has had problems with communication, but said he wanted media coverage to be more “fair and balanced.”
Asked if he is to blame for the recent criticism, he replied: “I look at continuous improvement. It starts with me. Every one of our cabinet ministers, I feel they’ve done a good job, they can always do a better job. I can always do a better job as well.”
The decision to demote Mr. Fedeli, the former mayor of North Bay, Ont., stunned some senior Conservatives, who view him as a steady hand. Mr. Fedeli was the party’s interim leader in early 2018, after Patrick Brown resigned. (Globe & Mail)