Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday October 29, 2019
Ontario will champion a united Canada: Premier Doug Ford
Ontario needs to “step up” and help heal a country fractured after a federal election campaign, Premier Doug Ford says.
“I’ve never seen the country this divided,” Ford said in a one-on-one interview Thursday with the Toronto Sun. “I think it’s time that Ontario steps up and unites this country. We’re so much stronger when we’re united.”
Ford said he gets along well with several other premiers, including those in Alberta and Quebec, and strongly believes that the provinces should be competing against the world, not each other.
Ontario does well in a strong Canada, and Canada does well with a strong Ontario, he said.
“I understand their concerns out west; they’re putting $20 billion into the federal government’s pockets and they’re frustrated,” he said. “(Albertans are) upset; they’re really upset, actually.”
The same is true for folks he spoke to in Saskatchewan, he Ford.
One of the issues dividing some provinces and the federal government is carbon taxes.
The federal government’s lead voice in favour of carbon taxes, Liberal MP Catherine McKenna, found the windows of her constituency office spray-painted with a vulgar, sexist message Thursday.
Ford said he continues to oppose carbon taxes, believes that they put the province at an international economic disadvantage, but called for political points of views to be expressed peacefully.
“That’s totally unacceptable what they spray-painted,” he said. “I don’t care what political stripe you are.”
His own constituency office was occupied by protesters recently, terrifying his staff, he said.
Ford and his government head back to the legislature Monday for the first time since June.
Many have suggested that Ford was keeping out of the public eye for fear of hurting Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s chances of winning Monday’s federal election.
Ford said he told Scheer at the start of the campaign that he hoped the Conservative leader won but he was staying out of it, focusing on pressing provincial matters.
Asked if he minded that his name kept popping up in the campaign — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeatedly told Canadians they could expect Ford-like cuts from Scheer — the premier said it didn’t bother him.
However, in a phone call with Trudeau the day after the election, he touched on the topic, Ford said.
“I told the prime minister that ‘enough of the politicking now, people expect us to work together and make sure that we build on infrastructure and other areas,’” Ford said. (Toronto Sun) https://torontosun.com/news/provincial/ontario-will-champion-a-united-canada-premier-doug-ford