Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday September 21, 2021
How much does Ontario really matter to the federal election?
In September of last year, Ford said he wouldn’t campaign for O’Toole and the Tories in the next federal election, preferring instead, he said, to focus on provincial business. Ford was absent from the federal campaign trail in 2019, too, when then-leader Andrew Scheer was up against Trudeau. The Tories welcomed, and perhaps engineered, that.
The unpopular Ford has kept his word — perhaps to the pleasure and to the advantage of the federal Conservatives. As the Globe and Mail reports, he’s even instructed his ministers not to campaign; if they do help out fellow conservatives, they’re meant to keep a low profile. As Laura Stone and Marieke Walsh write, “Mr. Ford’s cabinet members are being told that if they attend a community event at the same time as any of Mr. O’Toole’s candidates, they are not to post any photographs or digital evidence to social media, according to one of the sources.”
Pollster Éric Grenier notes, that this time around, there’s no guarantee Ford would hurt the CPC’s chances. But, given the looming uncertainty surrounding the pandemic in the weeks to come and the possible emergence of vaccine passports as a Liberal wedge issue, he says, “I’m not sure what role he plays. If he just stays out of it, maybe that’s better for everybody — because I’m not sure if he helps the Conservatives if he gets involved, but I’m also not sure he hurts them. So it might just be safer for the Conservatives not to open up that potential Pandora’s box.” Indeed. And it seems the party won’t. (TVO)