Wednesday May 15, 2019
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday May 15, 2019
Niagara MPP Sam Oosterhoff shows his inexperience with two bad stumbles in a week
Maybe it was youthful exuberance. Maybe youthful hubris. But it came off as youthful ignorance.
Two times in one week, Niagara West PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff blew a chance to show statesmanship and instead demonstrated his inexperience.
On May 7, staffers in his Beamsville riding office called the cops on a group of protesters: senior citizens, most of them women, some belonging to book clubs, who were gathered in silent protest against provincial cuts to libraries. The cuts affect interlibrary loans, which are especially important in small-town areas where books are not readily available and must be borrowed from other libraries.
Oosterhoff wasn’t in the office that day. But the library system in his riding is one of those dependent on interlibrary loans. How many copies of “Where the Crawdads Sing” do you think are hanging around the Grimsby library? If you guessed three, you’d be correct. But three isn’t enough to feed a book club. Oosterhoff showed in a small way he’s out of touch with an important segment of his riding.
Two days later, Oosterhoff was definitely present for a Queen’s Park anti-abortion protest where he said it was time to make abortion “unthinkable.”
What is unthinkable is that in 2019 this discussion is still happening. What is unthinkable is that a newbie backbencher would paint his boss, Doug Ford, into a corner. In the end, Ford missed an opportunity to say he supports a woman’s right to choose. Instead, he said the government would not “reopen” the debate on abortion and, in any case, the PC party tent is large enough to hold a number of opposing views.
At a time when polling shows more than three-quarters of Canadians support abortion rights, Oosterhoff showed how out of step he is. It’s not a good look. (Hamilton Spectator)