Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday November 22, 2023
Doug Ford’s Green Dilemma: An Unappetizing Plate of Policy
As the advocacy group Ontario Place for All takes Premier Doug Ford’s government to court over the redevelopment plans for Ontario Place, the scenario unfolds like a childhood struggle over vegetables at the dinner table. Much like a parent urging a reluctant child to “eat his greens,” this legal battle is a call for Premier Ford to consume a hefty serving of environmental responsibility.
The group, in its pursuit of a “full environmental assessment,” is akin to a concerned parent demanding that Ford thoroughly examine the nutritional content of his policy plate. The court application challenges the omission of the West Island redevelopment from the initial environmental assessment, asserting that a new evaluation, inclusive of the spa complex, is imperative.
In the parental tug-of-war, Ontario Place for All seeks an interim injunction, preventing the government from engaging in actions that would harm the West Island’s trees, amounting to a plea for Ford not to damage the delicate ecosystem. The group also demands transparency, asking for the government to reveal its lease with Therme and the business case for the West Island redevelopment.
Norm Di Pasquale, co-chair of Ontario Place for All, plays the role of the stern but caring parent, stating, “We just want the government to follow its own laws.” It’s a plea for Ford to adhere to the rules and engage in a consultation process, mirroring a parent’s insistence on following established guidelines.
On the flip side, Premier Ford seems to adopt a defiant stance, claiming the public’s disinterest in his government’s bill to return land to the Greenbelt. This dismissal is reminiscent of a child claiming indifference to the nutritional benefits of greens. Ford’s government defends brief consultations on the bill, reminiscent of a child resisting a longer dinner engagement.
The Premier’s pivot to the carbon tax issue reflects a child distracting from one disliked vegetable to another. It’s a strategic move to shift focus, suggesting that the public cares more about a different topic – a familiar tactic in the art of diversion.
As the Greenbelt bill faces limited committee hearings, Ford’s government appears to assert newfound confidence, referencing polling figures as evidence of weathering the Greenbelt crisis. The memo from the premier’s office reads like a parent celebrating a child’s improved eating habits, emphasizing the positive outcomes of Ford’s policy adjustments.
In the end, the Ontario NDP’s queries about public engagement on the Greenbelt bill echo the persistent calls of a parent asking, “Why won’t you listen to the public?” Yet, Ford’s government remains steadfast, presenting its decisions as public-policy choices, much like a parent justifying unpopular but supposedly necessary dietary restrictions.
In this political dining room, the menu of environmental policies is served with a side of controversy, and Ford’s government is caught between appeasing the public palate and asserting its own perceived priorities. The question remains: Can Doug Ford find a balance on his policy plate that satisfies both the public’s appetite for environmental protection and his government’s strategic agenda? (AI)
From sketch to finish, see the current way Graeme completes an editorial cartoon using an iPencil, the Procreate app, and a couple of cheats on an iPad Pro. If you’re creative, give illustration a try: