Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday October 23, 2019
Canada election: Did Doug Ford laying low work for Andrew Scheer?
A day after the federal election with the dust still settling, Ontario Premier Doug Ford resurfaced with an announcement of more money to fight crime across the province.
Ford made the announcement of $6 million over three years away from reporters and cameras.
“When we invest in our men and women in uniform, we get results,” Ford said in a statement.
The media have had limited access to the premier since the election campaign began. Ford was available twice to the Queenʼs Park press gallery over the past several weeks, and both times were a great distance from Queenʼs Park.
One appearance was in North Bay during the International Plowing Match and the second was last week in Kenora, located nearly 20 hours driving distance from the legislature.
The question political pundits and pollsters have been chewing over is whether or not Fordʼs noticeable absence had an impact on the campaign.
“I canʼt imagine that having the premier allegedly lay low for a couple of weeks had much of an impact one way or another,” Sean Simpson with IPSOS Canada said on Tuesday.
However, Simpson said a poll done for Global News on election day of 10,000 people showed a slim majority of Ontario residents said Ford as premier “had at least some impact on their vote.”
“Some of those are conservatives more likely to vote as a result of Doug Ford. Of course others are supporters of the Liberals and the NDP maybe voting against,” he said.
While most GTA ridings did not change parties, Milton did. Long-time conservative MP and former Harper cabinet Minister Lisa Raitt was unseated by the Liberal candidate and Olympian Adam van Koeverden.
When asked Monday night if she believed Fordʼs negative approval ratings had an impact, Raitt said she didnʼt know.
A spokesperson for Ford said he called Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on Tuesday to offer congratulations on his re-election.
“They discussed shared goals for the province and agreed to work collaboratively to move important projects forward,” Ivana Yelich, Fordʼs press secretary, said.
Ford later issued a statement and said the provincial and federal governments need to work with municipalities to build “hospital infrastructure, create long-term care beds for our aging population, address gridlock and congestion on our roads and to build affordable housing for young people and families.”
“The Premier thanked the Prime Minister for his support of the Ontario Line and his recognition of this important project that will help end gridlock and get people moving across the Greater Toronto Area.” (Global News)