Denley: Doug Ford’s summer plan – avoid controversy

0

The premier of Ontario is keeping a low profile this summer and that is a good thing. Meanwhile, his party is preparing for the 2022 provincial election.

Content of the article

Has anyone seen Doug Ford lately? You know who I mean. A big guy, used to be in the news all the time talking about the horrors of COVID-19.

Advertising

Content of the article

The premier of Ontario is keeping a low profile this summer and that is a good thing. While there is certainly something to be said for Ford’s long line of daily media events during the pandemic, he eventually became greatly overexposed. There’s not much to say, and Ford’s daily message that his heart was breaking for those who paid the price for his lockdowns and that no one wanted to reopen the province more than him, became a contrast. tiring with reality in the most blocked countries. -competence in North America.

Time and opinion polls will tell if the absence makes voters fonder, but it’s certainly worth it. Ford’s approval rating was 62% in June 2020. A year later, it had fallen to 40%.

Reducing Ford’s public exposure is part of a smart summer strategy by Progressive Conservatives, who are well into what will be a year-long re-election campaign. It is not as if the Prime Minister is doing nothing, but he is keeping himself out of controversy. Instead, he travels the province delivering good news. In the past few weeks alone, he announced support for hospitals, wineries, young workers, small businesses, Great Lakes shores, long-term care, addiction services and a Tamil community center in Scarborough.

Advertising

Content of the article

Time and opinion polls will tell if the absence makes voters fonder, but it’s certainly worth it.

As Ford emphasizes the positive, he is letting Dr. Kieran Moore, the new Chief Medical Officer of Health, carry the ball on the pandemic and economic reopening. The latest easing of pandemic restrictions came several days earlier than Moore initially indicated, but his making the announcement washed away any impression Ford was pushing the doctor to act sooner.

The government has even reversed its enthusiasm for spending control, at least publicly. Instead, he’s engaged in some stealthy fiscal responsibility. A July report from the province’s financial accountability office announced the good news that government spending during the pandemic was significantly lower than expected. The PC budget was increased by $ 22.1 billion to meet pandemic demands, but actual spending was $ 10.3 billion lower than that figure. Revenues are also expected to be higher than government forecasts.

Advertising

Content of the article

The net effect is a deficit of $ 29.3 billion. It is still a staggering sum, but significantly better than the $ 38.5 billion planned by the government. This will make any balanced budget plan proposed by the government in the next election more plausible.

The Ford government spent all of its money on pandemic-related health and employment, sparking a familiar complaint from the opposition that the government was sitting on pandemic dollars.

Improving the fiscal position would normally be seen as top-notch good news by a PC government, but the Ford team took no credit for their budget control, emphasizing instead how much they had spent. Obviously, they think we are not yet back to the days when fiscal responsibility is rewarded.

Advertising

Content of the article

PCs are trying to restore a positive history so they can start focusing on jobs and the economy this fall. They may have credibility on these issues, but the challenge is to overcome the lingering damage and bitterness caused by Ontario’s tight economic restrictions. Ford’s “open for business” slogan is just a bad joke now.

Ford’s political future still depends on the future course of the pandemic. If there isn’t a fourth wave big enough to persuade the ultra-cautious prime minister to implement another lockdown, then he should be in good shape. It can underline the success of the vaccination program and the pandemic will be a rather distant memory until the elections next June. While COVID is at the forefront of the news throughout the winter, the prognosis for PCs is not so good.

For now, Doug Ford is enjoying the sunny days of summer and hoping there will be more.

Randall Denley is an Ottawa political commentator and author. Contact him at [email protected]

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Check out our community guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Source link

Share.

Leave A Reply