Tainted government

According to a new poll, 57 per cent of Ontario voters believe Premier Doug Ford’s government is “corrupt.” Corrupt!

From Merriam Webster:

“Corrupt: 1a: morally degenerate and perverted: DEPRAVED

b: characterized by improper conduct (such as bribery or the selling of favours) corrupt judges


That’s a pretty startling indictment of a government led by a premier who loudly accused the previous administration of perpetrating “the worst political scandal in the history of Ontario,” by supposedly low-balling the deficit in its last pre-election budget.

“We’re not going to let (former premier) Kathleen Wynne and her cronies get away with their $15-billion scandal,” Ford declared during a speech to a room packed with Progressive Conservative MPPs last September.

Less than a year later, 63% of Ontarians polled by Corbett Communications say the Conservative government has given too many jobs to Ford’s “cronies.”

The poll arrives in the wake of a patronage scandal that has seen the premier’s chief of staff Dean French resign, along with a lengthy list of government appointees with personal connections to French and questionable qualifications for their new positions.

“Under this government, there will be zero tolerance for any form of financial scandals and abuse,” Ford stated in a speech to party MPPs last fall. Since the French connections were revealed, Ford has revoked some questionable appointments and accepted some resignations, but does that really constitute “zero” tolerance?

With the legislature shut down for the longest summer break (five months) in recent memory, the premier has essentially been in hiding since the scandal broke. Surfacing before the media at a joint news conference on July 8 along with other premiers at a conclave in Calgary, he dismissed questions about French in rather odd fashion.

“Do you really think when I walk down the street in Alberta, people worry about Dean French? … You know what they worry about? They worry about a job.”

Maybe so. But back here in Ontario, the latest survey says people are worried about Dean French and a whole lot more (probably, to be honest, including jobs).

Seventy-four per cent said they agree that “human caused catastrophic climate change” is occurring and 69% said Ford’s $30-million fund to fight the federal government’s carbon tax is a waste. Almost 40% said Lisa MacLeod, who’s working on botching her second cabinet appointment in vulgar fashion (I’m no Senators fan, but come on!), should resign.

If there’s any cause for optimism through all of this, it’s that the Corbett poll shows Ontarians are recognizing and reacting to the series of scandals and policy failures by withdrawing support from Ford’s government.

Seems we’re not so far gone as our neighbours to the south, where no outrage seems to move the needle among supporters of their preposterous president.

Many Ontarians may indeed have ignored the lessons of recent history in voting to elect this Ford-led PC government, but it appears they are still willing to learn.

Are Ford and the Tory MPPs who enable him?