Doug Ford: He lacks the education, experience, integrity and acumen to lead this province into better days. And he has the track record to prove it.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 5th, 2018



I have a friend who claims that he learned everything he knows from watching cops and robbers on the big screen and his giant home TV. He was raised on Al Capone, Billy the Kid, and Bonnie and Clyde. And later he fell in love with the Sopranos. There was something about drugs and labour unions and waste management that were compelling and telling. So what about the politicians wanting your vote come June 7?


Former US president Richard Nixon – forgot to turn the tape recorder off.

My friend’s political heroes are the anti-christ, the ones with the chutzpah to pretend they’re there for the every person but are really there for themselves. They’ve never seen a law they weren’t afraid to break or ignore. Richard Nixon is a favourite, and of course Donald Trump, our own Brian Mulroney with his Karl Heinz dealings… and Rob Ford of course. So how, I asked, do the candidates for Ontario’s highest office rate?

Andrea thumb up

Horwath: she doesn’t look like she’d ever use a bat except to play ball.

Andrea Horwath gets D minus. Running neck-in-neck for first place in the upcoming election she hails direct from Ontario’s crime capital, Hamilton. She was a student of labour policy before becoming a Hamilton councillor and chairing a city solid waste management committee, which sounds kind of suspicious, though nobody has seen a baseball bat in her locker. Perhaps that’s because she leads a pro-union labour party, or perhaps because she doesn’t look like she’d ever use a bat except to play ball.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at the hearings into the gas plant cancellations at Queen's Park in Toronto on December 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at the hearings into the gas plant cancellations at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

Kathleen Wynne gets a D. She is more of a historical character at this point having announced that she is giving up the race to lead the province. But even though she is the fifth longest serving premier she has failed in all that time to have engaged in any notable criminal wrong-doing. There must have been an opportunity when she saved the horse racing industry from her predecessor’s knife – but nothing.

Oh sure she has a book-keeping disagreement with the provincial auditor general on a couple of issues, and one of her staff had been falsely accused of political bribery in a by-election – proven to be sour grapes. And she must have been at the Cabinet table when Dalton McGuinty decided to play politics with electricity file. But there is no smoking gun of corruption, no payola, nor any blood on her hands.

Her biggest crime is in the debt load she leaves future generations, two thirds of which represents investment in new transportation – an investment they will also inherit. And of course this is money we largely owe ourselves. It would be a more serious issue were the economy, the strongest it’s been in thirty years, unable to accommodate financing this investment and not spooking the bond raters.

Doug Ford gets an A +. His drug dealing days as reported by the Globe and Mail go pretty far back. And who didn’t do something stupid, criminal, dangerous and mind blowing when they were young? And who wouldn’t break the municipal code of conduct once elected to city council, according to the city’s integrity commissioner. Is it really a conflict of interest to help your friends to the taxpayers money just because they‘re also your clients.

Ford Doug

Has a close family member who was a mayor of a big city until he had to go into rehab for addiction to crack cocaine and booze.

I mean who among us doesn’t have a close family member who was a mayor of a big city until he had to go into rehab for addiction to crack cocaine and booze. And why should Doug take the blame for being his brother’s keeper? Except he was in so many ways. They were close, coaching him, occupying the mayor’s office when Rob was off on a binge, and being there in times of family crisis, which usually involved illegal drugs and sometimes even a hand gun.

The Fords were a close family so it’s all a bit of shock that Doug is being sued by Rob’s widow. She claims that Doug effectively stole her inheritance and that of her children – Rob’s 20% share in Deco labels, the company his father had started. Doug and his brother Randy had taken the shares in trust, breached that trust, and squandered the money on losing business ventures and fat salaries and bonuses for themselves – or something like that.

But the bottom line is the bottom line according to Rob Ford’s widow in her claim against Doug and his brother Randy. “Breach of trust, conspiracy and “negligent mismanagement” of the family business, Deco Labels, in the Superior Court statement of claim that seeks damages of more than $16 million” (Toronto Sun).

“Neither Doug Ford nor Randy Ford have the education and business ability to justify their employment as senior officers of Deco,” she (Renata Ford) alleges, adding that they carried out numerous “ill-advised acquisitions” of businesses and assets in New Jersey, Chicago and Ohio.” (Toronto Star).

Doug Ford says help is on the way – he claims he is going to turn this province around. But with a near full employment economy the question is whether Ontario’s economic progress can be sustained under a premier with such an unfortunate business record. Kathleen Wynne may not connect well with Ontario voters but she has helped us live in good times and perhaps at the end of the day we’ll judge that she may have been premature taking herself out of the race.

Doug Ford finger pointing

And he has the record to prove it.

My dystopia-loving friend may be cheering for Doug Ford, but we voters in this province need to have a sober second thought before we head into the ballot booth. Mr. Ford is ill equipped for the job of premier. He lacks the education, experience, integrity and acumen to lead this province into better days. And he has the track record to prove it.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Doug At Deco –   Councillor Doug –   Wiki on Deco

More Deco –   Law Suit –   More Law Suit

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12 comments to Doug Ford: He lacks the education, experience, integrity and acumen to lead this province into better days. And he has the track record to prove it.

  • Alfred

    Ray after you backing and selling McGuinty, Trudeau, and Wynne. You will understand if nobody takes your advice seriously.

  • Tim

    Sadly – there is no longer room in the PC party for people who are socially progressive and fiscally conservative – the quality of leadership in the PC party has been lacking for awhile – Doug Ford is just the latest version of really bad decisions being made by the brain trust in the PC party

  • Bill "Virginia, EE.UU." Boyd

    I really like, Ray, your, call it, “inverted rating system.” But, seriously, might not that “A+” appear to be a positive endorsement?

  • ROB


  • George Ward

    Dear Ray Rivers,

    I have followed your articles in the Gazette for some time now and I do not always agree with your political thoughts but your friends ratings of prospective Ontario Premiers is spot on. Namely: Andrea Horwath (D-), Kathleen Wynne (D), and Doug Ford (A+).

    Doug Ford may not be the most eloquent or educated but he has been clever enough to surround himself with intelligent progressive conservative educated, experienced individuals with integrity and acumen.

    Whereas Ms. Andrea Horwath has surrounded herself with radicals including the nine listed below:

    1. Laura Kaminker, NDP candidate who said wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day was “collective brainwashing” and “war glorification.”

    2. Tasleem Riaz, NDP candidate who compared Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan to “war criminals” and posted praise to Adolf Hitler on Facebook.

    3. Bill Andrew, NDP candidate who said Toronto’s black Police Chief Mark Saunders deserves the “coon award.”

    4. Gurratan Singh, NDP candidate brother of federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, held up a sign saying “F–k the Police.”

    5. Jessica Bell, NDP candidate wrote a pamphlet for activists calling for “economic shutdown”, “seizure of assets” and “property destruction” and was arrested for participating in an illegal protest.

    6. Chandra Pasma, NDP candidate said having a job is” dehumanizing”

    7. Ramsey Hart, NDP candidate has devoted his career to shutting down mining jobs in the north.

    8. Erica Kelly, NDP candidate said she hoped “gun nuts” would be bombed by drones.

    9. Dwayne Morris, NDP candidate believes the 911 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the US government.

    10. Andrea Horwath, NDP leader stated if she formed the next government she would not interfere in any extended strike … remember David Miller NDP Mayor of Toronto who also refused to interfere in the garbage strike several summers ago. Remember also Bob Ray and the NDP legacy of disaster.

    Even Liberal Leader and left thinking Ms. Kathleen Wynne told her at the recent debate her thinking on this was incorrect the government must represent the people not the unions.

  • Hans

    I wonder if Doug will send us all cheques for $200 like Mike Harris did?

  • For Stephen – If Ford gets elected dynamite will not get him out – he will make the province his personal ATM machine and reward every one who smiles at him. DISASTER – a train wreck headed for us – take a pass on this one.

    • Stephen White

      Hi Burt: Take a look at the excellent summary provided on this page by George Ward, and read about the bizarre cabal of NDP candidates running across the province. Then, after reading it, ask yourself this question: would you rather have a PC government with a strong Cabinet that can control an awkward and boorish leader, or would you rather have an NDP government populated by an odd assortment of screwballs and special interests headed by a Premier who can’t even control her own caucus?

      To prove this last point let’s also remember that the NDP constituency offices in Hamilton for Monique Taylor and Paul Miller have managed to pile up not one, not two, but over a dozen harassment complaints, a fact Ms. Horwath has managed to carefully avoid discussing:

      This election is about the lesser of 3 evils…not the pursuit of excellence.

  • Rudy

    There is no better alternative to Doug Ford!

  • Stephen White

    So let’s all agree: none of us like Doug Ford! He is essentially a frat boy dressed in a suit. He is crude and vulgar. We all agree he isn’t the “smartest knife in the drawer”, and he will never be accused of giving Churchillian-like speeches. That being said, what are the alternatives?

    We have Kathleen Wynne who has effectively conceded the election, and now asks us to send Liberals to Queen’s Park to ensure a minority government. None of her backbenchers spoke up during their time in office, and most just acquiesced in stony silence and blind obedience to her leadership as her government staggered from scandal to scandal and deficit to deficit. That hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement, and it doesn’t provide confidence that a Liberal rump could even keep a puppy in check let alone a government.

    Then we have Andrea Horwath. Admittedly, she has run a great campaign, is bright and well-informed, and is probably the best of the three leaders. But who else does she have in her caucus to appoint to Cabinet? Take away Marit Stiles, Catherine Fife, Peter Tabuns and one or two star candidates and the talent pool wears really thin, really fast. Those of us who were around in 1990 – 95 also recall the mess that Bob Rae left us, including a provincial deficit that ballooned from a $750 million surplus to a $17 billion hole in less than 3 years.

    No…it isn’t a stellar list of choices. Like Phil, I too hope the PCs re-tool, purge their Party executive, get some better candidates (particularly in Toronto), and spend more time focusing on developing better policies. Unlike Phil though, I’m not sure I want to entrust the province to a minority NDP government dominated by political neophytes and propped up by a discredited Liberal rump. My preference would be a PC government, and that Dougie exits soon so we can finally get a leader worthy of the office.

  • Tim

    Not my premier

    • Philip Waggett

      Sadly, neither are the two socialists!! I’m actually hoping for an NDP minority (hopefully the made-in-Ontario recession won’t be too bad) so the PC’s can retool around a new executive and a clear centrist.