Ontario has a Premier that is delivering

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 15th, 2020



You have to give credit where credit is due.

For the past month Ontario has had a Premier who has delivered.  Surprising to many, is the level of empathy we are seeing from the man.

Doug Ford - habd to head

Ontario Premier Doug Ford – being pressed at every level yet keeping it all together.

Doug Ford is there before the cameras every day of the week; answering the tough, but necessary, questions.

Yesterday he stepped away from the camera, took a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his brow.  He was sweating it literally.

There is nothing smooth or slick about Doug Ford; his oratory doesn’t soar but when he says he will “look into it” – he does.

Hearing a politician say that they will do whatever it takes and then having them deliver on that statement is certainly refreshing.

His response to the desperate situation in the long term care homes hit home for this man; his Mother-in-law is a resident in one.

He moved swiftly to make changes across the system – long term care and the people who provide the service will benefit from his ability to see the problem, accept the advice he was given and get the wheels moving.

There will come a time when the spending being done today will have to be recovered from the tax base and we will watch with interest on how the current government pulls that off.

But right now Doug Ford is leading in a way this writer didn’t expect.

Does anyone happen to know where the leader of the provincial Liberals is.  Has the New Democrat leader lost her tongue?

Many of us laughed when Doug Ford was basically hidden during the last federal election for fear that he would embarrass Andrew Scheer.

I may have issues with underlying philosophy that the Progressive Conservatives bring to the table but the man leading the government today is doing the job and I’m not embarrassed.

Listening to him say that he is a politician and he listens to the experts – and that it is his job to step aside and let the experts do their jobs is refreshing.

We didn’t see that from the federal Liberals during the SNC mess that occupied the minds of many trying to figure out just what the full story was behind the demotion of the then Minister of Justice Jodie Wilson Raybould.

Ford for the people

Doug Ford is likely to be a two term Premier.

Every political leader has people who do the longer term political thinking.  Were I Doug Ford, I would be asking my team to think about when to go back to the electorate.

When the COVID-19 crisis is behind us and things are getting back to, or close to, normal I would call a snap election – because when this is all over there is going to be a huge economic mess that may take as much as a decade to recover from and some very painful financial decision are going to have to be made.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.




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8 comments to Ontario has a Premier that is delivering

  • David

    ‘I may have issues with underlying philosophy that the Progressive Conservatives bring to the table’….Thought I’d wait until this story drifted down the page, before asking (Not sarcastically) What are you concerned about with (Not the Progressive Conservatives) but Doug Fords Philosophy…..I’m not even sure what the progressive conservatives stand for anymore, but Doug Ford seemed to strike a cord with the electorate, it would be interesting to learn how your vision differs from his.

  • Bob

    Time for an update and reassessment. Prior to 2018 Ontario carried out a comprehensive inspection of all 626 assisted care homes in the province. In 2018 that number was cut in half, approximately. Last year that number was cut to nine, that’s 9 out of 626. Nursing homes are now open for business.

  • Don Fletcher

    I concur. I personally do not think much of Ontario’s public health “experts” though, who have rationed testing to 3-4000/ day when we had a capability for 13000/day, and directed COVID-19 positive nurses, albeit wrapped in PPE, to go back to work in hospitals to care for the sick, due to concerns over staff shortages. They have also been painfully slow on making recommendations to effectively deal with the long-term care home debacle. I hope that when the Premier says that he will be acting on the advice of his health care experts, that it will not be taken exclusively, or even primarily. It might also help Ontario’s cause immensely (my opinion) if Premier Ford could make a Chief Medical Officer trade for someone like B.C’s Dr. Bonnie Henry, sometime soon?

    • David

      Covid-19 has stress tested every system we have in place, Doug Ford is ultimately responsible for everything that happens on his shift. Although I just checked the org chart of Ontario’s long term care homes, counted 76-Directors, Chiefs, assistant something or others, about 10 of these seem to be operational management. (How this organization can even function is beyond me) not to mention the costs regarding management salaries and benefits. (It does not say if these people have other responsibilities or not)

      The early warning signs happened in BC with seniors dying in care homes, these operation managers should have acted faster to protect these vulnerable people.
      The argument they were preoccupied with ICU cases is really no excuse for the bad management of existing resources.
      The other point is the homes are either privately owned or run by charities.
      They should be owned by the Ontario government and managed by something like the ‘Trillium Health Partners’ who currently run, I believe, 3-Mississauga hospitals.
      As Government couldn’t run a lemonade stand, thats why Trillium exists.
      Doug Ford is probably spitting nails, I know I would be.
      If you’re lucky you will all be seniors one day, it would be nice to know you could live the last of the summer wine without worrying about mass extinction.

  • David

    You have captured the thoughts of many Ontarian’s no matter what party they support. I agree with you totally that in the early days it was a bit shaky. I’m not looking for perfection. I’m not looking for excitement or Glamour in my leader’s, I think I’m looking for some kind of stability and decency….We can only hope, you and I.

  • Stephen White

    Great article Pepper!

    I’ve had my issues with the Premier in the past, and some of the stumbles and mis-steps by his government during their first year in office were pretty amateurish. But credit where credit is due…..he has done an amazing job throughout this crisis! He is calm, resolute, candid and sincere, and exactly what one would expect of a leader in a major crisis.

  • Joe Gaetan

    I must agree with you Pepper. Time will tell if Ford is a man for all seasons. Right now he is what Ontario needs.

  • Claudette Mancini

    Here, here!