Canada Kicks Ass
Meanwhile, in Doug Ford’s Ontario...


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BeaverFever @ Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:47 pm

This week Doug the thug has his goons remove a news reporter doing a live spot outside a PC party meeting. Entire incident played on live tv. PCs apologize then try to blame the security company (video at link)

Security company says guard who blocked CBC News camera was 'instructed by the PC party'

PC spokesperson says party officials did not ask security to remove media
Shanifa Nasser - CBC News

Posted: 2 Hours Ago
Last Updated: 35 Minutes Ago

The company that employed a security guard seen blocking a CBC News reporter's camera during a live television report outside the Ontario Progressive Conservative policy convention is speaking out, saying the guard took instructions directly from party officials.

"We were instructed by the PC party to remove media from the property," Viking Security co-owner Tammy Rolland told CBC News. "We did not create the 'no media' rule nor did we act on our own accord."

The party's director of communications, Christina Wramhed, denied that in a statement late Saturday. "At no point did anyone from the Ontario PC Party instruct security to remove media from the property," she said.

Queen's Park reporter Mike Crawley was in the midst of a live news hit for CBC's Power and Politics Friday afternoon, when a guard was seen stepping in front of his camera, blocking his shot.

Video of the roughly three-minute incident, which amassed thousands of views online, ends with a party official telling the guard to stand down. The party apologized for the incident shortly afterward....

Also in the news this week: when Ford was first elected, one of their first actions was to reveal a redesigned Ontario license plate, with the plate colour changed from White to a new high-reflection two-tone Tory Blue paint. No more stamped numbers, they’re painted on so the plates have a smooth texture. “State of the art!”

Ok fine, apparently we had blue plates a few decades ago and the current ones were blue numbers in white so not a big deal just a reversal of colours and a fresh look. But in typical Doug style they rushed through the project without doing their homework and now that the new plates have hit the road this month, people have noticed a problem. The plates can’t be read at night. You see, the blue plate background is high-reflection paint. The white numbers are ALSO high reflection paint. So at night when headlights shine on them, everything reflects and you can’t distinguish the numbers from the background. Also there are reports that municipal license plate cameras such as photo radar and red light cameras cannot read the new plates.

Tens of thousands of drivers to be mailed replacement licence plates in mid-March, Ontario government says

By Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau
Thu., Feb. 20, 2020timer4 min. read

Ontario drivers will have to wait until mid-March for a fix to the province’s problem-plagued new double-blue licence plates, which give off a glare under lights and often can’t be read at night.

Replacements will then be mailed to the thousands of motorists who now have them on their vehicles, Government and Consumer Minister Lisa Thompson said Thursday following days of ridicule directed at Premier Doug Ford’s administration. ... -says.html


Thanos @ Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:16 pm

Also there are reports that municipal license plate cameras such as photo radar and red light cameras cannot read the new plates.

From the social libertarian perspective this part is actually quite terrific.


BeaverFever @ Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:29 pm

Today’s dispatch from Doug Fords Ontario

Doug's ultimately failed “buck-a-beer” election gimmick actually caused beer prices to increase rather than decrease

Why did Buck-A-Beer make some beer more expensive?

When they tried bringing in Buck-A-Beer there was a concept attached to the beer market in Ontario — a minimum price floor and the minimum price floor had an annual escalator. It was basically a formula that kept up with the Consumer Price Index and it made sure that the minimum price for beer would increase year-over-year by a small percentage.

It turns out that in order to make Buck-A-Beer feasible you had to remove that escalator which means that breweries are now just able to charge whatever they'd like to and when the large brewers are given the option between making more money and charging less, they always choose making more money.

... Are we seeing the price hike largely confined to the major brewers?

This is the amazing thing. When you're talking about minimum pricing you're talking about value brands which are usually at the beer store. The price index I work with is, basically, the price of 24 bottles. In January 2018 that would have been $34.50. As of this winter it's now $37.95. So, it's a 10 per cent increase and the same one for premium brands as well.

Doug makes YET ANOTHER giveaway to developers by tying the hands of municipal governments who require developers to provide community benefits or pay a fee to help offset the costs to taxpayers that come with new development such as new roads, transit, sewer etc. The benefits might be a requirement for the development to provide public parking or a daycare or some other needed public space. Currently municipalities determine the fees, if any, based on the projects impact. Building a new sewer line to recently developed farmland has different costs than retrofitting a 100-year old downtown sewage line to accommodate a new condo But Doug the thug is proposing moving to a capped fixed fee system.

A quick recap on their other legislative changes shows that it is developers — not the environment, not residents and certainly not the long-term needs of municipalities — that have been front and centre in their thinking.

The government revived the developer-friendly OMB rules. It gutted endangered species habitat protections, which critics say lets developers “pay to slay.” It lowered housing density targets, allowing for more of the sprawl that developers love to build but saddles communities with expensive-to-service neighbourhoods that have such low density they can’t even support a regular bus service.

And in January it came out with an unbelievably terrible proposal to let developers hire their own professional inspectors to certify that their buildings are safe and up to code with the specific goal of speeding up approvals.

So it’s no wonder that Toronto councillor Josh Matlow, whose midtown ward faces some of the greatest development pressures in the city, is bracing for the worst. And the associations representing developers, which support the changes, are clearly expecting the best.

“The community benefits charge looks like another Doug Ford giveaway to his developer supporters, at the expense of the people of Ontario and their communities,” says Matlow. ... tario.html


CDN_PATRIOT @ Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:50 am

The funny part is listening to Andrea Horwath bring this up in the Legislature over and over again, trying to make us all believe that, "If this government can't even get licence plates right, think of what else might happen."

Ironic coming from a 'leader' whose party ruined the province back in the early 1990's and proved they couldn't get anything right, EVER. And she wonders why no one has ever/will ever take a chance on the NDP again.

How her own party hasn't turfed her yet is beyond a mystery. People used to complain about Howard Hampton as leader back in the day, but at least he used his time in the Legislature wisely and had good questions and such.



BeaverFever @ Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:44 pm

Credit where credit is due. Could it really be Doug’s put the breaks on the wannabe Trumptard crazy train?

Doug Ford’s handling of the pandemic draws praise from friends and foes


No aspect of Canadian life has been left untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, including politics, and pundits agree the premier of Ontario is one of those most transformed by the outbreak.

Doug Ford, a divisive player on the regional stage long before becoming an equally polarizing national figure, has been turning heads since it became clear that Canada would not be spared the spread of the novel coronavirus. But many of those heads, once likely to be thrown back in dismay, are now bestowing nods of approval.

Gone is the pugnacious partisanship and populist rhetoric that opponents once used to compare Ford to U.S. President Donald Trump. The premier’s regular briefings have instead drawn widespread plaudits for their calm, collegial tone as well as their comparatively progressive content.

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Such an approach, political observers say, differs not only from that demonstrated by like-minded politicians south of the border but from his own past conduct.

“I’m a Liberal, but I’ll give Doug Ford a lot of credit – he’s handling this really well,” said Dan Moulton, vice-president at Crestview Strategy and former senior staff member in the previous Liberal government. “He’s being transparent, responsive, engaging. Ontarians are really seeing him in action.”

Praise from the centre or left of the spectrum has been rare through Ford’s unorthodox and colourful political career.

During his time as Toronto city councillor, Ford drew heavily on his experience running the family label-making business and his well-honed populist instincts to carve out a reputation for staunch conservatism and straight talk.

Those traits remained on full display when he became premier in June 2018 and throughout a tumultuous first year in office that saw his Progressive Conservative government reverse course on a host of core policies and promises.

Ford was rarely conciliatory, whether discussing hydro rates, environmental policy or labour negotiations with Ontario teachers.

He arbitrarily slashed the size of Toronto city council halfway through a municipal election campaign, then threatened to invoke the rarely used notwithstanding clause to overturn a court decision that found his actions unconstitutional. The case will now be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

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He led a coalition of provincial premiers who took the federal government to court over its carbon tax and rarely missed an opportunity to level partisan broadsides at real or perceived political foes.

All that changed earlier this month, and Ford’s near-daily public appearances during the COVID-19 crisis have been free from political attacks.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Ford said unprecedented times called for a fresh approach.

“We put differences aside and we moved together because people expect that,” Ford said of his current, friendly relationship with federal and municipal officials.

Ford’s reference to the will of the people is more familiar to political analysts, as is the clear communication style that’s characterized most of his speeches since the pandemic took hold and prompted him to be among the first provincial leaders to declare a state of emergency.

Political communications consultant Tim Abray said clear messaging has long been one of Ford’s political strengths, noting that aspect of his performance to date has not come as a surprise.

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More striking, he said, has been Ford’s willingness to give equal prominence to credible scientists and public health officials, ensuring reliable information is readily available in one of the provinces hardest hit by the outbreak.

Molton agreed, crediting Ford for showcasing some of his strongest cabinet performers during a slew of multibillion-dollar spending announcements made to safeguard the province during the pandemic.

Some trademark measures remain, such as significant corporate tax breaks, and Ford’s populist appeal was on full display during a recent, impassioned rant against a high-end store selling disinfectant wipes for $30.

But the new announcements have also included measures that depart radically from his government’s usual agenda, such as boosting income for some poor residents and jettisoning the party’s oft-stated goal of balancing the province’s books.

The approach has not gone unnoticed, even drawing praise from traditional political adversaries well outside of Ontario.

“While I can’t say I have historically been a fan of fordnation, I have to say he is doing an incredible job on the COVID-19 file,” wrote B.C. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver on Twitter. “He has shown strong, decisive and compassionate leadership at a critical moment in Ontario’s history.”

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Such praise marks a reversal for Ford, whose popularity had plummeted to new lows in the months preceding the outbreak.

“The main thing that has been driving the animosity around this government is an apparent lack, during normal times, of the ability to listen to non-aligned voices,” Abray said, noting Ford has previously demonstrated an ability to adjust his position in the face of new information. “What I think he’s done is he’s stepped up and is behaving more like Doug Ford the person rather than Doug Ford the partisan Tory.”

Ford, for his part, said the experience of steering Ontario through the pandemic has produced lessons that will be applied once the crisis passes.

“There are so many things that we can agree on,” he said “There’s so much opportunity for governments to get a lot more done if we all work together.” ... iends-and/



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