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Are Doug Ford's Days as Premier Numbered?

Are Doug Ford's Days as Premier Numbered?

interesting was the response of those charged with enforcing those rules - the police

NORTHERN, ONTARIO   ~~~~~~~April 20, 2021   (LSN)  The most interesting development over the last few days as the Ford Government deals with the spread of the pandemic's new variants was the announcement of new restrictions including giving the police enhanced powers to stop and question people as to where they were going. 

Even more interesting was the response of those charged with enforcing those rules - the police.   A number of forces actually said they would not be enforcing the rules. And, in the wake of the backlash, the Ontario government has scaled back this measure with many forces now saying they will simply educate people they come across who are obviously out and about where they should not be.

This may be nothing but from my experience, when the palace guard decides it will no longer do as told, it means that a coup is in the offing.  It is quite remarkable when the civil authorities are told to do something and they simply respond with no.  And now, the story is that the provincial government is going to suspend the legislature.  Ostensibly, this sounds as a measure to provide protection from the pandemic and keep the legislators safe. However, if you were Premier and had gotten wind of a bunch of back benchers, who were plotting to remove you as leader given the growing dis-satisfaction with the pandemic management, why not deprive them of a stage? Or perhaps the party has already delivered the grim news to the Premier and the legislature is being shut down because really, who wants to have a  coup and transition of power while the legislature is sitting.

While the current government has always been a sort of shoot first and then backtrack type of administration, it has gotten worse.  The party may want to preserve its governing role and their own seats prior to the next election by dumping Mr. Reverso and bringing in a fresh face.  However, one has to wonder if it will be too little too late to save them given that it may simply be the case of new face, same gene pool when it comes to the ability to govern effectively.  The hospitals are filling up and the situation is worse than last spring because essentially that time, hospital capacity was saved by first, shutting down surgeries, and then simply not treating those most affected - seniors in long term care homes - in a hospital setting.  This time its different. It is difficult to shut surgeries down given the obvious costs of that strategy the last time and the ill are not dementia patients who cannot advocate for themselves but younger ambulatory people who show up at emergencies.

There is plenty that has gone wrong during this pandemic at the federal and provincial level. And, the stiff-necked Ontario public which either cannot comprehend rules or does not want to, has not been much help either.  Moreover, the sparse staffing and hospital capacity in Ontario is the outcome of decades of government under-funding and not just the current government.  Still, how to fix things in a pinch? Unlike Ontario universities which can be treated as expendable because the anti-intellectual climate of our times allows governments to foster the view that they are simply teachers with longer summers, now is probably not the best time to restructure hospitals yet again.  However, Premier Ford's call this week for health workers from other provinces and an appeal for federal assistance suggests a desperation that means things are really about to go sideways.  The federal government as the cavalry to save Ontario now?  The federal government is too busy monitoring vaccines and trying to re-invent public spending and society on a grand scale.  Stay tuned for announcements and decrees from the balcony of the Pink Palace in Toronto.

Northern Ontario 
Kenora, Rainy River, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay Marathon, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Ontario

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The Northern Economist blog started on Shaw Webspace as commentary and analysis of economic issues and policy from a Northern Ontario perspective by Livio Di Matteo, Professor of Economics at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It had regular posts from November 2010 to February 2012. Posts continued on Northern Economist 2.0 until 2013 when I took an extended break. Occasional posts resumed effective December 2016. With Shaw terminating its blog space functions, I have archived the old posts at: northerneconomistarchive.blogspot.ca.

 

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