POLITICAL CORNER: Ontario picks a populist

Photo courtesy of CBC

Written by Liam Wilson, Peak Associate

On June 7, 2018, Ontario picked Doug Ford as their next premier. Yes, Doug Ford, the man who insisted his “fiscally responsible” party would balance the budget in a “responsible timeframe,” but has only shown how he plans to increase the province’s deficit. The same man who claimed to be the working man’s candidate, yet has lived a wealthy life and inherited a multi-million dollar business from his father. A man who also stated that the media and the polls were conspiring to try and stop his party from taking power.

He’s not Trump. But people can’t help but notice the parallels.

Why him, Ontario? I mean, I understand that there was no chance that Wynne’s Liberals would be re-elected after driving the province into turmoil. But was Horwath’s NDP really that bad of an option?

While there was an error in their proposed budget, they still had a proper budget plan and would’ve run smaller deficits than Ford’s Conservatives. Horwath would’ve preserved the planned 2019 $15 minimum wage increase for those working low-income jobs and would’ve sought to increase the amount of affordable housing available in Toronto. Her NDP would’ve worked to cut student debt and create more student jobs.

How long will it take people to realize the danger of populist demagogues? I thought that we as Canadians had learned some valuable lessons from observing our neighbours to the south. I guess I was wrong.