Mike Ford wants YSW MPP seat.

What’s in a name?

Mike Ford has had a wildly successful political career. He began as a Toronto school board trustee in 2014, became a Toronto city councillor two years later after the terminal illness of his uncle and former Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. Now at the ripe old age of 28, Mike Ford has announced he will be running as a candidate for the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election on June 22. His other famous uncle, Premier Doug Ford holds Etobicoke North and family friend Kinga Surma has Etobicoke Centre – the next nearest local seat is York South Weston where incumbent Faisal Hassan is enjoying a successful first term.

Many naysayers claim that Ford has succeeded on the coat tails of his two famous uncles. That may well have been true at the start of his career but Mike Ford has shown himself to be a good listener and sincere advocate for his constituents while his council votes tend to be on the conservative and frugal side.

Councillor Mike Ford (L) talks to constituents at the official opening of the Raymore Park off-leash area in July 2017. (file).

No Progressive Conservative candidate has won the York South-Weston seat since the riding was created in 1999. Mark DeMontis came close in 2018 with 33% of the vote compared to 36% for the NDP’s Faisal Hassan. PCs must be confident that Ford has a good shot at the seat as he is a local boy having been raised across the river in Etobicoke; there’s that magic Ford name and no doubt there will have been some local polling to scope out possibilities.

A Mike Ford win depends on a good connection with voters and a reasonably sized Blue Wave hitting the province. That might just happen. According to 338Canada Projection, the PCs currently poll at 37% support to the Liberals’ 28% and the NDP trails at 25% – with the usual caveats that anything can happen between now and June. In recent months, Doug Ford seems to have moved his party to the centre, is now in favour of lefty things like a higher minimum wage – he’s even encouraging electric cars. His removal of the mask mandate from much of daily life has pleased his base and infuriated the provincial Liberal and NDP parties. At the same time, Ford is positioning himself as the best friend of the federal Liberals and the man who can work with them. The main strategy seems to be to attack the NDP while giving the Del Duca Liberals nowhere to go.

My prediction; a tough local fight that will push both Faisal Hassan and Mike Ford to their limits. Will the Ford name nudge the younger candidate over the top or will it be a liability? There is no doubt that the riding will be well served by whoever gets in. Hassan is accessible and has worked hard during his term, setting up a storefront office on Weston Road right in downtown Weston. Mike Ford will have enviable connections.

One thing for certain; this will be a devastating loss for one of these two candidates.

Topsy Turvy World

There once was a time when roughly speaking, the NDP stood for working people and the Conservatives represented the business classes. The Liberals would carve out the middle, blowing left and right as it suited them.

The Truckers’ Convoy has illustrated a profound shift in those positions. No longer is the NDP the party of the working class. They, along with the Liberals have for some reason decided to vilify the truckers, repeating the lie that they’re a bunch of yahoos, racists and ____phobes (fill in the blank with your choice of prefixes).

The Liberals are currently on the left as well and using the Covid emergency have managed to exercise control over nearly all of Canada’s media outlets. The legacy press has been supported financially through the pandemic with the expectation that the government’s messages would be reflected uncritically. It’s not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you and with strings attached to the funding, the Liberals have turned almost every media outlet into a state mouthpiece since the money started flowing. If you’re wondering why the Sun and National Post are so pro-government, it might have something to do with the $1.3 million government donation to parent company Postmedia.

Most recently the Liberals have co-opted the press to declare that the truckers have (amongst other atrocities) disrespected the Ottawa War Memorial and the statue of Terry Fox. They have waved swastika and Confederate flags, have openly defecated and urinated in the streets, have stolen from food banks and generally terrorized the people of Ottawa.

Can any of this be true? Yes but in rare and isolated instances and by focusing on isolated unrepresentative occurrences, the government has been able to lie about the true nature of the demonstration in an attempt to sway public opinion. When the same distorted view is reported and repeated by so many outlets the big lie is created.

Is there another side to the story? Going outside the legacy press, there are several bloggers who have reported and even broadcast live from the protests and they tell a different tale. Here’s a sampling of YouTube channels (and a blog) that are presenting a completely different version of the protest. Naturally these people aren’t government funded and that’s why they may be more honest and credible.

Clyde Do Something.
JustinCredibleTV
Jordan Peterson February 5.
Freedom Convoy Manifesto

The Reformed Physicist blog.

It’s essential that news is reported accurately and contrary opinions can be aired. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right – it’s only with the exchange of views that a dialog can exist and opposing sides can come to an understanding.

Toronto’s snow hits headlines in the U.K.

The Guardian published an article today about our recent experience with a major dumping of snow with the inference that maybe we focus too much on clearing roads rather than sidewalks as they do in Sweden. In fairness, those attitudes are changing here and Monday’s storm was a rare event that would have shut down most cities for days – particularly those in the U.K.

Read the article here.

GO Schedules reduced.

Visit gotransit.com

According to Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins, temporary labour shortages are coming to GO Transit. She describes the cause as ‘absenteeism’ which I always thought meant deliberately staying away from work. Perhaps that is what she means.

Anyway, I digress. GO service is being reduced by about 15% so it might be wise to look at the schedule or sign up for alerts before leaving. UP Express service is unaffected.

Weston Public Library to stay open

Weston Library with creative overhead festooning by Toronto Hydro, Bell and Rogers.

Toronto Public Library is closing 44 branches as of January 10 in order to consolidate reduced staff numbers likely caused by a spike in Covid infections. Weston’s bijou Carnegie library will remain open and may be assigned staff from branches that are temporarily closed.

Here’s a list of the branches that will be closed.

More about the library here, and here.