Faisal Hassan considering NDP leadership run

Faisal Hassan, our former MPP who narrowly lost to Michael Ford, is considering a run for the leadership of the NDP, according to The Star.

An MPP who lost his York South-Weston seat by just 796 votes to Progressive Conservative Michael Ford — the premier’s nephew — said he is also mulling a leadership bid.

“I know I’m not part of the party establishment,” Faisal Hassan told the Star, saying more racial diversity is needed in the contest. Hassan said he was discouraged he didn’t get more help from other NDP candidates in the GTA who won their ridings by comfortable margins.

PC’s Michael Ford wins

Michael Ford won the provincial election last night with 36.6% of the vote. Incumbent NDP candidate Faisal Hassan came a close second, trailing by 800 votes. Liberal candidate Nadia Guerrera came third with 24%.

I found the results surprising. Polls had found the Liberals in second place and the NDP quite far behind. In the end, the NDP came very close to taking the riding.

Ford’s win is historic; it’s the first time since 1955 that a Conservative has eld the seat (when it was York South). He has only a narrow mandate, though; more than 60% of voters supported left-leaning parties.

Ford tweeted “It will be my honour to represent you down at Queens Park and get real results for our community and all Ontario’s working with Premier Ford.”

Hassan said, “While the results are not what I had hoped for, please know that you can count on me to have your back in the days ahead.”

Westonians make the news

Three Weston residents have interesting articles in the news this week. Celia Chandler wrote about York South–Weston residents voting against their own self interest in Rabble.

The nurse up the street has a blue sign on their lawn. Yet, Bill 124, passed by the Ford government in 2019, has long-lasting damaging effects nurses and and other health-care professionals. Houses with basement suites have them too. The creators of those blue sign have decimated the Landlord and Tenant Board by failing to fill vacancies, creating delays of more than a year.

Even the couple who wheel around the neighbourhood in their matching mobility scooters, three dogs sitting on the platform, are rooting for Ford. He who overlooked Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the April 28 budget but nonetheless promises to hike the monthly payments by five percent if elected (inflation is at almost seven percent).


Bob Murphy and Chiara Padovani wrote about falling social assistance payments in NOW Magazine.

After the past two decades of Liberal and Conservative governments, people on social assistance are​ now worse off than in the 1990s when Harris first cut social assistance.

After Harris’s cuts, social assistance support was frozen. And under the four premiers since Harris, in the few years when social assistance was increased, the meagre increases were quickly outstripped by inflation. Now, adjusted for inflation, a person surviving on ODSP is actually $264 ​poorer each month than in 1996.

Michael Ford skips debate

Surprising nobody and disappointing many, Michael Ford did not attend last night’s debate. I think this is inexcusable.

Perhaps Ford was afraid he’d embarrass himself in front of his constituents. If that’s the case, he shouldn’t go any further. If he can’t take the heat of two hours in a church basement, he’ll be incinerated over four years at Queen’s Park.

Maybe Ford was worried his ideas or experience won’t stand up to the scrutiny of the other candidates. If so, he should quit. There is no shame in that—a good person knows when they’ve been bested.

But I think these possibilities are very unlikely. Michael Ford has been city councillor— he’s not afraid of the spotlight, nor a little rough-and-tumble.

He is almost certainly following the instructions of his masters in the party. If so, he’s got his responsibilities backward: he works for us, not the PCs. He needs to take courage and make his pitch. If he catches hell for it, so be it. York South–Weston needs someone with guts to represent us, not a PC puppet taking orders from above.

Meeting with—and representing—his constituents is the job. If he won’t show up for the interview, we would be fools to hire him.

I take debates seriously because politicians are too sure, too often. Debates test their ideas in front of constituents and competitors. If politicians won’t bring their ideas into the light, they are afraid of what we’ll see—or that we’ll see nothing at all.

I won’t be voting for Michael Ford.