Ford talking with EU Ambassador to Canada Dr. Melita Gabrič

Doug Ford goes MIA as calls for his resignation grow louder

Ford’s bungling of the COVID crisis is so monumental that it could be mistaken for a deliberate attempt to destroy any confidence Ontarians have in government

Last updated on April 22nd, 2021 at 07:22 pm

#WhereIsDougFord was trending on Twitter on Tuesday. He was also a no-show in the House for the second day running as a third wave of the coronavirus sweeps the province.

The premier’s office released a statement late Tuesday just before 11 pm saying that a member of his staff who “came into close contact” with Ford had tested positive for COVID. The statement says the staffer had found out about their positive test Tuesday evening. The statement goes on to say the premier left the Legislature and was tested for COVID “immediately upon learning that they had been at risk of exposure.” The statement says the premier’s results came back negative but that he will “follow all public health advice” and isolate.

The development is the latest twist in what has become a chaotic political situation for Ford over his mishandling of the COVID crisis.

The premier has a habit of disappearing when the shit hits the fan. And it has big-time, over his epic fumble of a third wave of the virus. It’s even made headlines in the U.S. where the Washington Post carried a story on the weekend by Ottawa-based writer David Moscrop calling on Ford to resign.

That would be the honourable thing to do given the number of lives the premier has put in peril. But that ain’t gonna happen for a number of reasons. First and foremost among them is hubris.

Dougie will never admit to making a mistake. History shows that when he’s cornered, he’d rather make like a badger and eat his own genitals than give in. Besides, he doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. He’s been listening to the expert advice all along, right?

Then there’s Ford’s caucus and cabinet. The PCPO is still very much the party of Ford.

Save for a handful of anti-lockdown types pissed that they have to wear masks in public, not one among them has had the courage to call Ford out publicly over the government’s pandemic response – sorry, whining over giving cops more powers to enforce the province’s current stay-at-home order doesn’t count.

The truth is Ford’s cabinet and caucus are just as culpable for playing along with Ford’s ruse. Their silence is complicity. On that front, none has been more disappointing than health minister Christine Elliott.

Ford’s leadership contender was supposed to be the adult in the room. But she’s been part of the COVID cover-up, unable to even bring herself these days to mention the number of people who are dying from the virus in her daily Twitter updates. It’s been a massive political embarrassment for Elliott, who served as the province’s former patient advocate before she decided to run for re-election in 2018.

The same goes double for Ford’s other point person on the coronavirus – education minister Stephen Lecce – who only occupies a seat in cabinet as a favour seemingly to Ford’s development friends in the 905. But that’s another story.

Doug thought he could outrun the virus. It was a fool’s game, of course. The premier had one job – and that was to protect Ontarians. Instead, he tried to do what he always does when confronted with a problem – he tried to finagle his way around it.

When that wasn’t working, he played the blame game, turning his sights on the feds for their alleged botched rollout of vaccines. He’s a master of deflection. But now that the variant of the virus has wreaked havoc on Ford’s plans to ride the crisis to another electoral victory, he’s gone MIA.

Last weekend he notified the official opposition that he intends to shut down the Legislature before being forced to backtrack. That would be par for the course for Ford. His bungling of the crisis can’t be overstated. It’s so monumental that it might be mistaken as a deliberate attempt by the premier to destroy any confidence Ontarians have in governments and public services. That was part of his agenda when he got elected.

Ford doesn’t believe in government. He never believed the science on COVID either, despite his public pronouncements. There have been hints of that throughout the crisis – his trip to the cottage during the first lockdown, his blurting out that he had Easter dinner with the fam, and those pics of his attendance at a wedding last summer (sans mask).

Anyone who has been paying attention could see the red flags. But media being what it is these days, it’s hard for the public to cut through the bullshit.

The biggest warning was the way Ford was willing to play chicken with the lives of our kids in his fight with teachers’ unions over school openings and closings. But it was easy for the public to lose sight of Ford’s callousness in the glow of a summer reprieve from the deadly effects of the virus and advice that the mental health effects of the coronavirus were taking a toll on kids.

But it’s clear now (if it wasn’t before) that for Ford the coronavirus was just another opportunity to save his ass from political oblivion after a first year in office that featured a full-frontal assault on social services, including the gutting of public health services, and saw his poll numbers sink to the lowest in the land. Instant karma is mofo.

Except, now Ford may have botched his re-election chances even with a comfortable majority of seats. It isn’t just COVID deniers that are fed up with Doug. It’s those folks across Ontario who didn’t know what the eff they were getting themselves into when they voted for him the first time.

The province is now signalling that it’s willing to reinstate paid sick days for essential workers, which it got rid of after being elected. The measure is seen as crucial to fighting the spread of the virus.

Ford is in full-on damage control mode. He’s betting this will all blow over. With a year to go before the next election, he’s banking on it with a $1,000 Zoom fundraiser scheduled for later this week.

This article, which was originally published on Tuesday evening April 19, was updated at 8:40 am on Wednesday April 21 to reflect developments in the story.


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Comments (10)

  • C.Collins April 20, 2021 07:52 PM

    So incredulous, all these people are asking for Ford’s resignation. Did they all forget vaccine problem was Trudeau, the fact that we have a complete set of all the variants, Trudeau. The only thing our premier is guilty of is not demanding more from our federal government to protect Ontario’s populace.

  • Marg April 20, 2021 09:33 PM

    It makes me sick when I hear people praising Ford and blaming Trudeau, for this mess. Ford is another Trump. We have some very ignorant people in Ontario, they voted for Ford and they can’t admit they are wrong!

  • Kelly April 20, 2021 09:44 PM

    No problems when Trudeau failed and continues to fail Canada and Canadians….

    Trudeau prorogued Parliament in the middle of the biggest crisis Canada has faced this century to hide from another corruption scandal investigation, filibusters Parliament and had not produced a federal budget in two years !

  • Dustin Gibas April 20, 2021 09:46 PM

    Doug Ford is shifting blame to the Liberals so Erin O’Toole can campaign off it all. Erin will win the next election. The ndp attacking Ottawa is actually the ndp scuttling their ship. Nobody wants to handle the country in this economic turmoil. When Erin wins the CUTservative will gag doctors and nurses and simply Bill C51 silence the media about covid cases and deaths. Both the ones they caused and in their CUTS future… Kinda like how the pipeline protestors VANISHED.?. Observe, read this a year from now and hopefully I got it all wrong. I hope I am wrong.

  • Wendy Hutchinson April 20, 2021 10:46 PM

    No one has experience handling Covid. Is there anyone else doing better? You try one thing and if that doesn’t work, you try another and another and hope that something works out. When he closed down business, people complained. When he let business remain open people complained. People are dying all around the world, not only in Ontario. It doesn’t matter what he does half the population will find fault and blame him for all things that go wrong. Abraham Lincoln said you can please half the people all of the time, all of the people half of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. It seems to me it would be better for the public if the media could view their glass half full instead of half empty. That, would be helpful, not all the negativity.

    1. Hugh Janus April 22, 2021 02:01 PM

      Wendy, don’t you ever parallel Abraham Lincoln to that clusterfuck of a Premier in order to save face. How much of my tax dollars did Ford write you a check for to be his PR? It better be in the 5 figures, because you’re doing a horrible job, just like Dougie and nearly 99.7% of Parliament at handling this scam-demic. Speaking of 99.7% figures, THAT’S the approximate survival rate for COVID. Wanna guess where I DIDN’T get that information since last year? Mainstream Canadian news. Imagine that!

  • James Morrow April 21, 2021 07:15 AM

    I like the fact that you offer your readers the option of leaving a comment, but as a ‘reader’, I want to review the comments posted by ‘other readers’.

  • Shay April 21, 2021 11:28 AM

    Note the bank page he is making notes to. Zoom right in. That is his plan. Or maybe his resume?? 🤔

  • John C. Murray April 22, 2021 11:44 PM

    Ford should not have apologized. He should have stood by his decision and refused to compromise, there would be more dignity in it. Charles de Gaulle made a number of inflammatory statements and some very unpopular decisions, but he never wavered or folded under pressure; in the end he issued an ultimatum to the French people: Either I get an overwhelming vote of confidence or I quit”. Doug Ford could learn a thing or two from de Gaulle, he should flip Ontarians the bird and tell them: getting rid of me might help you let off steam but it won’t change the Covid19 crisis one iota. Deal with it!”

  • Nolan Strand May 2, 2021 01:20 AM

    Our “Dear Leader” Thug Ford the Pinnochio Premier has been nothing but an epic failure wrapped in a disaster shrouded in corruption. IT was just discovered that Premier Ford has been busy waging a legal battle with the makers of film about his brother while the 3rd wave of the pandemic was overwhelming our hospitals and health care workers. At least PM Trudeau didn’t run and hide like a coward when confronted with his mismanagenent of the Vaccine rollout program. Thug Ford and his regime of bobbleheads have allowed patients and staff at LTC homes to die unnecessarily. And to add insult to injury prevented the family members of the LTC homes deseased to sue because his buddies lobbied him to do so. So you can please stop with the lies that PM Trudeau failed Canadians when in fact Premier Ford was the failure.

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