, 11.26.2018 09:13 AM

Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau hate each other’s guts. And that makes sense.

Photo credit: Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford, seen together in happier times.

That’s what newspaper editors always write when publishing a photo of a couple who have (a) just announced their divorce, (b) expressed their profound sadness, and (c) requested privacy for their family. “In happier times.”

Justin and Doug briefly had a happier time together, too, although it seems to have happened long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. But it happened, just the same.

June 2018: Donald Trump, the sexual predator and crook now holding the White House hostage, unleashed a tirade against Canada’s Prime Minister on Twitter (where else?). Trump called Justin Trudeau “dishonest and weak” and one of his advisors – who of the few who hasn’t been indicted yet – opined that there was “a special place in Hell” reserved for Trudeau.

It was an astonishing attack on an ally, one that Canadians have never witnessed before. Trudeau, for his part, bit his tongue and said nothing. But Doug Ford? The Doug Ford who had won a massive majority government, just a few days earlier? That Doug Ford?

Here’s what he said: “I can tell you on the trade deal south of the border, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the prime minister and our federal counterparts. My number one priority is to protect jobs in Ontario, especially protect the steel workers, aluminum workers. That’s going to be a priority.”

“Shoulder to shoulder.”

This writer is not friendly with Trudeau, but is with Ford. So I sent Ontario’s newly-minted Premier a note, telling him I was proud that he had placed the national interest above the partisan one. Lots of other folks, as Ford loves to call citizens, felt likewise. Even if you didn’t like Justin Trudeau all that much, he – and, by extension, we – were under attack, and we needed to come together.

And then, well, politics.

In the intervening months, Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford haven’t stood “shoulder to shoulder” so much. Instead, it’s been more a case of a relationship that’s getting “colder and colder.” Here’s a short list of the sort of thing that has taken place since the happier, sunnier ways of Spring:

  • Ford and other conservative Premiers appeared in a much-satirized Maclean’s cover photo and declared themselves “The Resistance” to Trudeau
  • Trudeau showed up for his requisite first photo-op/meeting with Ford at Queen’s Park, and literally – literally – made a face for the assembled media throng, and said he was obliged to “explain” immigration policy to Ford
  • Ford and his ministers have blamed Trudeau’s government for a rash in gun crime and illegal migrants – and called the Liberal leader’s carbon tax plan a “vote-buying scheme”
  • Trudeau’s intergovernmental affairs minister told Ford to keep his nose out of federal affairs, and stop dreaming about a political career on the national stage – and accused him of “fabricating,” quote unquote, issues
  • Just last week, the federal Minister Responsible for Social Media Selfies, Catherine McKenna, shot a video of herself denouncing the Ford government’s cuts to francophone education as “an outrage” and effectively declared war on Ontario’s Conservatives

And war it is. Just a few months in, and the Ford and Trudeau governments – from top to bottom – deeply despise each other. Their enmity and animosity seems to only grow worse by the day.

Neither government will admit to a secret, however: they may hate each other, but they need each other.

Since the departure of Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall from the national stage, Justin Trudeau has lacked a serious, capable conservative opposite. Walls’ successor couldn’t be picked out of a one-man police lineup by most Canadians, and Brian Pallister is too busy running a villa in Costa Rica. Quebec’s Francois Legault is too new to the job, and knows that Trudeau remains somewhat popular in Quebec. Out in Alberta, meanwhile, Jason Kenney isn’t Premier yet.

So the job of Conservative antagonist has fallen to Doug Ford.

And his partisans love his sallies and broadsides against Justin Trudeau. They love it. While Ford’s most-recent party convention was scuttled, somewhat, by SoCon knuckle-draggers passing a non-binding resolution attacking trans people, most PC attendees delighted in Ford’s ceaseless critiques of Justin Trudeau’s government. They ate it up. Andrew Scheer even showed up to join in on the fun.

Similarly, the Trudeau Party is covertly grateful for Doug Ford: he is (and will be) useful in Liberal fundraising, recruitment and electioneering. And Trudeau’s disdain for Ford is deep, and of longstanding. The Ontario Premier has never forgotten this attack by Trudeau on Ford and his deceased brother, made as the 2015 federal election was winding down:

“There’s a lot of people talking in the news these days about the hypocrisy of the Fords and their drug problems. But that’s not really the issue, as serious as it is, that strikes me most. What bothers me the most is the misogyny. The Ford brothers should have no place on a national campaign stage, much less hosting [Stephen Harper] at an event…That’s just completely irresponsible.”

As low blows go, that was low.

Shoulder to shoulder? No longer, with Messrs. Ford and Trudeau.

These guys hate each other – and, weirdly, need each other.

24 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    The GM Oshawa closure will force them together again.

    Told the talked this morning about it. Not sure they can really do anything though other than offering yet more billions of taxpayer dollars to bribe GM to bring production of a more popular vehicle here.

    The models the plant makes, specifically the Impala just aren’t selling. Dealers have 6 to 8 months backlogs just sitting on their lots.

    Rumours at least 4 plants in the US are closing and six models are getting the axe including their flagship electric car the Chevy Volt.

  2. Robert White says:

    Personalities aside we have trouble brewing at all levels of governance and Ford & Trudeau are CANUCKS duty bound to provide Canadians with a healthy economy & economic future.

    Trudeau needs to build a refinery for Alberta Crude, and Ford needs to teach the USA a lesson by starting a Canadian electric car company in Ontario that will compete directly with GM’s plans to build electric cars instead of gas guzzlers.

    Low oil per barrel has forced restructuring on the US side and Canadian side. Low oil per barrel is a much larger system problem for everyone than auto manufacturing is.
    Low oil per barrel is endemic across North America which means that all industries dependent upon oil based products will be filing for bankruptcy. Furthermore, the trend towards deflation across industry is structural with respect to Finance across the board.

    If America implodes so too will CANADA. Infighting & trade wars are indication enough that we need a complete Finance reset.

    Our only hope is to become self sustaining due to the outright implosion of international trade due to that crook fraudster in the White House.

    RW

    • Gord Tulk says:

      Alberta / Canada (the feds will lose 9 billion in tax revenue this year) doesn’t need refining capacity it needs pipelines. And the LPC and trudeau if they had the guts (and perhaps more importantly understood the issue) to do it they would be built but they would rather virtue signal ad naseum.

  3. Gord says:

    Jean Chrétien had Mike Harris, Lucien Bouchard, and Ralph Klein.

    Justin Trudeau has Doug Ford, Francois Legault, and (maybe) will soon have Jason Kenney.

    Plus ca change, as they say.

  4. Canada Joe says:

    Ford’s misogyny eh? That’s rich coming from the groper who recalls things differently from his victims.

    • Art says:

      Get a life. Although a pat on the tush is frowned on these days it is a far cry from a grope.

      • Gord Tulk says:

        It was significant enough of an affront to the woman that it was reported/remembered at the time.

        Just curious how you felt about the kavanaugh nomination…

      • Canada Joe says:

        Ah, maybe it is up to his victim to decide the level of harm? Lord knows Trudeau didn’t give her that option….Um…ah…men and women….ah…..um….recall things differently…..ah…um…now look at my socks!

  5. Two quick observations:

    At least you didn’t call her Minister McSelfie.

    Mulroney should be eligible for ministerial sainthood what with the incredible level of patience that she is clearly capable of demonstrating.

  6. Fred from BC says:

    Just to refresh everyone’s memories, the reason for Donald Trump’s (admittedly overblown) comments on Trudeau was the fact that Trudeau acted all friendly and agreeable while meeting Trump, only to come out on camera after Trump had boarded Air Force One to declare that “Canada will not be bullied!” (and similar stuff). Trump was incensed that Trudeau *did not say it to his face*, and made his displeasure (and the reason for it) quite clear.

    (oh, and if Trump is a “sexual predator”, how is Trudeau not?)

    • Robert White says:

      Trump is a serial sexual predator with myriad lawsuits running over court dockets over time. Video evidence is available of Trump laughing locker-room fashion about his numerous exploits of sexual assault by stating that he ‘grabs em’ by the crotch’ and ‘they like it’.

      Trump is a text book definition of a lack of ‘id impulse’ control. His parents condoned his narcissistic/Psychopathic behaviour by not socializing him according to norm of society. In brief, Trump never underwent a process of socialization whereas Trudeau did.

      RW

      • Canada Joe says:

        Trump is serial sexual predator? So is Trudeau, one wonders why they don’t get along better. I guess PM Super Socks is just better at hiding it.

        • Art says:

          I suspect outright lying s frowned upon on this site.

          • Canada Joe says:

            Really? So Justin Trudeau didn’t sexually harass that woman? There aren’t other accusers mentioned on this very site that have sworn affidavits against Trudeau? But don’t ask me, toss the question out yourself.

      • Gord Tulk says:

        What lawsuits? What predation? The women he consorted with did so willingly. He paid or arranged to have paid some of them to not talk publically about it.

  7. Beth Higginson says:

    https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2018/11/26/doug-ford-is-becoming-a-liability-for-andrew-scheer.html

    He has still not disavowed Faith Goldie and yet had the nerve to go to the vigil about the victims of the Pittsburgh shootings.

    From a position of being a millionaire in Etobicoke, he cancelled the French language commissioner position – they are not going to back off – they are going to be continuing to protest – because he doesn’t get it.

    The only things I have agreed with this government is doing math tests for teachers and providing retail cannibis stores. I totally disagree with them on the cancellation of the basic income pilot; their position on the sex-ed curriculum; the cancellation of the child’s advocate position etc .

    Then there was this video – https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/romano-draws-fire-for-minimum-wage-rollback-claims-1131859

    I sent the following email to MPP Romano
    you obviously have never had to deal with cancer in your family – for my husband it who died of prostate cancer, it cost $20,000 for medication over 4.5 years from 1994-1999- fortunately we were covered for 80% – but we still had to pay $5,000 out of pocket. What about the people who do not have coverage.
    With statements like this – there will be blow-back against your government for your sex-ed policy, elimination of the minimum wage program, eliminating the $15/hr minimum wage, elimination of the child advocate; elimination of the French language advocate; elimination of the environmental advocate and elimination of the carbon pricing program – where were the geniuses before the election who would tell your government about how much money you would lose by getting rid of the carbon pricing program.

    The only things that I have liked that your government has done are testing of teachers for math; and having cannibis retail stores.

    It appears that Dog Ford is following his idol Donald Trump

    I will work very hard in the next election to defeat your government.

    – I just keep sending emails every time I disagree.

  8. Beth Higginson says:

    https://ipolitics.ca/2018/11/28/tories-block-simard-from-speaking-on-francophone-services-motion/?fbclid=IwAR1e590ONL3WPZWsUJzCGTBzkeTeZMgM7MYvfjAnacRczTIgmcZaUGSzvNA

    Beth Higginson shared a post.
    2 mins ·
    As someone who grew up near Hawkesbury, which has an 85% French population, Doug Ford does not appreciate or understand the French Canadian’s sensitivity for protection of their language and culture.

    When I grew up the Protesant students (I was Anglican) went to a public elementary school and the French speaking students (who were primarily Catholic went to a separate elementary school. In Grade 9 we came together.

    In my Grade 9 class there was a uni-lingual French speaking student who spoke very little English – For her it was English immersion as math, the sciences, English etc were taught all in English. By Grade 13, she graduated near the top of the class.

    In Grade 13, another classmate went to a student UN conference in Kiingston, a French speaking student from Hawkesbury came and she was shocked to see that there were no French speaking people around.

    Over time, I have seen a person go to Calgary to work but return to the Ottawa area to live in his milieu.

    Amanda Simard is so brave and because she was the only Franco Ontarian in Doug Ford’s government – the weight of the Franco Ontarioans beliefs were on her shoulders. I sympathize. Now they have noone in their caucus to represent a significant part of the Ontarian population. It is very sad

    • Robert White says:

      I’m unilingual but I fully support funding for French language services throughout Ontario & CANADA. I love French culture & the French language. I support Official Bilingualism in Ottawa, and I think Ford has tunnel vision.

      Look at Ford’s behaviours as premier. He telegraphs to all in Ontario to tighten fiscal belts whilst he & his merry band of neoconservatives dismantle social support nets from French language services to a reduced minimum wage. He cuts all services that do not have appeal to his constituency of white male voters & white male corporatists at a cost to everyone else. White male patriarchy reigns supreme for Ford governance. Efficiencies throughout government are being found off the backs of everyone that is not a white paternalistic male with a gender-centric agenda.

      The regressive politics of neoconservatives sews the seeds of discontent via leadership that is visually overweight by body morphology & financial net worth. In brief, Doug Ford was not educated in the Social Sciences and he is merely a two year college diploma type of uneducated businessman that erroneously thinks that everyone in Ontario should be as short sighted & myopic as himself & PC Caucus white male centric polemics de jour.

      People like Doug Ford are completely devoid of understanding at the tertiary level of education in CANADA.
      Ford is like Mike Harris who prided himself on never reading a book in his life besides one.

      Stupid white males and their ignorant white male centric thinking is the problem IMHO.

      RW

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