, 05.04.2022 03:53 PM

My latest: the Doug and Justin bromance

Justin Trudeau. Campaigning. With Doug Ford.

Well, not quite, but pretty close. Just this week — just one (1) day before the formal launch of the 2022 Ontario election campaign! — there were Messrs. Trudeau and Ford. At a campaign-style event, announcing a huge auto sector investment.

Trudeau with Ford. In Windsor. In Ontario. In Canada. In Windsor. We did not make this up.

OK, OK, I’m having a bit of insider-politico fun, there. Remember the 2006 federal election campaign?

Paul Martin’s resident campaign wizards came up with that ad about soldiers in Canadian cities with guns. The ad was intensely idiotic, and it was mocked widely. Martin was later obliged to pull it.

So: members of the oxymoronic Paul Martin brain trust were on Twitter this week, following the big Trudeau/Ford auto sector announcement. They were unhappy.

“What is Trudeau doing?” one Martinite fumed, adding that Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca “should try to get Trudeau defined as a third party to at least limit his spending.”

Ho, ho.

Now, it is somewhat understandable why the Martin folks were upset. (I guess.) After the aforementioned 2006 federal election debacle, in which they wrecked the Liberal Party of Canada for a decade, the Martinettes headed down Hwy. 401 to Toronto. Whereupon they proceeded to wreck the Ontario Liberal Party for a decade, reducing it from a majority government to a political rump with seven (7) seats.

And here they were, back like a stain on the carpet. Angry that Justin Trudeau was doing an announcement with Doug Ford.

Except, um, this: Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister of Canada. Doug Ford is the Premier of Ontario. Partisan differences notwithstanding, it’s their job to occasionally work cooperatively to help create, you know, jobs.

Do they vacation together? Not as far as we are aware. Do they have sleep-overs, and read comic books with flashlights in their sleeping bags? Unlikely. Is there a bromance brewing?

Well, not necessarily. But a Justin-Doug bromance isn’t outside the realm of possibility, either. Let us explain.

As this space has observed previously, Ontario voters are pretty smart. They’re not like my home province of Alberta, where voters elect conservatives at every level of government, and then are shocked and hurt when conservatives start taking them for granted.

No, Ontario voters favour “alternation” — that is, they put Liberal Justin Trudeau in power in Ottawa. And then they put Conservative Doug Ford in power at Queen’s Park.

And that’s how it has always been, really.

For nearly six decades, one party winning at both levels has happened only once. That was in 2003, when Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario Liberals won big — and after Jean Chretien’s federal Liberals won big in 2000. (Key factor in each: some Warren Kinsella fellow ran the war rooms for both leaders. Here’s my business card, etc.)

So, in fairness to Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford: the two leaders may not love each other, but they definitely need each other. Victory by one practically guarantees victory by the other. So get ready for more of this:

Trudeau with Ford. In Windsor. In Ontario. In Canada. In Windsor. We did not make this up.

(Because it makes sense.)

— Kinsella was chairman of Jean Chretien’s war rooms in 1993 and 2000, and Dalton McGuinty’s in 2003, 2007 and 2011.


  1. THE DEBATE: One big loser, Brown, for obvious reasons.

    They all did well and put in strong performances but two did less well by overly attacking the other and quite deliberately evading questions not necessarily in their respective political interest. In short, Poilievre and Charest. So, they each hurt their campaigns tonight. That gives continued fuel to those who think Anyone But [FILL IN THE BLANKS.]

    Full disclosure: I support Charest.

    • In all fairness, I should have added this: it wasn’t Charest who made X amount of money, it was his law firm and sure he worked on the Two Michaels but quite obviously, his role was not strictly limited to that, which he should have made crystal clear while respecting CC. But, to expect any third-party like a private business or law firm to reveal what it made, in this instance, professional fees, is a question that can never find an answer and Poilievre knew that perfectly well before he love bombed Charest with that question. It was a useless got you piece of political theatre and it hurt Pierre far more than it helped him, especially the more he tried to ram it home.

    • PJH says:

      Why was Brown a loser?…..apparently he was in Nova Scotia drumming up support….which will pay infinitely bigger dividends than appearing before a Refoooormist crowd that was clearly, at least to start, a PP cheering squad. I think Mr. Brown was wise to stay away…Why be a pinata for the PP types?…If you think however that Baber and Lewis still have the royal jelly, I have some swampland to sell you, cheap….Moderately surprised by Aitchison’s performance, however….for a first time in the big leagues, he came away as surprisingly coherent.
      Glad to hear you are a supporter of JC…..:)

      • PJH,

        Your points are well taken but at the very least, an explanation should have been provided by him to the organizers and read about why he was going to be absent. Was it?

        As for the royal jelly, well quite frankly, a lot of our PMs and Opp Leaders didn’t have it and look who Canada repeatedly put in office recently…I rest my case. In the NA context, no better example than Truman who practically everyone wrote off and who ultimately lived up to the job very very well. I never write anyone off until they prove they should be written off, such as the current incumbent in power.

        • From CTV:

          “My advice to all of the candidates would be to remember…whoever wins, you’ve got to unite the party at the end of it, and try and be respectful,” he said.

          “It’s okay, I think to draw policy contrasts and some contrasts on record, but I think that my advice would be do that knowing that you’ve got to reunite the party.”

          Wise advice from Jason Kenney.

  2. As for what Poilievre allegedly said in French, well, go to the tape to find your answer. Someone is right and someone is wrong.

  3. Miles Lunn says:

    Same reason Harper & McGuinty despite earlier difficulties eventually learned to get along. They realize they need each other as history shows Ontario tends to vote one way federally and another provincially. So Ford knew in 2021, his chances of re-election much better if Trudeau won. Likewise Trudeau knows if Ford wins this June, his chances much better in 2025 than if DelDuca or Howarth does. Since World War II, over 80% of the time, the party in power at Queens Park is different stripe than one in power in Ottawa.

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