“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Those are the most terrifying words in the English language, according to the late US President Ronald Reagan – but then he never met Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.
In this week’s Throne Speech, Wynne promised not just to help – but to care. “Care is all around us… In the way a teacher sings the alphabet. In the way a nurse shows compassion for a fearful patient. … As the changing economy widens the gaps in our society, your government has a plan for care and opportunity.” Hence, her promises of free prescription drugs, cheaper child care, means-tested postsecondary education, higher minimum wages, more home care, and combating climate change for future generations. From the cradle to beyond the grave, the Liberals propose to swaddle voters in a cocoon of statist compassion.
Why this emphasis on caring? For the past year, Wynne has talked ceaselessly about being fair: fair hydro, fair workplaces, fair wages. “I will never back down from my commitment to a $15 minimum wage because everyone in Ontario deserves a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” she told the Tim Horton’s franchisee who dared cut his employees’ free coffee breaks this past January. “A fair, open trade relationship is essential for jobs and growth in the U.S. and at home in Ontario,” she tweeted in February. The word “fair” appeared in legislation, in speeches, in advertising. So why is “fair” suddenly out, and “care” in?
In two words, Doug Ford. Somewhere, some focus group or Liberal brain trust pegged “caring” as Ford’s weak spot. If rival Christine Elliott had won the PC leadership, “care” would likely not be the Liberals’ mantra: good luck accusing a woman who founded a centre for the disabled and advocated for sick people of not caring. But Ford! He’s a tax fighter! A businessman! Heck – he’s a man! Let ‘er rip.
But if Monday night’s PC rally in Etobicoke is any indication, Wynne may have bet on the wrong word. The Ford who took the stage in front of 2000 supporters did not come across as uncaring. Bombastic, yes, when he promised the PCs will form “the largest majority this province has ever seen.” Money-minded, when he intoned that “Kathleen wrote a lot of cheques with the taxpayer’s bank account.” And hokey, when he promised to develop the Ring of Fire “if I have to hop on a bulldozer myself.”
Read the full article on iPolitics.