June 17, 2024
Ford government strikes smarter tone in the wake of criticism over rapid cuts
Tough challenges lie ahead, especially in education, but this week offers hope that there is substance to the government’s new style.
Tough challenges lie ahead, especially in education, but this week offers hope that there is substance to the government’s new style.

Mark this as the week that Doug Ford’s Ontario PC government rediscovered politics. After a year of driving rapid change and largely dismissing concerns of those affected, the Ford team is striking a new, smarter tone. The change was evident in the way the government approached a critical annual meeting of municipal politicians, how it modified its sex-ed curriculum and in a recommitment to francophone services.

Reasonableness is the sweet spot for a government that hopes to get re-elected, but the PCs have been locked in a pattern of announcing big plans without sufficient consultation, defending those plans with a combination of bluster and hyperbole, then ultimately backing down part way. It’s not a style of governing that engenders much confidence.

At the heart of the problem was an over-reliance on corporate thinking. In the business world, a cost-cutting company typically makes plans for change, announces them to employees, trims its expenses and moves on. Time is money.

That strategy doesn’t play so well in the much more complicated world of politics. For example, municipal politicians are a group that no government can afford to alienate, and there is no faster way to rile them up than cutting their provincial support in the middle of a budget year.

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See Also:

(1) Contract battles heating up between province and teachers

(2) PCs’ opposition to sex ed was always political (Jack: Pot calling the kettle black?)

(3) Finally, a sensible sex-ed curriculum

(4) Ontario enjoying solid employment numbers

(5) Ontario government to scrap ineffective medical tests, duplicative services to cut costs

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