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Desperate lies and evasions – DoFo digs deep

John Bell

May 14, 2021
Doug Ford wasn’t 2 minutes into his Thursday announcement when he dropped his first lie.
He said: “The school situation remains a critical concern to parents. On one hand we have some doctors saying they want to open the schools. On the other hand we have the teachers’ unions saying we can’t do that right now.”
Later in the press conference he repeated the lie, adding the fiction that teachers’ unions are seeking an injunction to keep schools closed. This came as a shock to leaders like Sam Hammond, past president of ETFO and Liz Stuart of OECTA, who unanimously denied any knowledge of such an injunction.
In a response to Ford’s nonsense, Stuart reiterated what teachers have been saying all along: “The situation Ontario currently finds itself in rests on the shoulders of the Premier and his refusal to do what is needed to ensure that schools can open safely and not contribute to the spread of COVID-19. To make in-person learning safe and sustainable, the Ford government must immediately reverse their short-sighted cuts and invest in smaller class sizes to allow for proper physical distancing, improved ventilation, and robust tracing and testing protocols. They also must ensure that teachers and education workers who need it have access to the vaccine before returning to the classroom.”
Ford tried the sleight of hand to make the issue seem like a debate between doctors who want schools open and unions who want schools closed. Preposterous. Ford repeatedly cited “some doctors” when the vast majority of public health experts and doctors were calling for schools to close months before Ford did so. 
It wasn’t the only lie: “One thing threatens all the progress we’ve made. One thing threatens the summer everyone hopes to have. And that’s the weak and porous border measures the federal government has kept in place.”
“This brutal 3rd wave is fueled almost entirely by variants that pass too easily through our borders.”
Ford evaded a number of direct questions, returning to his desperate “blame the feds” mantra.
Bullshit. Even his own advisory science panel has reported that international travel is responsible for less than 3% of COVID cases while “hot spots” like factories and schools are the cause of community spread. 
Indeed, there is cross-border travel, mostly by wealthy Canadians ignoring isolation advice and going on their holidays. Remember DoFo’s own finance minister, Rod Phillips who was caught on his Christmas getaway to luxurious St. Lucia, or the 5 members of Jason Kenney’s cabinet who also treated themselves to holiday in Hawaii and other tropical destinations.
There is also a river of manufactured goods driven back and forth across the border, but Doug never speaks ill of anything that is good for business.
But nowhere does Ford acknowledge that the international travelers are almost exclusively Canadians.
Protect the King
Reporters asked why Ford had been kept out of public view in the past month and a half, except for controlled back-yard pity parties, occasional drop-ins at the legislature and fundraisers with the party faithful and assorted real estate developers.
According to a report by CTV’s Colin D’Mello, a Tory insider described the panic when the Premier’s office, complacent after months of positive poll numbers, saw a huge, sudden plunge in Ford’s popularity. This coincided with his mishandling of the 3rd wave, and his calling on police to crack down harder.
“The whole world went upside down on us,” D’Mello was told. A second source told him Ford had to be kept out of the public eye so the blame wouldn’t stick to him: “There is a realization to protect the king.” 
Tory back-room hacks spent the interval cooking up their blame the feds/blame foreigners ploy, and are going to work it like a rented mule.
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