Canada: Thomas Walkom: Will Justin Trudeau’s attack on Doug Ford work in Ontario? - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaThomas Walkom: Will Justin Trudeau’s attack on Doug Ford work in Ontario?

23:50  13 august  2019
23:50  13 august  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Thomas Walkom: Strong economy one advantage odd Trudeau campaign can use

Thomas Walkom: Strong economy one advantage odd Trudeau campaign can use Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals head into the fall election campaign with one huge advantage: The economy is hot. At 5.5 per cent, Canada’s unemployment rate is near historic lows. Inflation-adjusted wage rates are rising again and the stock market is rocking. Even hard-hit Alberta is doing better. While worrying signs are emerging about the future of the world economy overall, in North America, at least, things are fine. Last week’s decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to goose the American economy by reducing interest rates marginally means the boom Canada’s largest trading partner now enjoys is virtually guaranteed to last at least another few months.

Thomas Walkom: Will Justin Trudeau’s attack on Doug Ford work in Ontario?© Chris Young Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, shakes hands with Ontario Premier Doug Ford during the 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship parade in Toronto in June. Trudeau was on television again this week badmouthing Ford.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Justin Trudeau was on television again this week badmouthing Doug Ford.

This time, Canada’s prime minister was scolding Ontario’s premier for cutting legal aid to refugee claimants and immigrants.

Ford’s Progressive Conservative government made the cuts because it contends that refugee claimants are a federal responsibility. If Ottawa wants to ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal advice, the province argues, then it should pick up the tab.

Trudeau Defends Using Doug Ford’s Name To Attack Conservatives

Trudeau Defends Using Doug Ford’s Name To Attack Conservatives OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once again had federal and provincial Conservatives in focus Tuesday during a visit to Toronto to discuss gun violence in the city. For the second day in a row, the prime minister invoked Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s name to criticize “Conservative politicians” in the lead-up to October’s election. A reporter noting the trend asked Trudeau if he’s running against the Ontario premier or Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Trudeau did not answer the question, and instead responded by accusing both Ford and Scheer of turning their backs on people and projects in need of help.

Trudeau announced Monday that his Liberal government would do just that — for a year at least. He said the move would cost Ottawa $26 million.

On the face of it, Trudeau’s announcement was a victory for Ford. It confirmed that the Ontario premier has followed through on his pledge to shift more of the financial responsibility for the refugee system onto the federal government.

But in the weird world of Canadian politics, it was portrayed as a masterful attempt by Trudeau to link his chief rival, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, with the highly unpopular Ford.

“Yet another conservative government — the government of Doug Ford — is walking away from services to the most vulnerable,” Trudeau intoned sadly. “Conservative politicians like to say they’re for the people. But then they end up cutting services for the most vulnerable. It’s what they do.”

Trudeau slams Ford for legal aid cuts as federal funding announced

Trudeau slams Ford for legal aid cuts as federal funding announced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday one-time legal aid funding of $26.8 million for refugee and immigration cases. "The federal government is choosing to step up," he said. "We will be investing $26.8 million this year to ensure that legal aid services for immigrants and refugees continue in the province of Ontario." Trudeau made the comments during a tour of the Parkdale Intercultural Association in Toronto. According to a press release, the funding will be split. Ontario will receive $25.7 million, British Columbia will get $1.16 million and Manitoba will see $0.02 million.

Left unsaid was Trudeau’s real message: If you don’t like Ford, you’ll hate Scheer.

Yet there is little evidence for equating Scheer with Ford. The federal Conservative leader’s style is not as bumptious as that of Ford. So far, at least, Scheer is not campaigning on promises like buck-a-beer.

More to the point, it’s not clear what spending, if any, Scheer would cut if elected. With a few exceptions, such as his pledge to scrap the Canada Infrastructure Bank, he hasn’t said.

True, Scheer’s plan to eliminate the federal deficit over five years echoes that of Ford. But it also echoes the pledge Trudeau made in 2015.

Indeed, the truth about Canadian politics is that in most areas, the mainstream parties are not that far apart.

Trudeau attacks conservative governments for cutting spending to the needy. He conveniently forgets that the most savage cuts to Canada’s social safety net in the post 1945 era were made by a Liberal government under Jean Chretien.

Refugee lawyers applaud federal funding after Ford's legal aid cuts; province questions timing

Refugee lawyers applaud federal funding after Ford's legal aid cuts; province questions timing Refugee lawyers are applauding the federal government's decision to put $26 million toward Ontario refugee and immigration legal aid services after the province cut the program's budget in the spring. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the one-time injection Monday — a welcome move for lawyers who found themselves unable to assist refugees with claims beyond the initial application when Doug Ford's government slashed the Legal Aid Ontario's budget by 30 per cent.

Nor are all conservatives the same. Quebec’s conservative government supports carbon pricing and opposes oil pipelines. Alberta’s conservative government takes the reverse position.

In British Columbia, the provincial conservative party calls itself the Liberals.

Still, elections are the time when political parties engage in what Freud called the narcissism of small differences. Relatively minor distinctions in policy are deliberately blown out of proportion.

Voters are warned that if they choose the wrong party, the apocalypse will occur.

It’s not entirely clear how Trudeau’s demonization of Doug Ford is going over in Ontario.

The Liberals are inching higher in the polls. But Ontarians don’t usually base their federal election choices on their views of the provincial government.

In 2011, for instance, Ontarians definitively repudiated the federal Liberals under Michael Ignatieff in order to elect Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Yet a few months later, Ontarians happily re-elected (albeit as a minority government) Dalton McGuinty’s provincial Liberals.

Still, the Trudeau Liberals seem convinced that their anti-Ford campaign will produce results. On Tuesday, Trudeau was at it again. His Liberal government, he told a Toronto audience, has authorized billions in infrastructure spending for the city.

Alas, he said, these much-needed projects are being held up by — you guessed it — Doug Ford.

Thomas Walkom is a Toronto-based columnist covering politics. Follow him on Twitter: @tomwalkom

Ford’s fake news machine should be closed.
Premier Doug Ford’s office is reportedly considering overhauling its taxpayer-funded propaganda arm, Ontario News Now . That would be worthy of applause if “overhauling” meant shutting it down — and if it was being done for the right reasons. But there’s the rub. Instead of recognizing that distributing fake news reports on social media in an attempt to fool the public is an affront to democracy, the Progressive Conservative government is apparently reconsidering ONN’s usefulness because it is, ahem, a failure.

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