Saturday, April 28, 2018

Understanding context undoes the smear campaign against Doug Ford by the Ontario Liberals and the Toronto Star

With the election looming and the popular tide turning against her, Kathleen Wynne is anxiously flinging a barrage of smears at Progressive Conservative Party leader Doug Ford. She's been trying to twin Doug with Donald Trump, hoping that polite Canadian sensibilities will be repelled by the thought of Ontario being led by someone who may be as brash and mercurial as the US President.

Aside from the stark irony that Wynne's approval ratings are less than half of Donald Trump's, the mud didn't stick, and her cheap shot only made the Liberal Premier look ridiculous and desperate. Other than the superficial elements of both Doug and Trump being outspoken populists and businessmen, the similarities end, and the majority of Ontarians weren't going to be fooled.

From an article attacking Doug Ford
in The Toronto Star
But that reality still hasn't registered with Wynne's media enablers, such as the Editorial Board at The Toronto Star.They're doubling down on efforts to link Doug to Trump, and even detail, based, it would seem, on their close, inside relationship with Wynne, her struggle to fathom the Ford phenomenon by reading Hillary Clinton's memoir about the latter's election loss. It's akin to trying to learn why Venezuela's socialist dictatorship under Hugo Chavez and his successor was such an abysmal failure by trying to understand the world through the extraordinarily bungled analysis of Chavista Naomi Klein's nonsensical tome, The Shock Doctrine. It's an exercise in learning nothing about the subject you hope to understand, but plenty about the biases of the person writing about it, while thinking you're doing the opposite.

Since understanding Ford's success is obviously outside the confirmation bias bubble that Ontario's Liberals occupy, they also have to resort to smearing Doug Ford and lying about him, hoping their slander will be unquestioningly accepted.

That's another reason Wynne and her supporters at the Toronto Star will fail miserably. The only way their efforts work is if the people they hope to reach are too stupid or uninterested to learn anything about the context of the attacks being launched against Ford.

For example, an oft-repeated smear that Wynne and her media proxies have tried to attach to Doug for a long time is that he hates, or is insensitive to youth with autism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The background to this matter is that Doug was critical of a group home for youth aged 12 to 18 situated in a middle class neighborhood in the Etobicoke ward he represented during his term as a city councillor. Area residents pleaded with Doug to intervene about the late-night disruptions, screaming, constant visits from police and emergency services, and sharp uptick in crime, including car break-ins, that occured in the neighborhood as a result of the presence of the youth home for the developmentally disabled.

Responding to these disturbing incidents and the desperate anxiety of the neighbors of the improperly supervised youth home, Doug tried to get a type of resolution which would protect the safety of area residents.

There are many degrees of severity with autism. In mild cases, it's barely noticeable, but the severity of the condition can change that drastically. I've worked at a psychiatric hospital and dealt with people with severe autism.They can sometimes be violent, often scream uncontrollably, and in such cases they are incapable of living independently, or even semi-independently in the community. Think of Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie Rain Man. His portrayal was only of someone with moderately severe autism. Many of the residents at the group home affecting Doug's constituents were in worse shape than that. It's worth noting that Alex Minassian, the Yonge Street van mass murderer, has autism.

According to Doug and the residents, they had been misled by the group home's organizers about the numbers, the extent they would be out in the neighborhood, and level of supervision that the residents with serious mental illnesses would have.

The root cause of the problems in the Etobicoke neighborhood where the group home was located were the fault, not of Doug Ford but Kathleen Wynne. It was Wynne's government which closed down the Thistletown Regional Centre, where youth with autism has been safely housed and supervised. That closure forced them to seek alternate housing in the community, but this was often done without appropriate safeguards.

Think about it. There are two alternate explanations for what went on. One is that after the Wynne government created a situation where people with mental challenges were housed in a neighborhood without proper supervision and Doug Ford was responding to the dire requests of his constituents to resolve a problem which was devastating their quality of life. The alternate explanation, the one the Liberal Party of Ontario and its media mouthpiece The Toronto Star would have you believe, is that Doug Ford, the most overworked councillor at Toronto's City Hall, would spend his spare time seeking out group homes for autistic people to criticize.

Take your pick, but the real answer is easy to recognize.

It also illustrates the very clear difference between Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford.

Wynne is someone who isn't interested in doing right, and in fact will do things detrimental to the people she is supposed to represent, but will go to whatever length necessary to virtue-signal and pretend she's a champion of so-called "social justice."

Doug Ford, by contrast, is someone who puts the needs of his constituents first and foremost. He's someone willing to risk looking bad in the eyes of the media, and will set himself up for cheap shots from the likes of The Star's Martin Regg Cohn and Ford's political rivals, but doesn't care because his primary interest is helping people who need his help.

That's the choice Ontario has in the upcoming election of June 7. It's a choice that, as far as I'm concerned, couldn't be more clear.

1 comment:

ad101867 said...

Excellent piece and I thank you for it. However, you need to make this change: it's not "Alex Minassian" - it's ALEK. The name mistake has already caused bedlam in the life of an innocent Alex Minassian!