Martin Regg Cohn calls Rob Ford's bluster, after his meeting with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, exactly what it is -- blatant hypocrisy. And Cohn provides a little historical context:
Once upon a government, when the Mike Harris Tories downloaded social services upon Toronto (with Rob Ford’s father, Douglas, serving faithfully as a backbench MPP), the cash-strapped city got temporary compensation. After 2003, when the Dalton McGuinty Liberals started uploading those services back, it was always understood the financial transfers weren’t forever.
Now that Toronto is coming out ahead financially, it’s time to wind down the compensation, Sousa says. Not so, counters Ford, who wants the gravy to keep flowing.
Ford barged into office railing against gravy trains, then proceeded to cut taxes and costs. But, while Ford and his brother fume at the Liberals, they know that Tim Hudak would have delivered the same message:
The mayor is being a predictably apoplectic hypocrite: He knows that today’s Tory opposition — the very party his father Douglas once served, and that his big brother Doug (now a councillor) aspires to join in the next provincial election — would cease uploading municipal services, burdening Toronto’s finances far more.
Yet Ford persists with his posturing, demanding an extra helping of gravy because he is addicted to the substance. It allows him to live in a hallucinatory world where he can cut local taxes and then demand, with a straight face, that Queen’s Park make up the difference.
Like so many conservatives these days, Ford rails against gravy trains, while he insists that he has a ticket to ride.
The man -- in so many ways -- isn't who he says he is.