Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Ford And The Courts

Doug Ford's caucus never questions what he says or does. But the courts do. And although he's only been in office for four months, they are questioning the big man's wisdom. Martin Regg Cohn writes:

In the first of Ford’s legal confrontations, he was trounced by Tesla — that emblem of elitist environmentalism. The Tories had tried to make an example of the luxury California carmaker by depriving it of rebates flowing to competitors. But Justice Frederick Myers wasn’t buying it — lambasting the government for acting in an “egregious” and “unlawful” way. He also ordered it to pay $125,000 for Tesla’s legal costs.
Government lawyers were in court last week defending the premier’s impulsive meddling in the middle of Toronto’s municipal elections. They had to explain why Ford ordered a virtual halving of representation after candidates had begun campaigning and fundraising — an intervention without precedent. A baffled Justice Edward Belobaba asked rhetorically whether the premier had bothered to seek formal legal advice from his attorney general before interfering: “I’ll bet the answer’s no.” Government lawyers wouldn’t say.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association sought a court injunction against the government’s arbitrary rollback of the updated sexual education curriculum (reinstating a dated, two-decade-old version). The Tories want all parents consulted (father knows best), ignoring the 4,000 parental representatives from schools surveyed for the 2015 update written by panels of pedagogical experts. Will a judge let a government erase the minority rights of LGBTQ students on the say-so of the loudest online voices?
Recipients of a minimum income program prematurely cancelled by the Tories have launched a class action lawsuit. More than 4,000 impoverished people enrolled in the pilot program — set up on the recommendation of Hugh Segal, a former Conservative senator (and adviser to ex-premier Bill Davis) — which the Ford campaign explicitly pledged to keep going. Within weeks, the government went back on its word. Promise made, promise broken?
All these legal costs pale beside the $30 million budgeted by the Tories to fight Ottawa over a federal carbon tax triggered by Ford’s cancellation of Ontario’s cap and trade program (costing the province its exemption). Even Manitoba’s PC government has refused to join Ford’s fight because its legal experts say contesting an undisputed federal taxing power is pointlessly political.
Rolling back renewable energy laws has exposed Ontario to litigation by companies that collectively spent billions of dollars on carbon allowances under the cap and trade regime. It has also opened the door to lawsuits over cancelled wind turbine contracts.
How long until the families of overdose victims sue the government for recklessly endangering lives by suspending emergency prevention sites on the flimsy grounds that more evidence is needed? Bad enough that the premier ignores outside evidence on sex education; how can he flout the medical consensus on overdose prevention?

Like so many of his conservative brethren, Doug Ford has no use for facts or evidence. But courts do. And his refusal to deal with facts will cost him -- big time.

He vows that he will cut the deficit. But his legal bills will add to it.

Image: Toronto Star


Anonymous said...

Ford isn't interested in cutting the deficit. If he were, he wouldn't be cutting taxes. As always, large deficits provide an excuse to cut programs that help people. The modern Con takes from the poor to give to the rich.


Owen Gray said...

That's exactly how it works, Cap. It's Robin Hood in Reverse.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you guys in Ontario can have Dougie Fraud. And keep him there, will you?

On the car blogs I inhabit, it has been surprising to me that some Ontario commenters who I had previously thought somewhat erudite seem to believe that Doug is a breath of fresh air. Which is likely more an indictment of the top-down public service policy wonk "we know what's best for you" Wynne approach than praise for Ford.

This exactly mirrors what happened almost two years ago after Trump got in as prez of the Disunited States of FauxMerica. So many average not-too-doltish actually able to spell car nuts are on a completely different wavelength from the Progressives. The latter need to wake up and recognize that the current rightish political outlook is not one held by mere legions of gulliebillies. And no amount of delivered-from-the-high-horse intellectual disdain pegging all these fellow citizens as undereducated dunderheads will change that reality. They'll just dismiss the proffered "advice" as typical of eggheads and forget about it.

OTOH I am continually personally surprised at some of the not very liberal views held by some of the blog-artistes here on ProgBlog as well, while one is so much the other way he's so hypnotized by JT it's hilarious.

My sensitivities are in general to the left of the NDP, the Rudderless Useless Party (RUP -they need a name change after 55 years, surely), with occasional lapses to the centre and even right on several issues. It is my belief that mindlessly tieing oneself to what is described as the core professed tenets of a given party or political label simply means one has zero imagination and accepts dogma. I therefore resist being lectured AT by anyone claiming some moral highground in which I can pick holes without much effort.

Still, on far more than the average number of issues, I am not impressed by Cons. To be reactionary, dull, lacking vision, longing for a yesteryear that never was, tearing down useful things that society has constructed over time just because, and thinking up schemes to pass money from the poor to the rich who sponsor them - these malattributes characterize Cons for me.

Added to that list of demerits, Ford, saddled by even fewer brains than Trump and unable to empathasize with large sectors of society (as detailed in this blogpost) except apparently to be able to smile and wave convincingly at a personal level to the peons, reveals what pure dumbness looks like in practice. I cannot tell if it's because Ford is a Con or simply because he's an utter smarmy fool who believes he is the people's champion, all the while unable to connect the dots well enough to realize his austerity hurts the lower income echelon of the citizenss who voted him in.

I would be a Corbynite in the UK.


Owen Gray said...

You comment covers lots of ground, BM. In the end, it comes down to citizens being able to connect the dots. Some of us remain convinced that we don't possess the talent to do that.

As long as we're easy marks, we're sure to get conned.