The pandemic entente between Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau is over. Susan Delacourt writes:
This back-and-forth is a sign that the 2020 entente between the Ford and Trudeau governments is probably over. Gone are the days when Ford and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held late-night “therapy” calls and when the Ontario premier lavished daily praise on all Ottawa was doing to help out with the pandemic.
Ford has recently released an ad demanding that Trudeau close Canada's borders to international travel. This week, at one of his daily briefings, Trudeau responded:
Trudeau . . . betrayed some frustration with Ford’s government on the same score on Friday when he spoke to reporters and was asked about the ad.
“Doug Ford asked me to restrict international students. There’s been about 30,000 international students come into Ontario over the past months because they were approved by the Ontario government,” Trudeau said.
“If the Ontario government wants to do more to restrict the volume of people coming into Ontario, we are more than happy to work with them on it, but it’s been a week since we’ve received that request directly from the premier (and) they haven’t followed up, except with personal attacks which doesn’t make sense and quite frankly won’t help Ontarians.”
That response was followed up by a letter from Inter-Governmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc:
“We welcome your specific requests for further refinements to the mutually agreed list of acceptable international travellers,” LeBlanc writes in the letter, sent formally to Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones, in reply to a missive they dispatched to Ottawa in the last week of April.
“The federal government stands ready, however to date we have not received such a request.”
Ford's strategy is pretty transparent:
Most political observers have recognized Ford’s anti-Ottawa salvos for what they are: an attempt to shift blame away from himself as Ontarians grow weary, frustrated and angry with the never-endemic.
The latest polling from EKOS shows that Trudeau’s Liberals now enjoy 42 per cent support in Ontario, while approval for Ford’s handling of the pandemic has dropped from 80 per cent last year to just 19 per cent this month. In a post on Twitter highlighting the tumble, EKOS chief pollster Frank Graves said: “That is unimaginably low. Biggest issue of last 80 years. Worst marks ever.”
We're back to the way we were.
Image: CTV Toronto News