Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Dumbest

 Max Fawcett writes that Doug Ford is dumbing down Ontario:

At an announcement for a new medical school at York University, Ford suggested that he wanted to get rid of all the province’s international post-secondary students. It does not appear to have occurred to Ford that those students currently make up 18 per cent of the student body at Ontario’s colleges and universities or that they’ve helped keep these institutions afloat after Ford’s government cut tuition by 10 per cent in 2019 and kept it frozen there ever since. “I’m not being mean, but I’m taking care of our students, our kids first,” he said. “I want 100 per cent of Ontario students going to these universities.”

This is the sort of narrow-minded parochialism you might expect from Quebec’s government, not Ontario’s. But then, even describing Ford’s remarks as parochial gives them credit they don’t deserve since it presumes he’s at least thought about the issues at play for more than a few seconds. As The Canadian Press reported, “Ford then lamented the fact that some kids and parents have said some Ontario students study abroad and then do not return home after they meet someone.”

That’s right: Ford is willing to risk bankrupting his province’s post-secondary institutions because sometimes people leave Ontario to study and don’t return. And while Ford will walk this back in due course, it’s just the latest demonstration of his monumental intellectual shortcomings that are turning the province he governs into a second-rate echo of its former self.

Ford takes the same position when it comes to housing:

Nowhere is that more apparent than on the housing front, where Ford’s enthusiasm for building housing quickly evaporated after it became clear he couldn’t use it to enrich developers and other friends and donors. First, he made it clear he wasn’t about to allow municipalities to build fourplexes as a right, in part because he doesn’t even seem to understand what a fourplex is. “You go in the little communities and start putting up four-storey, six-storey, eight-storey buildings right deep into the communities, there's going to be a lot of shouting and screaming. That's a massive mistake.”

An even bigger mistake would be turning down the federal government’s new offer of billions of dollars for housing simply because you don’t want to meet their conditions, but that’s exactly what Ford sounds like he'll do. Ford has tried to defend this indefensible decision on the basis that he won’t tell local governments what to do, but as David Moscrop pointed out in a piece for TVO, his government has done just that in issuing almost 10 times as many MZOs (minister’s zoning orders) since 2019 as the previous Liberal government did during its 15 years in power.

“The government has no problem meddling in municipal planning,” Moscrop wrote. “Its problem is that it hates urban density, preferring single-family homes and the occasional townhouse.” This is the height of self-defeating stupidity when you’re in the midst of a housing crisis, and it’s even dumber when the federal government is offering you billions of dollars to do the things your own housing affordability task force already recommended.

This week the Ford government announced that it would include nursing home rooms as new houses when counting the number of homes built. I don't know who is Canada's worst premier. But Ford gets my vote as the dumbest. 

Image: Toronto Life


Lorne said...

As I wrote yesterday in my blog, Owen, Ford works on the assumption that most people are rather stupid. In that, I doubt he is making a miscalculation.

Northern PoV said...

Mendacious intent can be disguised as stupidity.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, Lorne, he's right. And, so, we are in a precarious spot.

Owen Gray said...

In Ford's case, PoV, I think both are true.

Anonymous said...

Off topic svp:
'Trudeau casts doubt on CSIS'

He waited a while to push back on the CSIS clowns 🤡 who (with R. Fife) tried to destroy him.
And someday we'll hear the complete story of the two Michael's.

Owen Gray said...

The old adage is still true, PoV. Don't believe everything you hear.

Rural said...

Without getting into the whole 'unless you go to university you dont know nothing' syndrome, after all I am just a fellow who learned a trade and made a living for my entire life without 'upper education', I will just say that in my view it all depends on the subject and the dedication. “Ford went to Carleton University in Ottawa to study political science and did not complete his degree.” Enough said!

Owen Gray said...

Ford had the means to get an education, Rural. He just didn't want one.

Hels said...

"Nowhere is that more apparent than on the housing front, where Ford’s enthusiasm for building housing quickly evaporated after it became clear he couldn’t use it to enrich developers and other friends and donors". Excuse my naivety, but why does he win the majority of votes?

Owen Gray said...

That's a bit of a mystery to me, hels. But I suspect part of the reason is that he buys votes with the voters' own money. For instance, he canceled the fee on license plates two years ago.

Voters thought he was doing them a favour. In reality, he canceled a source of government revenue and the deficit went up. Some of us can't do simple math.