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The trained seals revolt

August 16, 2022

The first sitting of the Ontario legislature following Doug Ford’s re-election has witnessed a mini-insurrection. In a secret ballot, enough Tory MPPs voted to defeat DoFo’s chosen candidate for Speaker of the House, Nina Tangri. The assembly re-elected old-style Tory Ted Arnott, who has been hanging around Queen’s Park since the Bob Rae days.

Insiders report that Ford and his henchmen were furious at this paltry sign of “disloyalty” from his caucus. Organized crime families like the Fords punish disloyalty. At the inaugural meeting of the new government, Tory MPPs were berated, told their international travel privileges were revoked, and ordered to leave their cell phones in their offices when they attend caucus meetings. 

Worst of all, they were ordered to attend every session of the legislature. Previously requests for absence were freely granted as long as the PCs met their quorum. The stiffest punishment Ford could hand down was to force MPPs to actually do their jobs.

In the past Ford’s caucus had been compared to trained seals, leaping to a standing ovation following every pronouncement from the Dear Leader. Normally we would celebrate any crack in the façade. But this time the silver lining has a dark cloud. If there is a split in the Tory caucus, it is likely toward the far-right. These are those who grumbled when Ford wasn’t supportive of the convoy movement. They think he is too chummy with his federal Liberal peers. What better way to announce their presence than vote down a woman of colour.

However the trained seals’ revolt plays out, you can bet this caucus will be united on the central goals of Ford’s second term: an assault on local democracy (imposing a “super mayor” system on key cities) and delivering a head-on, two-tiered system of healthcare and education.

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