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Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford Claims He’ll Cut CBC Even Though CBC is Not Provincially Funded

Um, does Doug Ford even know what job he’s applying for?

March 29, 2018

The new leader of Ontario’s PCs thinks he can cut funding for something Ontario doesn’t actually pay for?

Responding to Ontario’s 2018 budget Wednesday, Doug Ford raised fresh questions about his basic understanding of the issues when he offered reporters a nonsensical suggestion about how he could save Ontario money: cut funding for the CBC.

Only problem with that idea? The Province of Ontario doesn’t fund the CBC – that’s the federal government’s job.

Needless to say, Ford’s idea left quite a few people scratching their heads:

Even reporters, who largely gave Ford a pass on the substance and details behind his policy proposals during the recent Ontario PC leadership race, are now starting to acknowledge a “tendency among reporters and the public alike to give Ford an easy out on detailed policy questions.”

This week, a Toronto Star editorial accused Ford of making stuff up and promising Ontario voters a “free lunch”:

“The new Ontario Progressive Conservative leader says if elected premier he will deliver billions of dollars in tax cuts. He will tackle the province’s debt. And he will do all this mostly by weeding out government waste.

Ford is promising a free lunch. Yet experience, including Ford’s own political past, dictates there is no such thing.”

Meanwhile, TVO’s Queen’s Park reporter John Michael McGrath observes Wednesday’s budget response  only highlights how vague and cagey Ford is when he’s asked to back-up his words:

“Reporters asked the new Progressive Conservative leader — repeatedly — what he would do differently were his party to form government after the June 7 election, but Ford offered few details.”

The good news is that some journalists are trying to overcome Ford’s evasive pattern of “lying” by challenging Ontario’s would-be Premier to make clear, on-the-record statements about what he really believes.

Citing a story first reported by PressProgress, Queen’s Park Today’s Allison Smith questioned Ford about his interview with a social conservative group, floating the idea of giving parents new powers to block pregnant teens from accessing safe abortion services.

Ford’s policy would be likely unconstitutional, violate doctor-patient confidentiality rules and expose pregnant teenagers to violence.

But when pressed on the issue, Smith says Ford lied to reporters and blamed it on a “gotcha question” from the CBC – to be clear, Ford made the promise in an interview with a hardline right-wing anti-abortion group, not the CBC.

Ontario voters will go to the polls in two months.


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Q & A

The ACLU’s Political Director Says It’s Time To Play Offence Against Trumpism and Right-Wing Propaganda

In a Q & A with PressProgress, Faiz Shakir says it’s time to make Trump and the right-wing propaganda machine play defence again

March 27, 2018

During a speech at the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit last week in Toronto, American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Faiz Shakir shared his insights into the challenges facing Americans in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

Shakir, a former Editor-in-Chief of the Washington-based progressive news outlet ThinkProgress, discussed how to build the political infrastructure to take on Trump and the recent explosion of right-wing propaganda on social media.

Here are a few questions PressProgress