Doug Ford talked to Chamber of Commerce members

Will he be the next premier of Ontario?

Doug Ford
Doug Ford talked to Chamber of Commerce members
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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On June 7th you’ll be casting your ballot to pick a political party to lead Ontario. Who do you believe will be the best premier: Doug Ford, Kathleen Wynne, or Andrea Horwath? There are so many questions, and very divergent responses. This couldn’t be more apparent for this up-coming election.

451 people had an opportunity to hear from the newly elected PC Leader Doug Ford at a lunch hosted by the Halton Chambers of Commerce at the Burlington Convention Centre on Wednesday, April 12th.

At the lunch, there were diehard conservatives; however, there also were people in the room who were sitting on the fence. The audience wanted to hear for themselves who Doug Ford was in person, not how he has been depicted by the press. As we all have learned, the press hasn’t had a very good track record predicting leaders. Very few members of the press, for example, imagined that Doug Ford would be the next Ontario PC Leader.

However, he is the leader, and whether you’re happy with that decision or not, his style and messaging worked.

Mr. Ford came on stage dressed in suit and tie, looking like a successful businessman. He is also no stranger to politics, so understands his way around a crowd. Like his brother, he is a streetwise politician who understands how to connect with everyday people. There is no pretence or formality, which was abundantly clear right from the start.

He walked up to the dais and looked at the notes his staff had prepared but he didn’t use them. He talked off the cuff. He made a few minor mistakes, but kept on message. Even when his microphone failed twice, he made a joke that had the crowd laughing and continued on. He is fairly unflappable.

Most of his talking points focused on a few issues, not only during his formal talk, but also during the question and answer session that followed.

  1. The increase in hydro rates is hurting consumers as well as businesses.
  2. The minimum wage increase is damaging small businesses, which in turn harms employees.
  3. The proposed carbon tax will be detrimental to manufacturers.

He also made several references to his recent travels through Northern Ontario. Some of these issues are more important in Northern Ontario vs Southern Ontario, so it will be interesting to see if he adds nuances to his speeches to fit the community.

I did enquire about the party platform since I wanted to provide a link. Mr. Ford and the party have decided that the party platform will be released over time, just as Doug Ford did for his successful leadership campaign. Here is the link to the Ontario PC’s website.

Ontario Progressive Conservative Party

If you care about who leads this province, you need to vote.  It would not be good to imagine it will be a foregone conclusion. Like Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, one thing is certain, Doug Ford should not be under-estimated.

The Chambers are non-partisan. They have asked each leader to speak. Dates will be announced.


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