Canada needs to get Ford tough | Opinion | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack | #education | #technology | #infosec

Maybe it’s because I’m over here and he’s over there.

Maybe it’s because whenever I have the gall to agree with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from time to time, bringing on the wrath of the “F*** Trudeau” crowd who love the sound of their shrieking voices telling me I’m a bought-and-paid-for government hack more than they love the actual truth.

They conveniently ignore that I’ve criticized Trudeau far more times than I’ve ever complimented something he’s ever said or done.

I’ve even compared him to Stephen Harper and Donald Trump, just so I could get everyone going, everywhere on the political divide, all at the same time.

So who would I rather have as prime minster right now? Give me that guy in Queen’s Park.

Ford has earned a fair share of admiration in the last two years from all sides because his leadership and communication style during the pandemic has been on full display.

While Trudeau has cranked up his condescending school marm voice, Ford has been no one but himself.

He’s Fred Flintstone in a suit, not the smartest guy in the room but willing to admit it and willing to heed the advice from those who know more than he does because he just wants everybody to be safe and follow the rules.

When he needs to, he cranks up the dad voice, going from pleading to annoyed to incensed in short order and he doesn’t give a box of Timbits who doesn’t like it. His rural Ontario Conservative MPPs have no doubt been frustrated by some of the various Ontario mandates but none have had the nerve to say so publicly that I’m aware of. Not worth going toe-to-toe with the big man.

If Ford were prime minister, he would have had it both ways with the Freedom Convoy. He would have met with them the weekend they arrived, listened to their beefs, thanked them for coming and told them to behave themselves. On the first Monday, he would have told them to go home already.

By Friday, he would have said party’s over, so get off my lawn or I’ll send in people in uniform to do it and impound your trucks and your inflatable hot tubs while they’re at it.

Call it populist, call it no-nonsense leadership, call it doing what needs to be done, regardless of what the opinion polls, the advisors and the party insiders are saying.

He’s not perfect and he’s rough around the edges, bordering on uncouth at times but the tail doesn’t wag the dog in Toronto, unlike Edmonton.

Jason Kenney goes to bed at night hoping that when he grows up, maybe he’ll be Doug Ford.

While the federal Conservatives can’t seem to make up their minds who they are, who they stand for and what they represent (and the Alberta Conservatives – federal and provincial – have just gone flat out cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs), Ford has been mostly strong, steady and straight from the heart.

Whatever you may think of his politics, we could have used a lot more of that in recent weeks and over the past two years.

Neil Godbout is managing editor of the Prince George Citizen

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