Taube: Doug Ford’s Ontario will be good for everyone, including Jews

Ontario Premier Doug Ford (Bruce Reeve/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford will become the province’s 26th Premier after winning a majority government in one of the wildest elections in recent memory.

It’s no secret that I endorsed Ford in the PC leadership race in March, and voted for Ford and the PCs on June 7. I’m obviously pleased with this result. 

It was also good to see some right-leaning Liberals, left-leaning Tories and independents used common sense and didn’t rush toward the NDP.

Many people on the political left opted to switch their votes from Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. The former had lost the confidence of the people after 15 years in power, and the latter was seen as the natural continuation of this left-wing agenda (and then some).

Nevertheless, some non-leftists, Jewish or otherwise, still fell for one of the oldest tricks in the political playbook that leftists typically employ. They bought into the false narrative that Ford had a “hidden agenda” which would hurt the economy, ruin the political process, and open the doors to intolerance and bigotry.

This is preposterous on so many levels.

To begin with, Horwath’s massive tax-and-spend platform could have potentially destroyed Ontario’s economy and forced businesses to close or move.  There were also terrible candidates running for her party. This includes 9-11 truthers, peacenik poppy haters, anti-second amendment trumpeters, and a candidate who may have sent out a Hitler meme on her Facebook page.  

After a mild flirtation with the NDP during the campaign, it appears many middle-of-the-road Ontarians realized how terrible a Horwath government could potentially be.

Ford, on the other hand, successfully championed fiscal and social conservatism. He wanted to reduce the size of government, lower taxes, enhance free enterprise and private sector involvement, improve health care and education, allocate funding for transit and autism services, and encourage more international investment.

The PC leader also repeatedly condemned any individual or group who subscribes to racism, white nationalism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Why? Because it doesn’t mesh with his personal values – or Ontario’s values.  

Hold on, some may argue. In a TanenbaumCHAT debate during the 2014 Toronto mayoral campaign, he attempted to illustrate his family’s strong relationship with Jews. He ended up discussing “my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer – hold on, my Jewish accountant.” How is this tolerant, exactly?

Ford didn’t eloquently explain his position, but what he was trying to say, as he pointed out on that podium, is “our family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community.” For the record, that’s the very line his critics like to conveniently ignore.

Oh, and the argument that Ford would be the Canadian equivalent of U.S. President Donald Trump? Complete rubbish, and he’s repeatedly rejected this comparison. 

He told CTV News Channel’s Don Martin on March 12, “No, not at all,” with a shake of the head and some frustration. “I know the people want to do that. But we’ve been in politics for 30 years, before even Donald Trump even existed.” While he praised some of Trump’s economic policies, including low corporate taxes and “manufacturing jobs…coming in by the droves,” that’s different than claiming to be an admirer and/or political disciple.


Finally, let’s look at this election from the perspective of Jewish voters.

There’s no need to waste time discussing Jews on the Ford campaign, including spokesperson Melissa Lantsman. Or discussing Jews who endorsed Ford, including former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman. Or discussing Jews who won seats under the PC banner, including current MPP Gila Martow and new MPP Roman Baber.

Many Jews can think for themselves, and weren’t buying into this left-wing tripe about the PC leader. They realized Doug Ford’s Ontario would benefit everyone, including them. Hence, they parked their votes accordingly – and wisely.