Ford’s Bill 195 is a worse scandal than Trudeau’s WE fiasco

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on July 22, 2020

Yesterday Doug Ford kicked Belinda Karahalios out of Conservative caucus for her objection to the implementation of Bill 195 which expands emergency powers for a year, effectively shutting down parliament. This runs counter to Doug Ford’s promise to never compel a vote except when it comes to the budget.

The thesis of this article is not that Justin Trudeau is not corrupt or the WE scandal is overblown; the Trudeau government has had a massive corruption problem and the WE scandal is clearly bad.  A key tenant of the conservative movement is that abuses of executive authority are the most dangerous thing a government can do, and that is what Bill 195 does.

The WE scandal is a symptom of wider corruption. It is a story of the Liberals arrogance to rather blatantly use a charity as a political slush fund to the tune of 912 million dollars.  It is corrupt and there should be consequences. However, Doug Ford’s abuse of power here is in the same category of Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin scandal when he tried to use the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to take out the independence of the Judiciary when he moved out Jody Wilson-Raybould for refusing to break the law in favour of Trudeau’s friends and political donors.

If Trudeau had succeeded fully during the SNC-Lavalin scandal, he would have turned Canada into a de facto dictatorship by concentrating all the powers of the legislature, and judicial system into the PMO.  If Doug Ford passes bill 195 he will be the dictator of Ontario for a year.

Just as the Conservatives rallied around Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott when they put their political careers on the line to stand for what was right, the Conservatives must rally around Belinda Karahalios or their smallest crime will be hypocrisy.

Whether or not you trust Doug Ford is not the question for conservatives.  The real question is whether or not you trust the government in general, to which we like to claim that we do not.  By Doug Ford seizing ultimate power in Ontario, even if he gives it up after one year, he has laid the groundwork for the next Liberal government to do the same thing the next time they can justify an “emergency”.

If something is wrong, it does not become right when someone who has similar politics to you does it. By no means is Doug Ford the only politician who has tried to grab emergency powers during covid-19, and he will not be the last.

So far, both Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan have come out in support of Belinda Karahalios and questioned the need for wide sweeping government powers.  Erin O’Toole and Peter MacKay have yet to say anything on the matter.

The day is coming soon when the Conservative Party will need to stand up to a power grab from Trudeau and the Liberals, and if they want to fight off the attack on democracy, they will need the moral high ground.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

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