Fight the Doug Ford Tories! Statement from Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Doug Ford was elected as Premier of Ontario on June 7th, marking another victory for the growing force of right-wing populism. Since his election, Ford has used the power of the office without compunction, invoking the notwithstanding clause for the first time in Ontario’s history, and warning that he “won’t be shy” to use it again. In the latest in a series of scandals, the premier was photographed with neo-Nazi Faith Goldy, a vocal proponent of the “white genocide” conspiracy theory. Ford has refused to denounce Goldy or apologize for the photo, despite mounting pressure to so. But Ford’s election is not a triumph for the far right. During his three months in office, Ford has faced significant opposition — the latest was last Friday, when tens of thousands of students from across the province staged a walkout to protest regressive curriculum changes. In solidarity with groups combating the “Ford Nation” on the ground, The Volcano is reproducing a statement and call-to-action from our comrades at the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), written immediately after the election. – Editors
FIGHT THE DOUG FORD TORIES
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
June 8, 2018
Doug Ford is now Premier of Ontario and a hard right, class war Tory Government is in power. Our message is that their agenda of austerity, war on the poor, attacking workers’ gains, targeting migrants, gutting public services, racism, bigotry, environmental degradation and trampling on Indigenous rights, is inevitable only if we allow it to unfold without mounting the kind of real resistance that can bring it to a halt.
Comparisons are made to the Tory Governments in Ontario from 1995-2003. Let’s be clear that Ford represents something far worse. The international austerity agenda is far more advanced than during those years. We have also gone through fifteen years of ‘progressive’ Liberal cutbacks that have left their mark on public services like healthcare, ensured that people on social assistance are poorer than when the Tories left office and produced a housing and homeless crisis of terrible proportions. Frankly, there is very little flesh for Ford’s knife to cut into. It will be going into the bone.
When the Tories last held power, there was a powerful mobilization against them but it failed to stop them because it was held back by disunity and a failure to take things to the level necessary to win. A creature like Ford will not be stopped by moral arguments or token protest. A movement that creates serious economic disruption and a political crisis is what is needed. The Tory agenda must be blocked by a struggle that makes the Province ungovernable.
Ontario is about to become a key site of struggle. We have the chance to demonstrate to the world that a vicious hard right austerity regime can be defeated by creating a model of resistance of enormous importance. Unless we want to go down in defeat at the hands of a gang of Tories headed up by a scandal ridden buffoon, we must be ready to fight to win and bring together a movement that can empty the workplaces and fill the streets.