Talk about an interesting election

Doug Ford (image courtesy HiMY SYeD)

Doug Ford as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. Wow.

While not quite as loud-mouthed and over-the-top as his late brother and former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Doug is still an in-your-face, brash politician.

Some say it’s just what the province needs.

After 15 years of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne running the province, pandering to wind turbine corporations in non-Liberal ridings such as Chatham-Kent Essex, and leaving a trail of fibs and ethical breaches along the way, Doug Ford could be considered a potential provincial dose of castor oil.

Hold your nose and swallow the “medicine.”

Ford is a large dose of anti-elitism, that’s for sure. He seems to be everything the Wynne government isn’t.

For anyone not paying close attention to the PC leadership race, Ford gained traction with his message of going after the “elites,” as well as a pledge to trim taxes and knock heads with the feds over a host of issues, including the carbon tax. The latter should resonate strongly in Chatham-Kent, as carbon tax and greenhouse gas concerns fuelled Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which in turn paved the way for the host of wind turbines popping up across the province, especially in ridings not held by the Liberals.

Patrick Brown, former leader of the Ontario PCs, was forced to step down due to two allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to when he was an MP in the federal government. He stresses the allegations, made in the media and not through the legal system, were full of untruths.

But he stepped away mere months before this spring’s provincial election. Lousy timing from the PC perspective.

And now Ford has about three months to work to defeat Wynne. Considering the premier’s popularity rating these days sits at about 18 per cent, Ford may very well prevail. Then again, don’t discount NDP leader Andrea Horwath either. She looks the cleanest of the political leaders in Ontario.

Basically, this election is a question of whether voters will hold their collective noses and re-elect Wynne or opt for Ford, or lean to the left and choose Horwath.

Most any government is in need of change after 15 years of one party in power. Yet one wonders how the voters in the Greater Toronto Area will cast their ballots, as they are seemingly easily wooed by the provincial Liberals, without paying much attention to what is happening outside their backyards.

Well, Ford is from their backyards, and is about as anti-Wynne as you can get. And Horwath is the only leader who doesn’t seem to have mud smeared all over her … and the campaign mud slinging hasn’t even started yet.


March Break equals sleep

If your teenager is like ours, chance are he or she is spending much of the March Break in bed sawing logs.

Let’s face it, if you are the parent of a high school kid in Chatham-Kent, you see firsthand how the early school starts are negatively impacting our kids. Teens typically need more sleep than adults, and are late starters. Studies show this to be fact.

But the school boards opted many years ago to cut busing costs by moving high school start times an hour earlier. This culled the number of buses and drivers needed each day by the boards.

It’s difficult to fault the boards for trying to put as many dollars as possible into the classrooms.

But the fact remains teens need their sleep.

Connie Buckler from the Greater Essex County District School Board, summed it up well in an interview with the CBC last fall when discussing the possibility of giving high schools a later start time.

“It’s not that they’re tied to social media and don’t know when to go to bed at night, there’s data out there that says teenagers operate on a different time cycle,” she said to the CBC.

We can’t get our kid into bed before 11 p.m. each night. She’s wired to be a night hawk at this age.

So, when she doesn’t have to wake up early, she hunkers down under the covers and sometimes doesn’t rise until after the lunch hour.

We’re pretty sure she’s not alone.

I can’t remember the last time I slept in past 10 a.m. I’m usually up before 9 a.m. on weekends, regardless of how late I stay up (if you call falling asleep in the recliner “staying up”).

But teens? Ever since our daughter traded her mini-blinds for dark ones, weekend, and March Break, mornings, seem to be optional for her.


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