By Mary Beth Corcoran
While sitting at home and self-isolating, a few things have become very clear to me while scrolling credible media sites.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has stepped up to be the kind of leader we want and need during this crisis. Putting all partisan politics aside, Ford has parked his political stripes for now to become an incredibly effective team leader, a passionate defender and decisive policy maker – exactly the type of premier we need.
Yes, I know, many people may not have expected this from a man who is not well-liked by virtually every union in Ontario. I admit, I am one of the people a little shocked at how he has stepped up for Ontario. But it is said, one’s true colours are shown during a crisis, and it is very good to see Ford’s colours aren’t just blue.
In particular, his empassioned response to the U.S. government’s directive to 3M to discontinue exporting needed medical equipment to Canada made me want to stand up and clap even if no one but my cat was around to see it.
Our premier’s responses and actions during this pandemic have made me proud to be an Ontario resident. He has made me feel he is just as scared and uncertain as the rest of us, but has the courage to lead with authority and compassion and inclusiveness.
His daily non-partisan chats with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, his Team Ontario and Canada-first approach, his attitude of not only that can we do it, but we WILL do it, and his concern for every citizen and business owner is helping Ontarians to feel like we will get through this crisis together.
In contrast to Ford’s passionate and immediate responses to issues cropping up daily, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears almost too calm and robotic in his responses. He is a human being whose wife developed this dangerous virus – he is allowed to show emotion.
While we as Canadians can admire and appreicate his calm demeanor during a crisis, and measured responses to the idiocy coming from south of the border, just a little more emotion and badassery would be appreciated to know Canadians are Trudeau’s first and only priority.
Yes, we absolutely need to maintain supply chains and a working relationship with the U.S., but being a polite, well-mannered Canadian with perfect allocution is not what we need right now. We need a fiercely protective and decisive leader who will not put up with threats and deliberate misleading of the public. One who will immediately stomp on people taking advantage of the public or our country in any way, shape or form.
Ford has become that leader in this crisis, and I say with the greatest of respect to Trudeau who is apparently doing the best he can right now to keep Canada safe – it’s OK to show some emotion whether it be disgust, anger, passion or even fear on behalf of all Canadians. And as leaders at the World Health Organization have said, if you wait for everything to be perfect, you miss the window of opportunity to act.
We, as a nation, are behind you and will support you against any and all who try to tear you down, but we need the same from you, Mr. Trudeau.
Get a bit angry, use forceful yet measured words with passion, and rally every Canadian to fight for themselves and each other against this horrible virus.
Being Canadian, we pride ourselves on our politeness, our ability to turn the other cheek to bullies and naysayers and our ability to come together during a crisis and do the right thing, but just a little bit of ferocity towards those who want to hurt us would be great right now.
Trudeau is a great diplomat and compassionate speaker, but now is the time to show his human side and flip the proverbial bird to the people who are throwing shade and not working for the greater good.
While Ford is kicking butt and taking names when we need him to, let’s encourage our prime minister to do the same. It’s OK, Justin, we’ve got you.