TORONTO – First prize for hypocrisy in the judicial ousting of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has to go to one George Smitherman.
You’ll remember Furious George.
He was at the helm of Ontario’s health ministry during the eHealth boondoggle. And he was in the energy portfolio when the green energy debacle was formulated.
And he was in health when the Ornge air ambulance scandal got rolling.
So you’ll never guess what he tweeted Monday.
Doesn’t this guy have any shame?
Ford gets tossed from office over a $3,000 charitable donation.
Smitherman calls that “accountability” — when on his watch as health minister hundreds of thousands of dollars in sole-sourced contracts were handed out to consultants with ties to the Liberal party.
Smitherman should have been called the minister of boondoggles.
Worse, it’s possible Smitherman could yet become mayor.
Under the old rules of council, if a mayor left during his term in office, or if he died, the runner-up in the election became mayor.
Smitherman came second to Ford.
But before he starts getting any big ideas, he should review the facts.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected him and his tax-and-waste policies.
He’s the guy who, as energy minister, brought us the massive Samsung deal — the details of which are still very sketchy.
He’s the guy who, through his Green Energy Act foisted ugly, unwanted turbines on rural Ontario.
They not only destroy the beauty, they are hurting the economic health of people who count on the tourist trade for jobs. Who wants to stay at a bed and breakfast at a windfarm?
And don’t even get me started on Ornge.
This was another of Smitherman’s babies. It’s a private-public partnership.
Public money paid for everything. Taxpayers took all the risks.
Then private individuals raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in bloated salaries.
In a scathing report on Ornge, auditor-general Jim McCarter slammed the deal saying he wasn’t even sure he had found all the companies Ornge spawned.
Yet, this was the brainchild of the guy now pondering “accountability”?
Suddenly, we have lawyers and judges and political activists — none of whom have run for office — thwarting democracy, stifling the voice of the people.
Why bother with elections at all?
Why don’t we just hand over this whole big, democratic mess to judges and let them decide who should be mayor and premier.
I’m sure they’ll pick someone fashionably thin.
Someone who doesn’t know a touchdown from a tight end.
Ford’s biggest “crime” is governing while fat. All those trendy lefty granola-eaters can’t stand being represented by someone who looks like he enjoys a good steak.
They’ll pick someone who crooks his pinkie politely when he sips his tea.
Now the lawyers are saying Ford can’t even run in a byelection.
Give me a break.
The fairest and simplest thing to do is to take this to the people.
Have another election. Let Ford run — and let the people decide.
But let’s do it soon.
Take a look at this province from 3,000 feet.
We have a provincial government that’s shut down.
Nothing’s going on here. Nothing can happen — because the premier has announced he’s quitting. The finance minister is on his way out and we have no leadership whatsoever.
Now we have the country’s biggest city grinding to a halt over a $3,000 charitable donation.
Here’s my fearless prediction.
Watch out for the credit rating agencies.
Financial markets like stability. That’s not what we have here.
We’ll get another credit downgrade — just watch.
The lights are on, but there’s no one home.