Welcome Ontario Premier-elect Doug Ford

Today we extend a warm welcome to Ontario Premier-elect Doug Ford and with it the hope that he will be a leader for all of this province’s people.

Prior to last week’s election, there was some fear that Ford would be another Donald Trump, who will bring his (Trump’s) style of politics to Ontario and Canada, a style that we definitely don’t need here.

Under Trump, America has become a meaner place, especially when coming to race relations. But we’re assured that Ford will not play that game, and indeed, the new Premier knows that a lot of his support to win this election came from Ontario’s minority communities, who also embraced his late brother Rob when he ran for Mayor of Toronto.

That said, we are a bit concerned about his Conservative policies and how these will impact on the most vulnerable in society, as we urge the new Premier not to follow in the footsteps of the last Conservative Premier, Mike Harris, whose “slash and burn” actions hurt tens of thousands of poor people.

Instead, we expect him to live up to his promise of being a change for the better for all, and not just the right and ultra-right. His is, after all, the “Premier for the people.” All of them, whether Liberal, Socialist or Conservative.

As an aside, it was quite revealing to see how quickly the election results came in. In a province s large as Ontario, we were able to know the results within 15 minutes of the polls closing.

Compare this to the Caribbean, especially Guyana, where it took almost two weeks in the last election in 2015 for the results to be confirmed. That led to much uncertainty in the country and signaled to the international community that all wasn’t well. It also gave rise to allegations of ballot tampering.

In today’s world, with technology, as it is, there is no reason for such a long delay between the casting of the ballots and the result. We hope the proper authorities in Guyana take note of how smoothly and quickly things went in Ontario, and take the right step to follow this lead.

Once again, congrats to Doug Ford and his winning team, as well as to Andrea Howarth and the NDP for becoming the official opposition.

We look forward to positive years ahead for all of us.

…..Bhaskar Sharma