Ontario Premier Doug Ford does not give a fuck about us. There’s no other conclusion I can come to after watching his handling of this pandemic for more than a year.
His “mistakes,” which really are just choices in line with his ideology, are too many to list in one place. These policies have led to the deaths of thousands, likely including your family, friends and/or colleagues.
But what makes matters worse is that Ford has treated the possible implementation of measures that could stop these deaths as if they’re a reality TV plot point.
‘Will the government do anything to stop members of your family from dying in the next few months? Check back in after this commercial break where we’ll announce when the press conference will be where we’ll tell you that we’re looking very hard at the data and will have an answer soon.’
Case in point is Ford’s use of the phrase, “Stay tuned.”
Today, Ford was asked about a rise in COVID-19 ICU cases in Ontario to unprecedented levels. Will the government implement another lockdown before Easter? What will be done?
Ford replied, “Stay tuned. You’ll hear an announcement tomorrow.” Tomorrow being Thursday, just a day before the statutory holiday, which have been responsible for sharp upticks in cases throughout the pandemic.
If that language sounds too casual, and wholly inappropriate for the gravity of what’s being discussed, it’s because it is. And many of Ford’s previous uses of the phrase indicate that. Here are some.
On May 12 last year, Ford tweeted a photo of himself wearing a “We’re all in this together shirt” and a jerkoff grin, holding a blender and posing while making a cake. The caption? “Stay tuned… #cheesecake.”
I know what came next, because our joke of a media published straight reporting on this stunt with headlines like “Ontario Premier Doug Ford reveals his ‘famous’ cherry cheesecake recipe.”
As that article notes, “The release of the premier’s ‘famous cheesecake recipe’ comes after he boasted about it on Twitter and even during an official COVID-19 news conference held at Queen’s Park earlier in the week. ‘I make the best cherry cheesecake ever,’ he told reporters on Monday. ‘I do it from scratch. No recipe, I got it down pat.’”
Ford’s tweet releasing the video said, in part, “Do you know what one of the most popular ways to manage stress is? Baking!”
Nearly 1,800 people in Ontario had died of COVID-19 at that point. Instead of including that in the article, CTV News printed Ford’s full recipe.
Let them eat cake!
On July 16, Ford posted a video on Twitter of himself about to get a haircut. The caption? “Stay tuned – we’ll be posting pictures of the results.” His Health Minister, Christine Elliott, has been much less eager to share COVID-19 results in terms of fatalities, leaving deaths out of her daily tweets and forcing others to get that information themselves. Five people died from COVID-19 that day.
On October 28, Ford’s Instagram page posted a Halloween-themed video showing him carving a pumpkin, and asking viewers to join him. The caption? “Stay tuned for something spooky.”
At that point, more than 3,100 people in Ontario had died of COVID-19, and the second wave was about to take a sharp upturn.
Under Ford’s watch, more than 7,300 people have died from COVID-19. We’re in the midst of a third wave that will kill many more. Yet he’s treating potentially life-saving, or ending, announcements with the same gravity language wise as a haircut, pumpkin carving and a cheesecake.
Ford has turned this pandemic into a game show, and we’re all guaranteed to lose.