Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s first year in office has shaken up provincial politics and will reverberate straight through this fall’s federal election.
But after a busy 12 months, things will be quieter at Queen’s Park for a while. The Progressive Conservative government has opted to adjourn the legislative assembly until the end of October — after Canadians go to the polls.
However, even if Ford’s government is not sitting in Queen’s Park while federal politicians are on the campaign trail, it’s still likely to have an impact on how Ontarians vote. Already, the polls are suggesting that Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are feeling the impact of some of the unpopular decisions the Ford government has made since winning the June 2018 provincial election.
While Ford would prefer to see Scheer in the prime minister’s office, his primary concern is ensuring the longevity of his own government. Two factors — how the Ontario New Democrats do in the unfamiliar role of Official Opposition and who the Liberals choose as their next leader in March 2020 — will play big roles in deciding Ford’s fate in the longer term. In the short term, the premier is mulling a cabinet shuffle to address some internal issues within caucus and bring about a change of tone.
To assess Ford’s first year in office and what role he might play in the federal election, CBC polls analyst and host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC’s provincial affairs reporter in Toronto, Mike Crawley, on this week’s episode of The Pollcast.