Trumpism triumphant in Ontario

When Donald Trump won the Republican Presidential nomination, and especially after he was elected President, I worried that his brand of xenophobic no-nothing demagoguery would infect right-of-centre political parties in Canada.

And along comes the Ontario PC Party to confirm my fears.

Chris Selley:

…there is no reason Ford can’t win. He ran a relatively calm, measured campaign. He stuck to his talking points. On occasions when the campaign was said to get “ugly,” it certainly wasn’t ugly by Ford’s standards. One is reminded of his plan to take on John Tory, as described to Toronto City Councillor John Fillion: “I’m going to latch on to his ass. He’s going to take off the sheets in bed at night and find my teeth wrapped around his nuts.”

If Ford can keep his teeth away from other people’s nuts, so to speak, Ontarians who weren’t familiar with him before might not be turned off. Perhaps he can even win over some of the haters. The things Liberals imagine could derail him — musings about notification of parents for minors seeking abortions, tearing up the sex ed curriculum, opposing carbon pricing — are probably more popular than they believe. And maybe the desire for change, any change, is so strong among Ontarian voters that just about any human can fulfil it.

But if the Liberal attack machine can still stir up the Ontario electorate the way it did against Tim Hudak, Stephen Harper and other conservatives … well, let’s just say it has never had more live ammunition to work with. For starters, the new Ontario PC leader enabled and still proudly associates himself with his late brother Rob’s administration at Toronto City Hall, which produced easily the most insane series of events in modern Canadian political history. Tory ran successfully for mayor against Doug by promising serenity instead of lunacy. The Liberals and New Democrats will no doubt promise the same, and they will have a point.

Doug Ford accused Toronto police of working with the Toronto Star to prove false allegations against his brother, allegations which were actually true. Chief Bill Blair threatened to sue, and Ford had to grovellingly apologize. Ford had the worst attendance record of any city councillor. The integrity commissioner found he broke the city council code of conduct in his business dealings with two clients of Deco, the Ford family’s labels-and-tags concern.

On Pride parades, Ford has complained about “men running down the middle of Yonge St. buck naked.” On a home for mentally challenged youth in his ward, he said: “My heart goes out to kids with autism, but no one told me they’d be leaving the house.” His and Rob’s short-lived radio and Sun News Network shows were a bottomless font of childish bluster, blather and bravado.

The man is a hundred attack ads just waiting to happen. …

Ford could hand Kathleen Wynne’s wretched Liberal government another term in office.  Or he could become Premier of Canada’s largest province.  I’m not sure which possibility unnerves me more.

I’ve never spoken out in favor of abstaining from a general election, but considering the major choices on offer – the ignorant loose cannon Ford, a Liberal government that oozes sleaze, wast and entitlement, and the party which ran on Ontario like a university student union during its only time in office – how can I not recommend that Ontarians spoil their ballots in disgust?

No bunny’s home

An Ontario court has ruled that a child-welfare agency violated the rights of a Christian couple who wouldn’t tell their foster children about the Easter Bunny.

7xaaSWZ

I’ve been waiting years for an excuse to post an “Ernest Saves Christmas” gif.

Frances and Derek Baars, who describe themselves as a Christian couple with “strong religious faith,” took the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton to court in April 2017, about a year after the girls in their care — aged three and five — were taken away and their foster home was closed.

The couple said the Easter Bunny was at the core of the dispute and argued telling children in their care the character was real was a violation of their religious beliefs — a position Superior Court Judge A.J. Goodman agreed with.

“There is ample evidence to support the fact that the children were removed because the Baars refused to either tell or imply that the Easter Bunny was delivering chocolate to the Baars’ home,” Goodman wrote in a decision released Tuesday. “I am more than satisfied that the society actions interfered substantially with the Baars’ religious beliefs.”

Court heard that CAS support worker Tracey Lindsay had visited the Baars and acknowledged that the girls looked well cared for in all respects.

However, the Baars argued Lindsay told them it was part of their duty as foster parents to teach the girls about the Easter Bunny, court documents show.

The Baars told Lindsay they intended to hide chocolate eggs and have the girls find them on Easter and play other games, but didn’t plan to speak to the children about the Easter Bunny, unless the girls specifically asked questions about the character, documents said.

[…]

Goodman found the Baars did try to have the children enjoy holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

“There is sufficient evidence to assert that the Baars did, indeed, attempt to preserve the children’s enjoyment of the holidays, even of they were not able, pursuant to their religious beliefs, to positively perpetuate the existence of the fictitious characters that are associated with those holidays,” Goodman wrote.

Via Religion Clause.

Unrecommended legal strategies (II)

There’s an old (possibly apocryphal) American case where the Judge said, “The defendant says, ‘as God is my judge, I cannot pay this tax.’ He’s not. I am. You do.”  We could use someone like that presiding over the Via Rail bomb-plot case:

A terror suspect charged in an alleged plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train is having difficulty finding a lawyer who will try convincing a court to judge him against the Qur’an.

Chiheb Esseghaier appeared in a Toronto court via video link on Monday to discuss his attempts to find legal aid representation — a process which has so far been unsuccessful due to the specific and unusual demands he has made.

“I want that the lawyer help me to change the reference of my case from the laws used by humans to the laws of the holy book,” he told the court. “I cannot take a lawyer who is not able to fulfil my need.”

[…]

As the Crown prosecutor told the court the last potential lawyer offered to Esseghaier had been unable to represent him based on his demands, the Montreal man repeatedly asked to be allowed to comment.

“It’s not me I refuse the last lawyer,” an adamant Esseghaier said.

“He write on a piece of paper, he write and he sign that he is not able to convince the court to change the reference of my case from the Criminal Code to the holy Qur’an.

“He said to me I am not able to fulfil your need, so what I can do? I cannot accept him.”

Esseghaier’s comments on Monday echoed previous statements in which he’s said he doesn’t recognize the secular authority of the Criminal Code in judging him.