All the photos of Doug Ford driving a tractor you don't want to see
After a long, dramatic weekend at Queen's Park, Doug Ford and dozens of Ontario MPPs got the heck out of dodge and into some tractors roughly three hours south of Toronto.
The Premier and his cabinet members had long been scheduled to visit Pain Court, Ontario on September 18 for the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo — North America's biggest and most important agricultural event.
It's a tradition of sorts for provincial leaders to attend the IPM and pose for photos, regardless of what's going on in the legislature.
Many of those photos happen to be taken while they're riding, or even driving tractors.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford sits on a Ford tractor as he plows a furrow at the International Plowing Match in Pain Court Ont. Tuesday, September 18, 2018. pic.twitter.com/HHZVUEEjsP— spacewoman reporter (@SpacewomanR) September 18, 2018
Quite fittingly, Doug Ford chose a blue Ford tractor.
Premier Ford and the PC caucus visited Chatham–Kent for the 2018 International Plowing Match. Ontario's government was proud to celebrate rural Ontario, our agricultural sector, and our farmers. #IPM2018 pic.twitter.com/o6Yo8sfM0t— Ontario News Now (@OntarioNewsNow) September 18, 2018
He quickly learned that operating expensive agricultural equipment isn't as easy as it looks.
Doug Ford, pictured here looking for the tractor's notwithstanding clause pic.twitter.com/Jbin3rS62C— Ashley Perna (@ashleyjperna) September 18, 2018
Some members of the PC Party chose to ride in wagons behind the tractors instead — wagons with banners bearing Doug Ford's face.
It's great to be in Chatham-Kent today for @IPM2018 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo with the whole @OntarioPCParty team. We're committed to expanding natural gas access to rural communities across Ontario, ensuring Ontario is Open For Business! #ForThePeople #IPM2018 pic.twitter.com/X3R48edJ8c— Todd Smith (@ToddSmithPC) September 18, 2018
Perhaps confusing Chatham-Kent with Calgary, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli decided to wear cowboy boots.
Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney also attended and posed for a photo-op.
But back to Ford — he drove not one but two blue tractors in beautiful Pain Court on Tuesday.
He even did a pretty good job with the plowing, according to PC MPP Ernie Hardeman.
Fitting that our Premier @fordnation drove a Ford tractor for the VIP plowing competition at @IPM2018 and more importantly, he plowed a straight furrow! #OntAg #RuralOn #IPM2018 pic.twitter.com/Gx473UlAv8— Ernie Hardeman (@erniehardeman) September 18, 2018
Some attendees were happy to show our Premier the ropes.
Others were there to protest his use of the notwithstanding clause to reduce the number of seats on Toronto City Council.
Some in Toronto were displeased with the government's decision to halt legislative proceedings on account of the farm trip — especially with Ford's controversial Bill 31 hanging in the air and a municipal election less than five weeks away.
Passing the bill earlier would have meant missing the plowing match, and — all jokes aside — it's a huge event for one of Ontario's most important industries.
In Chatam-Kent during the #IPM2018 while #DougFord was addressing the crowd, two individuals said loudly, "Don't Plow Our Charter!"— Jill Andrew (@JILLSLASTWORD) September 18, 2018
Well, it appears the people's voices AGAINST Ford's charter-bashing, anti-democratic #Bill31 #bill5 aren't only in #Toronto.✊👍👏#onpoli #topoli pic.twitter.com/QanK2QTtGJ
However, it looks like they needn't have worried about Bill 31 after all.
A panel of three Ontario Court of Appeal justices just stayed an earlier court ruling that struck down Ford's controversial Better Local Government Act, or Bill 5 (an earlier version of the bill slashing Toronto city council almost in half.)
This means that Bill 31 — which Ford was invoking the Canadian charter's notwithstanding clause to push through — will be withdrawn. There's no need for the revised bill at this time, as the original bill is allowed to stand, and Toronto is expected to have a 25-ward election come October 22.
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