Doug Ford tells haters he wants to fix their little red wagons
Ontario Premier Doug Ford had some strong words for perpetrators of hate crimes — or "haters," as he calls them — during the province's daily media briefing on Friday.
"I have zero tolerance for that sort of nonsense," said Ford when asked about a series of threats against local mosques.
"If I was a judge I'd throw them in the jail and throw the key away. Fix their little red wagons."
The unusual red wagon phrase is just the latest entry into a growing list of quirky DoFoisms, but it's one of the most confusing to date. We can all deduce what it means to be "a few fries short of a Happy Meal" or come at someone "like an 800-lb gorilla," but fixing someone's wagon? That sounds like an awfully nice thing to do.
Rest assured: It's not.
The jist of what I learned from Googling this idiom is that it means to make someone regret their actions.
"To fix someone's wagon means to hurt them, get revenge on them, punish them, make them fail, etc.," reads one of the more coherent results. "When said to a child, it usually means that spanking or some other form of punishment is being threatened for an infraction of the rules."
"It's something my grandmother used to say to my dad when he had misbehaved," said a North Carolina forum user in response to the same query ten years ago.
Silly as his language may have seemed to some, Ford seemed dead sincere in his desire to see people who stage discriminatory attacks brought to justice.
Global News Queen's Park Bureau Cheif Travis Dhanraj asked Ford during his press conference if he intended to do anything (beyond make statements) about recent attacks against on the Islamic community, noting that "every mosque in Toronto has faced some sort of dangerous threat" in the past six months.
Fired up by the disturbing statistic, Ford launched into a passionate speech about the unacceptable nature of hate crimes and how to stop them.
"First of all, no matter if it's the Islamic community, the Jewish community, the Black community, I have zero tolerance for discrimination. I have zero tolerance for people attacking mosques," he said.
"When we catch these people — and we will catch them — we need tougher sentences," said the premier. "I keep saying this. They get off, they get a slap on the wrist, they get out on bail and then, if they do get sentenced it's a slap on the wrist."
Threats to a Toronto mosque or any place of worship are unacceptable and disgusting. Strong words from @fordnation condemning these hate crimes. There is no place for hate and Islamophobia in Ontario. pic.twitter.com/tH8atspmZK— Arpan Khanna (@ArpanKhanna) October 16, 2020
Ford pointed out that the Muslim community has "stepped up" and "given so much back" throughout the pandemic, thanking members for all they've done to support everyone.
"That's what amazing about Ontario and Canada," he said. "Everyone comes from all over the world and 99.9 per cent of everyone is living side by side, getting along, working together… it's not about if you're black, white, yellow, whatever it is.
"It's about being an Ontarian, being a Canadian, doing the right thing, protecting your community," he continued. "And we all need to support other communities that are under attack like this."
Ford said that judges need to start handing down far stricter penalties to perpetrators of hate crimes in order to send a message.
"Let's start putting down some heavy, heavy sentences to send a message to the rest of the haters out there," he said. "We live in Ontario. We just will not tolerate it."
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