Doug Ford is driving around Toronto and picking up people stranded by the blizzard
The weather outside is frightful, but the warmth inside Ontario Premier Doug Ford's truck is proving delightful for drivers who've found themselves stuck on the roads in and around Toronto for hours amid a raging blizzard.
Fast-mounting snow and heavy wind gusts have been obscuring visibility all morning, leading to collisions, stranded cars and even the closure of several major highways in the GTA.
While most people in Toronto are now well-aware of these conditions, drivers who set off for work before 7:45 a.m., when Environment Canada issued a formal blizzard warning, weren't as prepared as they might have liked to be.
Hundreds remain stopped in motionless traffic waiting for tow trucks, CAA crews or emergency responders to help them out, but demand is outweighing resources, prompting some folks to take matters into their own hands.
Among those folks, it would appear, is Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is out and about in today's blizzard rescuing people stuck on Toronto-area highways - 📹 Eddy Kandic (@bloodey99) #Toronto #Ontario #DougFord #ONpoli #ONstorm #snowTO pic.twitter.com/Yb8tZ5sQhv— blogTO (@blogTO) January 17, 2022
Eddy Kandic, 26, was driving along Eglinton Avenue early this morning when he, like so many other motorists, came to a standstill.
"I was basically just stuck there in my car," the warehouse employee tells blogTO. "I was there for at least two hours."
Unable to reach family, Kandic had little other choice but to wait in his car for CAA (officials say that motorists should never get out of their vehicles and walk around when stuck on a road. It's dangerous.)
Then, around 10 a.m., the young man says he saw a vehicle driving up the road toward him. It stopped, and a man leaned out to say, "Hey, do you need any help?"
That man was none other than DoFo, who proceeded to ask where Kandic he needed to be and offer him a ride — something he has reportedly done for multiple stranded people around the city today.
#BREAKING - Premier Ford is helping dig out stranded motorist across Toronto as seen in this video. pic.twitter.com/lXQ064BRoS— Richard Southern (@RichardCityNews) January 17, 2022
"I was pretty shocked. I was like, 'Oh my god, it's Doug Ford!'," laughed Kandic. "I told him I needed to go back home. He said, 'Get into my truck and I'll drop you off.'"
The ride from where Kandic was stranded on Eglinton to his home was only about 10 minutes long, but the Toronto man says it was a pleasant ride in which Ford spoke about family and the importance of staying safe in hazardous conditions.
"We were talking and he told me, 'I'm just here to help people out, make sure they're safe," said Kandic of Ford — though some people on Twitter are now saying that the video demonstrates just how little Ford actually cares about safety.
"No masks. Driver looking at the camera instead of the roads. Also, out on the roads against the advice of police," wrote one Ontarian in response to Kandic's video. "But hey, great contrived photo op!"
"Does anyone else see a huge problem with this video? Less then [sic] 6 feet apart! No social distancing with NO masks on!" wrote another. "This video will not age well. I promise you that."
Doug Ford breaking the Law face timing while driving picking up people maskless, Ford is more than incompetent to Govern this Province. Pathetic https://t.co/bU8Lca5Gt2— Julia Ann Landry (@Jewelanland) January 17, 2022
What some are seeing as a string of good deeds, others are seeing as cheap PR stunts and a waste of provincial resources.
"Out doing photo ops during a massive blizzard and once-in-a-lifetime pandemic? Sounds like Ford," wrote one critic.
"I guess there is nothing more important in the province right now for the Premier to do than be a wannabe Uber driver," wrote another sarcastically.
The most controversial of Ford's actions on Monday, however, involves a live interview with CP24 via FaceTime in which the premier can be seen holding a phone while driving — an act that is not just frowned upon, but forbidden under provincial laws.
"Just making sure people are safe in their cars and doing anything I can do to help him," said Ford when speaking live to CP24 about his morning adventures. "Do what you have to do, everyone's doing it. Premier or no premier you're there to help your neighbours right now."
"'Making sure people are safe in their cars' hmm...," responded one Twitter user. "Ford is FaceTiming while driving-distracted driving, at best."
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