The far-right Ontario Party actually thinks Doug Ford is woke
As Ontario prepares to cast ballots in the 2022 provincial election, political parties are ramping up their campaigns to win over the remaining undecided voters.
And though most will likely vote for one of the three main contenders, there are many more parties trying to assert themselves as valid alternatives to the established trio of choices.
The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party's grasp on power is being challenged not just by left-wing parties, but also by a growing group of right-wing parties that pander to the more hardline conservatives.
The not-so-creatively-named Ontario Party was founded in May 2018 by former leaders of the Ontario Alliance party.
Currently headed by Derek Sloan, the party's platform sounds like something out of the Deep South, with stances that seem more in tune with the 2015-present U.S. Republican Party than the core values of conservatism in Canada.
Sloan was formerly a Conservative Party MP and caucus member, though he was expelled from the party after a scandal came to light where Sloan accepted a donation from white supremacist Paul Fromm. He was elected leader of the fledgling Ontario Party in December 2021.
The party's leader seems to be proudly aligned with the anti-vaccine and anti-mandate crowd, appearing at multiple "Freedom Convoy" rallies, events where extreme right wing views and imagery have been prevalent.
Today I attended, and spoke at, the Queen's Park Worldwide Rally for Freedom! I had the opportunity to meet with so many incredible #TeamOntario volunteers and supporters. Thanks so much to the organizers; it was a true honour. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/DaJiw9tzcX— Derek Sloan (@TrueDerekSloan) May 21, 2022
The party's platform — which mentions the word "freedom" no fewer than 22 times — includes stances like introducing legislation banning lockdowns and bringing those responsible for them "to justice." Whatever the heck that means.
It also claims to be in favour of religious freedom, though this seems geared specifically toward the religious freedoms that involve businesses denying service to groups they disagree with.
They propose to "withhold provincial funding from any provincially subsidized organization that compels any of its members to contradict or disavow their legally protected religious beliefs of moral convictions."
That sounds innocent enough on the surface, but it could be interpreted as a move to allow unvaccinated workers to remain employed in high-risk settings.
And this is backed up by the party's pledge to "rehire all workers who were fired for vaccine non-compliance, and provide them with full compensation."
An Ontario Party government will rehire all workers who were fired for vaccine non-compliance, and provide them with full compensation. #onpoli— Ontario Party (@OntarioParty) May 26, 2022
Learn more about the Ontario Party: https://t.co/f2P23KY1fp pic.twitter.com/TsiTUlK0re
It also covers the protection of free speech, a right which right-wing groups have complained has been infringed upon by provincial and federal emergency proclamations.
This also could be interpreted as a loosening of hate speech laws, which is especially worrying, as the Ontario Party has made clear its intention to dismantle transgender rights, the party taking the official stance that transitioning is a form of "mutilation."
The Ontario Party will stop the transgender ideologues and the trans medical lobby in their tracks. Children need good upbringings, not mutilation and hormone maltreatment. #onpoli— Ontario Party (@OntarioParty) May 26, 2022
See our full platform: https://t.co/F6DmHyuENo pic.twitter.com/rR03KYg7AS
This is a party that considers Doug Ford, of all people, "woke," which really tells you just about everything you need to know.
The Ontario Party is the only true option for Ontarians who care about freedom, responsibility and tradition.— Ontario Party (@OntarioParty) May 21, 2022
We stand against Doug Ford's lockdown tyranny, his reckless spending, and his woke sympathies.
Learn more: https://t.co/f2P23KY1fp #onpoli pic.twitter.com/BhLxCBLap3
The Ontario Party only has one sitting member of the Legislative Assembly, Rick Nicholls, but he was actually elected as a member of the PC Party. Nicholls was also expelled from the PC Party for vaccine hesitancy and joined the Ontario Party in late 2021.
Interestingly, the party has taken shots at so-called "unelected officials," when its only representative in Queen's Park was elected as a member of a different party.
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