Ford says he has no fed­eral po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - SHAWN JEFFORDS

TORONTO — On­tario Pre­mier Doug Ford isn’t mulling a run for the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice.

The Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader, who has launched re­peated at­tacks on Justin Trudeau and his Lib­eral govern­ment, said Tues­day that he had no na­tional po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions and is com­mit­ted to lead­ing the prov­ince.

“I’m zoned in on this prov­ince, noth­ing else,” the pre­mier told re­porters. “Not fed­er­ally, noth­ing but fix­ing the fi­nan­cial mess that we in­her­ited.”

Ford was asked about his po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions af­ter he called on Trudeau, ahead of Wed­nes­day’s fed­eral fall eco­nomic up­date, to stop a plan to im­pose a car­bon tax on prov­inces with­out their own car­bon pric­ing sys­tem.

The pre­mier has been work­ing ac­tively to build a na­tional coali­tion of provin­cial lead­ers to fight the car­bon tax, re­cently meet­ing with Saskatchewan Pre­mier Scott Moe and Al­berta Con­ser­va­tive Leader Ja­son Ken­ney to dis­cuss the is­sue.

On­tario has also launched a le­gal chal­lenge against the tax, which is likely to fea­ture promi­nently in next year’s fed­eral elec­tion cam­paign. Fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive Leader An­drew Scheer, mean­while, has faced ques­tions about whether Ford was over­shad­ow­ing him on mat­ters of im­por­tance to the na­tional Con­ser­va­tive cause — in­quiries he has shrugged off by say­ing he and Ford have com­mon goals.

The fed­eral min­is­ter of in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal af­fairs has sug­gested, how­ever, that Ford has sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence over Scheer.

Ford, who took power in June, said Tues­day that he was open to work­ing with Trudeau as long as the prime min­is­ter wanted to work with him.

“I’m not gun­ning for him,” the pre­mier said. “He has his dif­fer­ences, I have mine. At the end of the day we want to do the best thing for On­tario and I think we’ll come to a good con­clu­sion here.”

Ford struck a de­cid­edly more com­bat­ive tone over the week­end, when he and Scheer ad­dressed a Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive pol­icy con­ven­tion.

“We’re putting the prime min­is­ter on no­tice,” Ford said dur­ing a speech at the con­ven­tion. “We’ve al­ready taken (for­mer Lib­eral pre­mier) Kath­leen Wynne’s hands out of your pock­ets. And Justin Trudeau, you’re next.”

On­tario’s in­terim Lib­eral leader, John Fraser, said Tues­day that Ford’s crit­i­cism of the fed­eral govern­ment has di­verted at­ten­tion away from ad­dress­ing the needs of On­tario’s health and ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems. “If he said no, he said no. It just took him awhile to say that. The thing is the govern­ment needs to fo­cus on build­ing up things,” Fraser said.

Doug Ford

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.