Randall Denley: For better or worse, Ford is in charge of Ontario’s COVID battle. Let him be


If you believe this week’s version of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, his government had to impose a stay at home order and shut down almost all retail Wednesday because of a COVID-19 escalation that couldn’t have been foreseen just six days ago. After having conceded that last week’s so-called “emergency brake” wasn’t enough, Ford tried to get his hands back on the wheel Wednesday, preferably without admitting that last week’s uncomfortable blend of worrisome words and minimal action didn’t make sense at the time. The premier gets part marks for finally, finally, focusing on vulnerable essential workers in the province’s hotspots. It’s a step towards targeting actual problems, the missing strategy throughout this pandemic. Unfortunately, it comes with yet another heavy-handed lockdown, the blunt instrument that is the Ford government’s most common strategy. Chaos and confusion are terms that have been thrown around a little too liberally by critics of Ford’s pandemic response, but after Wednesday’s backtrack on control measures in place for less than a week, it’s difficult to think of a better description of the mess Ontario is in now.

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