Kelly McParland: Backbiting over Doug Ford’s back-to-school plan is typical ugly politics


You can tell life is getting closer to something resembling normal in Canada’s most populous province, because a new school year is approaching and ugly politics is breaking out all around. Before the trees can change colour, the weather turn chill and sweaters come out of drawers, bickering and arguing about kids and schools is mandatory in Ontario. Education Minister Stephen Lecce officially signalled the opening of this year’s battlefront when he released a much-awaited 26-page document outlining the government’s official plan for the post-COVID reopening, not that anyone is absolutely certain the pandemic is well and truly in retreat. So ingrained is the compulsion to attack within the province’s media that some news articles went straight into questioning the plan before even revealing its details. Teachers were said to have “lots of questions.” The government was condemned as “reckless” for planning to open in September just weeks after being denounced for refusing to reopen in June. The leader of the official opposition was so keen to get in a few quick insults she found herself agreeing with Premier Doug Ford and had to retreat to her corner for a rapid change of position.

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