Is Doug Ford Avoiding Patrick Brown in Brampton?
We know all about the “complicated relationship” between Brampton mayor Patrick Brown and Ontario premier Doug Ford.
Even though it’s been close to a year since Brown’s ouster as Ontario PC Party chief and Ford’s ascendancy into that role, the two still have not had an official meeting, let alone a phone call.
But even though Ford seem to be avoiding Patrick Brown, the premier has not been avoiding Brampton…at least in the physical sense. As of late, Ford has been spotted in Brampton a number of times.
Here is Ford meeting with local Peel area MPPs when he visited the Brampton headquarters of Star Navigation, an aviation and aerospace technology company, close to the Malton neighbourhood of Mississauga.
Today I had the pleasure of meeting with @StarNavOfficial's great team for a tour of their head office in Brampton. Always happy to see a successful business innovating in aviation and aerospace technologies, exemplifying the extraordinary talent we have here in Ontario. pic.twitter.com/7osqhtZPlM— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 11, 2019
The premier was accompanied by PC MPPs Nina Tangri (Mississauga Streetsville), Deepak Anand (Mississauga Malton) and Brampton West MPP Amarjot Sandhu. During this past Family Day weekend, Ford was visiting Brampton South MPP Prabmeet Sakaria as he joined him during the MPP’s public skating event at Gage Park.
Happy #FamilyDay weekend everyone! I had a fantastic afternoon with @PrabSarkaria in Brampton handing out hot chocolate and meeting with all the great folks at his community skate. pic.twitter.com/vjqKJXEMOf— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 16, 2019
In both instances there was no indication that Ford met with Brown. However, even though the mayor and his wife live right near Gage Park, the reason for his absence during the festivities with Sakaria was because Brown is currently in India, which his spokersperson dubbed “a personal vacation” in an email to inbrampton.com.
Inconvenient timing aside, this does beg the question: is Doug Ford just trying his best to avoid Patrick Brown, even in the city he runs, as much as possible?
Ford’s government announced they were cancelling the funding for Brampton’s university as soon as Brown was elected mayor last fall. Subsequent issues over hospital funding and cancelling a much needed GO train line along Brampton, then bringing it back after public outcry, highlight the complications of Brampton’s relationship with the Ford government.
It would be amazing if Ford can making it to 2022 without having met Brown at all. If that is the case, the whole city could reject the PCs outright. I doubt Sakaria and Sandhu would get reelected if that happens.
I am by no means an NDP partisan hack of any dimension, but at least when their leader Andrea Horwath last showed up in Brampton, she had serious policy issues to discuss.
Ford is going to have to do more than show up for a fun little skating party in downtown Brampton as overture to a city getting close to a million people…since he’s all about being “for the people”.