Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s comments at Queen’s Park on Tuesday (Nov. 5) have some Hamiltonians questioning his intelligence and knowledge of the province’s fifth-largest city.
During question period, Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly asked a question about recent economic activity and investments in the city.
Ford’s now-viral response was: “Hamilton has been ignored,” he said. “It has been run by the NDP — the socialists — who destroyed the city for years.”
— Justin Mowat (@justinmowat) November 5, 2019
He then accused provincial NDPs and the Liberals of running hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs out of the province.
He touted recent investments in the city and credited Skelly with bringing the new investments and new jobs to Hamilton.
The response to Ford’s comments have been pouring in and most agree that the Premier doesn’t really know what he’s talking about when it comes to Hamilton.
Keanin Loomis, president and CEO of Hamilton’s Chamber of Commerce, was among those to point out that Hamilton has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the province and one of the most diversified economies in the country.
The private sector is alive and well in #HamOnt. We have Canada's most diversified economy (@ConfBoardofCda), among the lowest unemployment rates in Ontario (@StatCan_eng) & we're ranked second in up-and-coming tech communities in North America (@cbre). https://t.co/F12LQDtqO2
— Keanin Loomis (@keaninloomis) November 5, 2019
“The private sector is alive and well in #HamOnt,” he tweeted. “We’re ranked second in up-and-coming tech communities in North America.”
Immediately following question period, Hamilton MPP and NDP leader Andrea Horwath said that the premier needed to “wake up” and see for himself just how “great” Hamilton is.
“How factually ignorant is our Premier about one of his province’s largest and leading cities?” said Twitter user Jason Paris.
How factually ignorant is our Premier about one of his province’s largest and leading cities? Very. Hamilton has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire county, and one of the hottest housing markets too. Almost all fundamentals are good for the Hammer. #HamOnt
— Jason Paris (@JasonParis) November 5, 2019
Laura Babcock, local journalist, commentator and communications expert, called the comments “a shot at 500,000+ Ontario citizens that he’s supposed to represent as Premier. It’s a disgusting comment.” She called on Skelly to “speak up” for Hamilton.
Actually he’s taking a shot at 500,000+ Ontario citizens that he’s supposed to represent as Premier. It’s a disgusting comment. @SkellyHamilton will you speak up for #HamOnt and ask @fordnation to publicly apologize to your city? To citizens you are paid to represent? #onpoli https://t.co/eu7VU3G8l6
— LauraBabcock (@LauraBabcock) November 5, 2019
It’s certainly worth noting since neither Ford nor Skelly felt compelled to, that the former provincial governments have made significant investments in the city’s steel industry, arts community, as well as supporting the building of transit infrastructure, to name a few.
Let’s not forget that our housing market has been red hot for the last few years. So hot, in fact, that the exodus from Toronto to Hamilton is now a meme.
For those of us who live here and raise our families in this city, we can attest to the fact that we don’t live among ruins.
In fact, we’ve all played a part in making this a world-class, family-friendly, beautiful community that might be a little rough around the edges at times, but we’re still proud of it.
One thing’s for sure, Ford Nation better walk those comments back because it seems our premier is forgetting when he talks about our city is that we’re also pretty scrappy.