Ford Nation visits Cornwall

Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford addresses a crowd of roughly 300 people at Ramada Cornwall on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Ford made his stop during a swing through Eastern Ontario ahead of the June 7 election. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Around 300 energized supporters packed a conference room at Ramada Cornwall this morning (Tuesday) as Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford made a stop in the city.

In a roughly 18 minute speech, Ford spoke about the provincial debt, health care, dental care, seniors, education, hydro rates and Hydro One.

“I can tell you Kathleen Wynne has zero, zero respect for the taxpayers,” Ford said about Ontario’s $312 billion debt to a round of applause.

Ford says the Liberals believe they will “hoodwink” the people one more time when we go to the polls on June 7, but the people are too smart.

“They believe that the people work for the government. Well, we have a different philosophy. We believes in empowering the people. The government works for the people. Not the other way around,” Ford said.

Some of the 300 supporters at Ramada Cornwall on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 as Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford makes a stop in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Jack and Nicole Hawley of Summerstown were happy with what they heard.

“He’s addressed the concerns we have. The fact they want to clean up house and bring the cost of a lot of things down and make it reasonable again. Bring the taxpayers’ load down a little bit which is crazy right now. I hope he’s going to win, he’s going to have my vote,” Nicole said.

Ford’s vision of getting back to educations basics – reading, writing and math – resonated with her.

“I think there’s a big problem that they (the Liberal government) are indoctrinating children and coming up with all kinds of new methods of teaching which don’t necessarily teach. I would like to see the school system come back to some of the basics. My child went through school here and I found that I have to teach him a lot of stuff on the side,” she said.

Jack was also pleased with Ford’s stand against the carbon tax.

“Anti-carbon tax was the big one for me,” he said. “That (the tax) is ridiculous. That’s just a waste of more money for them to try to balance their budgets. It’s not going to do anything except take more money out of our pockets and we should be going in the other direction, putting more money in people’s pockets.”

Some of the 300 supporters give a round of applause to Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford during a campaign stop at Ramada Cornwall on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

MPP Jim McDonell says, despite the weather the last few days and a lack of parking, people still managed to make it out.

“It’s that common sense, making the government work for the people. You don’t talk to very many people before you run into stories about people waiting…wait lists in hospitals, people putting applications in for businesses and waiting,” McDonell said.

As for the Liberals’ moratorium on school closures, McDonell said Ford has had “a lot of discussion” within the Progressive Conservative caucus.

“There’s no way you can support schools with under 20 people like we’ve had. But on the other hand, we have to look at how we do the education, especially within the rural and northern areas,” he said.

McDonell says the PCs are ready to lead government again and the momentum is there. “The polls are there but you have to be careful of polls. Of course, we need quite a few more seats and we’re working towards that.”