It's fair to say that Doug Ford as Ontario's Premier has been at least controversial and as with any politician not everyone agrees with his decisions. But now some Ontarians are taking it one step further and calling Doug Ford corrupt. In fact, so many people are saying it that it's actually trending on Twitter.
Specifically, the trend going around Twitter right now is #FordCorruptAF and it's been used in a number of contexts to describe the Ford Family's history with drug dealing, the government's budget cuts, and a number of Doug Ford's decisions since taking office less than one year ago.
The origin of the trend is actually related to Doug Ford and Minister Lisa McLeod's cuts and changes to autism funding. The trending hashtag started yesterday after it was revealed that Doug Ford had left a voicemail for an Ontario resident that has been described as "threatening."
Global reported yesterday that Michael Cole, a parent of two children with autism, sent the premier a text message. He told Global that he was angry after the changes to autism funding a couple of months ago and finally sent Ford a text message this week saying all he gave them was corruption.
In response to Cole's message, Ford actually left a voicemail for Michael. Cole shared the audio of the message, which he says is threatening on his twitter. In the clip, the premier says "But Michael, you got to be very, very careful when you tell someone that they’re corrupt. Very, very, very careful. OK, my friend? I’ll talk to you later.”
In response to this story, one Twitter user, Mike Gibbs, who is former media relations for Public Health Ontario, sent out several tweets calling out Ford over the voicemail. Eventually, those tweets evolved to include the hashtag #FordCorruptAF and the trend has blown up from there.
Mike Gibbs isn't the only one using this hashtag. Several other Ontarians have jumped on the #FordCorruptAF train as well.
In an interview with Narcity, Gibbs explained his motivation to create the now trending hashtag. He explained that he has been active online supporting parents in Ontario's autism community so hearing about Ford's voicemail made him angry. He said, "That the premier could be so vicious to them hit me in my stomach... I felt in my bones we had to - as many people as possible - stand behind Michael [Cole] so [he] knows he isn't alone. And all autism parents are not alone. The message is really - if you threaten Michael you threaten 'all of us'."
Gibbs also told Narcity that he is encouraged by the support that his hashtag and his message has received. "I think that this story is sparking people to think about corruption and this [government] which is happening in broad daylight before our eyes," he said. "It's also cool how during dark times like this, we find like cause with other groups and support each other."