Despite reports that Andrew Scheer has been doing everything he can to "distance himself" from Doug Ford in the run-up to October's federal election, Ford maintains that the two have a good rapport. That could change, however, following reports that Doug Ford openly declared himself to be a "big Republican," during his recent trip to the United States.
While on a business trip in Ohio this week, Ford met with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, and Governor Mike DeWine, to discuss protectionist policies in the United States and Canada. During the conversation, Ford is reported to have said, “God bless the President and don’t get me wrong. Full disclosure: I’m a big Republican.”
He went on to add, “I’m a supporter, conservative-minded and Jason [Kenney] is probably more Conservative than I am!”
While Ford’s office was quick to later add that the premier was not a “card-carrying” Republican, the Canadian public was still critical of his comments during the meeting, with one social media user referring to him as, “Trump lite."
When Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow took to Twitter on Friday night to share Ford’s comments, there was plenty of responses from Canadians. While several Twitter users seemed horrified by Ford’s latest remarks, others were not surprised at all.
One Canadian wrote, “This is pretty tragic considering how Republicans have become Trump Republicans in the last several years... but that's not surprising considering Ford's love for Trump in the past."
Another added, “Of course he does. Doug Ford feels right at home talking to a conservative audience in America more so than he does listening to the Ontarians who are upset and impacted by his cruel cuts. He's showing us exactly who he is."
While many Canadians did not seem surprised that Ford had openly referred to himself as a “big Republican,” many were still unhappy with his comments. In fact, several Twitter users even called for the Ontario Premier to leave Canada altogether!
One Twitter user suggested, “Please keep him we'll take Bieber back!"
Another added, “Well he can stay there and live there! Jerk of all jerks."
When considering how Andrew Scheer might feel about this latest announcement, one Twitter user noted, “No wonder Andrew Sheer tried to keep Ford under wraps, because out of the country to tell people he’s a Republican now [sic]. We know what kind of government Conservatives are and what to expect. Will get a Trump at 24 Sussex.”
Another joked, “Thought Scheer was keeping him locked up in Mama’s basement until the election is over?”
Whether Doug Ford will have any concrete impact on the Conservative Party's campaign in the run-up to October’s federal election remains to be seen.
Canadians will head to the polls on October 21.