Farewell 2022 : Doug Ford, Jagmeet Singh, “ethnocultural diversity”, big muskie, lonely Vancouver, Vaughan theatre, no oath to King in Quebec Assembly

Dec 12th, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
“The debate ?rages? on” by Michael Seward, November 2022.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. DECEMBER 12, 2022. After this eclectic piece, the rest of this year’s contributions will just be notes on counterweights’ news and views of 2022.

Meanwhile, here are four concluding preliminary notes on : (1) Doug Ford’s increasingly inept assaults on the traditional culture of Canada’s most populous province ; (2) Jagmeet Singh’s latest assessment of federal NDP’s “deal with Liberals heading into new year” ; (3) Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census on immigration and “ethnocultural diversity” ; and (4) four very quick references to great articles elsewhere on : catching a very big muskie, “Why is Vancouver so lonely?”, the old Vaughan neighbourhood theatre in Toronto, and the Quebec National Assembly’s December 9 rejection of an oath to the new King Charles III.

(1) Is anyone paying attention surprised that “Ontario’s Doug Ford among lowest ranking premiers in Canada”? (Only the premiers of New Brunswick and Manitoba are lower than Ford at the moment. Even Danielle Smith in Alberta is more than slightly ahead of him!)

As explained by CTV News (re an Angus Reid survey published December 7) : “Ford’s approval rate sits around 34 per cent. This represents a seven point drop from September and an 11 point drop since the June election.”

The history of Premier Ford’s rating as monitored by Angus Reid is interesting as well. He was as low as 31% early in 2020, but then shot up dramatically to 69% toward the middle of that year, when many Ontario residents felt (somewhat misleadingly, it turned out) that their government had performed well in the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then Ford’s approval rating gradually sank back to as low as 30% in early 2022. Then again, thanks to the hard work of Ontario PC activists it rose back to as high as 45% for the provincial election in June 2022. From this height it has now fallen again to 34% as 2022 starts to wave goodbye.

“LMAO” by Michael Seward, November 2022.

For an explanation of this latest drop various key current headlines are helpful, eg : “Ford to Crombie, mayors criticizing housing law: ‘Get on board’ and ‘stop whining‘” (from the conservative CTV News) ; “Developers who bought Ontario Greenbelt land linked to Ford government” (from the conservative Globe and Mail) ; and “Developers seem super pleased about Doug Ford’s new housing plan” (from blogTO — not conservative, but popular!).

(2) Those who are wondering about the confidence agreement between the federal Trudeau Liberals and Singh New Democrats might be somewhat confused by two reports, published only one day apart : “Singh confident in deal with Liberals heading into new year, vows to ‘keep on fighting’ for NDP priorities” (December 11, CTV News) and “Singh threatens to pull out of supply and confidence agreement over health care” (December 12, Canadian Press).

Our sense, for what it’s worth, is that the New Democrats are doing well enough with this deal, and it likely has some shelf life for 2023 — and beyond. For the moment at any rate, we’d underline this passage from the first article : “Asked whether he has a hard line that would cause him to scrap the deal, Singh said he’s waiting to see how 2023 goes, but he’s otherwise steadfast the agreement is having positive results … ‘Broadly speaking, I’ve said the other kind of major way that we look at this is that there may come a moment when the government just completely fails to deliver on what people need, and just does no longer shows an interest in working to get things done,’ he said. ‘We’ll make that decision at that time if that’s what it comes to, but for now our focus is on fighting for people, not giving up because it’s tough, and not backing down from the fight because we’re not getting the results that we want right now.’”

(3) What does the 2021 Census tell us about immigration and “ethnocultural diversity”? To start with see Statistics Canada’s “Immigrants make up the largest share of the population in over 150 years and continue to shape who we are as Canadians,” released this past October 26.

Two quick further facts : First, Canada’s most populous province of Ontario had a just slightly greater share of 2021 immigrants (44%) than its share of Canada’s population — followed by the three next most populous provinces of Quebec (15.3%), BC (14.9%), and Alberta (14.5%).

Second, the top 10 source countries of 2021 immigrants to Canada were quite different from the middle of the 20th century : India, Philippines, China, Syria, Nigeria, United States, Pakistan, France, Iran, and United Kingdom.

Will Sampson with his big muskie, caught in Toronto Harbour

From a quite different angle, one comparatively new feature of 21st century Canadian census data is that (if asked) it is now possible to report “Canadian” as your “ethnic or cultural origin.” And the percentage differences of “Total Single and multiple ethnic or cultural origin responses” reported this way by province in 2021 are intriguing. Note that the percentage so reporting for Canada as a whole was 15.6%. By province the “Canadian ethnic or cultural origin” numbers in rank order are : Quebec 29.0% (% “Quebecois” = 11.2%) ; Newfoundland and Labrador 24.9% ; New Brunswick 23.0% ; Nova Scotia 15.8% ; Prince Edward Island 15.2% ; Ontario 11.6% ; Alberta 11.6% ; Saskatchewan 9.7% ; British Columbia 9.3% ; Manitoba 8.4%

(4) Finally, here are four later 2022 articles by various hands that we’ve especially enjoyed : Lauren O’Neil, “Big muskie (43″ +) caught in Toronto harbour by Will Sampson, 31,” blogTO ; Doug Taylor, “The history of the haunted movie theatre on St. Clair West in Toronto,” blog TO ; Kaitlyn Fung, “From a City of Glass to a City of Care : Why is Vancouver so lonely?, TheTyee ; Randall White, “Quebec National Assembly sets aside oath to the King in its swearing-in process : will other provinces follow (eventually)?,” Loonie Politics.

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  1. Excellent article! Especially Loonie Politics reference.

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