Ford says Whitby Mayor “doesn’t have a clue” and predicts election defeat for local MP in Legislature rant


Published April 8, 2024 at 10:18 pm

Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford went on the attack against Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy in the Legislature Monday, saying Roy “doesn’t have a clue” about how health care funding works while refusing to re-acknowledge that the next Durham hospital will be in her town.

Last week Ford accused Roy of “bullying” him over committing to the hospital in Whitby, despite Lakeridge Health selecting Whitby to host its seventh hospital back in January of 2022 and Ford himself finally declaring the hospital will be built in Whitby earlier this year.

At a press conference in Vaughan last week, after questioning the ethics of Roy’s public campaign to get him to commit to the planning grants needed to get the project started, Ford appeared to backtrack on that commitment.

“The folks in Durham will be getting a hospital and we’ll be determining the site.”

The hospital issue was raised at Queen’s Park by Oshawa MPP Jennifer French on Monday, who asked the Premier when the planning grants will be coming.

The triggered a rambling response from Ford, who lashed out at both Roy and Liberal MP Ryan Turnbull, who has also been vocal about getting financial guarantees on the hospital.

“What’s really staggering is when the Mayor of Whitby stands up with a Liberal MP, telling us we should use our health care funding to build a hospital,” he said. “She’s not informed. She doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about with a Liberal MP (who) doesn’t have a clue what (he’s) talking about.”

Roy and Turnbull have been clear that what they are waiting for is a the planning grant to get shovels in the ground on the hospital project. Ford, who appeared to be referring to a recently announced federal health care package, said the Province can’t use that money to build a new hospital.

“Get your head around that. Understand that,” he shouted, while predicting an election defeat in the next federal election for Turnbull. “Because I’ll tell you the federal Liberal MP won’t be there much longer, by the way. And when he disappears and the Mayor …”

Ford finished his diatribe by declaring his government had invested more in health care than “any government in the history of the province.”

Roy did not rise to the bait, referring to earlier statements that “standing up for the residents of Whitby is not being a bully. It’s doing my job,” while accusing Ford of “misdirecting the public with inaccurate allegations that are frankly disrespectful to thousands of people.”

“I’m very concerned that today the Premier stated that the Province will select the site of the new Durham hospital.,” she said last week. “This is exactly why Whitby continues to advocate, to support the decision that was made by the independent expert panel more than two years ago.”

“The Province continues to say that a hospital for Durham is coming. What I’m asking is, when? I will continue to ask until we get an answer.”

Turnbull did respond on social media Monday, saying it was a “real shame” Ford would stoop to attacking he and Roy in the Legislature for simply “doing our jobs.”

“Instead of flinging insults, he should focus on keeping his word and funding the Whitby hospital. Two years later and the Town of Whitby is still waiting for a $3 million planning grant to move the Whitby hospital forward.”

Over the past eight weeks, almost 4,000 people have supported the campaign by signing a call-to-action letter or sharing a personal story about why a new hospital matters to them. As a next step, the Town will be papering municipal facilities with orange hearts, with each heart representing a resident who has supported the campaign.

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