Doug Ford became Ontario’s premier in 2018 and received comparisons to Trump due to his combative nature. Kathleen Wynne even said that like Trump, Ford believed in an “ugly vicious brand of politics that traffics in smears lies.” She also said he would “say anything about anyone at any time.”
In February, one pollster noted that Ford’s approval rating was down to 31 percent—mostly due to conflicts with teachers’ unions. Now, just a short time later, Ford’s approval rating has reached 74 percent.
As the coronavirus outbreak made its way to Canada, politicians were forced to temporarily drop some of their tasks and make fighting the pandemic a priority. So far, Ontarians seem to be happy with Ford’s handling of the situation.
Michelle McQuigge, a political commentator wrote that Ford “has been turning heads since it became clear that Canada would not be spared the spread of the novel coronavirus.” She made the comment on March 29 just under two weeks after a state of emergency was declared by Ford. “But many of those heads, once likely to be thrown back in dismay, are now bestowing nods of approval.”
Ford has received praise for his ability to leave some of his politics at the door when it comes to fighting the virus. He has been listening to advice from public health officials and giving straightforward and seemingly empathetic press briefings.
Ford has now announced an economic reopening for many Ontario businesses beginning on May 8.