Taras Natyshak MPP, Essex

Government of Ontario

Ford signs a blank cheque for shiny signs while ducking trade meetings

Published on October 30, 2018

QUEEN’S PARK – When it comes to trade deals, Doug Ford believes the solution is wasting taxpayer dollars on useless highway signs while skipping out on actual interprovincial trade talks.

On Tuesday, NDP International Trade critic Taras Natyshak questioned Ford about his plan to attract trade investment using highway signs in Ontario — and how much those signs will cost. Ford said the cost won’t be revealed until the signs are up.

“Why would Mr. Ford refuse to tell Ontario how much taxpayer money he’ll be spending on “open” signs along the highways?” said Natyshak. 

“We don’t care whether it’s billboards or bumper stickers from Deco Labels, we just want to know how much it’s going to cost the people of the province.”

Meanwhile, Ford and his political pal Scott Moe, premier of Saskatchewan, were the only two premiers to skip a Vancouver summit on trade and the USMCA, attended by federal, provincial and territorial leaders. 

“While the rest of the country was working on cross-Canada interprovincial trade, Doug Ford took a pass — focusing instead on an exclusive deal with Saskatchewan, a province with which we do about 5 per cent of Ontario’s interprovincial trade,” said Natyshak.

“That meeting those two skipped was where the other 95 per cent of interprovincial trade was actually being discussed.

“Ontarians deserve someone who takes the premier’s job seriously. Ford should stop spending money on signs we don’t need, and he should start showing up for the meetings the people of this province elected him to go to.”