QUEEN’S PARK – While refusing to consider paid sick leave or lockdown restrictions on US retailers like WalMart and Costco to COVID, Ontario Premier Doug Ford encouraged Ontarians to continue blaming rising infections on their neighbours and local small businesses.
“Folks, it’s true the numbers are rising, but the best way you could help your old pal Doug is to continue pointing fingers at one another,” Premier Ford explained from a televised press conference. With daily case numbers rising past 4,000, Ford insisted it was “more important than ever” for Ontarians to ignore large foreign-owned retailers like Home Depot, and instead train all their anger on local small business owners.
“When you blame locally, you help keep the anger in Ontario’s communities, as opposed to letting the anger leave your small towns and wind up in my office at Queen’s Park,” Ford explained.
The Ford Government’s “Blame Local” campaign aims to foster distrust and division between Ontario citizens at the local level, thus removing undue scrutiny from politicians who have failed to act, or from large COVID-rich retailers. Ford’s hope is that local retailers will be too preoccupied grappling with strict lockdown measures, “keeping the blame among the community where it is the most politically advantageous to us.”
“Sure it’s tempting to blame rising COVID numbers on WalMart megastores that are still wide open, but we’re asking Ontarians to keep their blame exclusively on local house parties and neighbours who couldn’t follow the government’s confusing lockdown half-measures. ” Ford emphasized.
“Squabble amongst yourselves. That’s what our “Blame Local” campaign is all about,” Ford added, refusing to take any questions from journalists.
Among Ontarians, the Blame Local campaign seems to be catching on. “I used to be frustrated at how the Ford Government wasn’t doing anything to protect long term care homes,” said Sue Doakes of Thunder Bay, “but then I got a card in the mail explaining how Gus’ Pub down the street was probably to blame for infections, and I only got so much anger to go around, you know?”
“It’s way easier to blame local anyways,” explained Dexter Freeland of St. Catharines. “If I wanted to protest the CEO of Walmart, I gotta look up who that is, and then find out how much US postage is these days. But I can shout at my local Johnson Family Grocery Mart by walking down the street!”
At press time, Costco has increased its limit of free coronavirus samples to 3 per customer.