Ontario Premier Doug Ford took swipes at Democratic U.S. lawmakers Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi during a trip to Washington, D.C. Friday.
The premier was participating in a question and answer session with Maryscott Greenwood, the CEO of the Canadian American Business Council during a conference for American governors. Ford is in the U.S. capital with a contingent of other premiers, including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Quebec Premier François Legault.
“I always say socialism does not work,” Ford said. “Raising taxes does not work. Show me anywhere in the world that it works. Lowering taxes, with people and with businesses, that’s how we thrive in our province and right across the United States.”
“Can you do me a favour and talk to Bernie Sanders about whether or not socialism works?” Greenwood joked.
“That’s actually scary,” he said.
Sanders, a Vermont senator, is one of the front-runners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He describes himself as a “democratic socialist” and is running on a platform that includes bringing in universal health care and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
In Ontario, Ford’s government repealed a law that would have brought the minimum wage up to $15 in November 2018.
The premier also said that he “loved” listening to President Donald Trump’s recent state of the union address.
“But I was disappointed when I saw Nancy Pelosi get up there and start tearing the speech up. That’s uncalled for. I think it’s a shame,” he said. “I’ve never seen that in any state of the union speech ever.”
Pelosi told reporters that it had been the “courteous thing to do, considering the alternatives.”
Greenwood also asked Ford about his future political aspirations.
“Half the people you meet with this weekend, either think they’re gonna be president or someday might be president,” Greenwood told Ford. “I know there’s a Conservative leadership race, so will you declare today?”
Ford repeated the line he gives whenever he’s asked by Canadian reporters about the race to replace Andrew Scheer.
“I appreciate that ... We’re going to focus on Ontario.”
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