Ford discusses economic development during Windsor visit

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Jan 21, 2020January 21, 20202 minutes read Premier Doug Ford attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Premier Doug Ford attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

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Protests awaited Ontario Premier Doug Ford at multiple spots in Windsor and Essex County Tuesday during his day spent discussing economic development with local community leaders.

Chants of “no ifs, no buts, no educational cuts” and “hey hey, ho ho, Doug Ford has got to go” came from a vocal group of about 70 demonstrators outside the Fort Fun Center in Amherstburg, where Ford held a private PC event that evening.

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His visit came on the same day local Catholic school teachers participated in a one-day province-wide walkout in opposition to changes to education put forth by Ford’s government, which include mandatory e-learning and increased class sizes.

The protesters dispersed by 6:20 pm after deliberating and knocking on a large black vehicle with tinted windows — believed to carrying the premier — that had arrived at the former Verdi Club. Nearly helped an hour later, when only the Star remained outside the building, two Windsor police cruisers escorted a second large black vehicle into the venue’s parking lot unimpeded.

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Earlier in the afternoon, Ford met with more than a dozen community leaders — including Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Essex County Warden Gary McNamara — at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce to discuss economic development and job creation in the region. Ford did not take questions from the media, but addressed the room before news personnel were asked to leave for a closed-door meeting.

Premier Doug Ford attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Premier Doug Ford attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Ford said his government has created 296,000 jobs since it took office — his number one accomplishment, he said.

“I always tell folks out there it’s us against the world,” he said. “If we don’t start picking ourselves up and start driving this province like a business, operating like a business, they will eat our lunch. But the tables are turning now.”

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Ford also bolstered his government’s efforts to cut red tape and regulations “that we just don’t need” for businesses.

He asked for support from those around the table, and said “each and every one of (them was) doing an incredible job.”

  1. Catholic Central Catholic High School teachers, represented by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), picket during a province wide one-day strike, Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

    Photos: Local Catholic teachers part of one-day provincewide walkout

  2. Strikes close to all Catholic schools, some public elementary and high schools

  3. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, makes a funding announcement at Precision Stamping Group, Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

    https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/ontario-government-bolsters-area-auto-manufacturing-companies

Protesting Catholic school teachers, parents, and students kept out of the classroom also gathered outside the Ford Windsor Engine plan to demonstrate during the premier’s expected tour there. Inside, it was Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation, and trade, who was on a tour. He announced a $2-million funding boost for the region’s automotive and manufacturing sector.

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twitter.com/wstarcampbell

We’re supporting the auto sector with our Driving Prosperity auto strategy to ensure we remain globally competitive, while strengthening Ontario’s position as a leading auto maker in North America. pic.twitter.com/1iMGwn2rDT

— Doug Ford (@fordnation) January 22, 2020

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Premier Doug Ford attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Premier Doug Ford attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

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Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Minister Vic Fedeli, left, and Minister Monte McNaughton, as he attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Minister Vic Fedeli, left, and Minister Monte McNaughton, as he attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Minister Vic Fedeli, left, and Minister Monte McNaughton, as he attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Minister Vic Fedeli, left, and Minister Monte McNaughton, as he attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Minister Vic Fedeli, left, and Minister Monte McNaughton, as he attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Premier Doug Ford, flanked by Minister Vic Fedeli, left, and Minister Monte McNaughton, as he attends a roundtable meeting at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star About 150 protestors, many carrying placards and flags supporting teachers, hold up venue guests at the entrance to The Fort on Texas Road where Premier Doug Ford was scheduled to attend later in the evening. About 150 protestors, many carrying placards and flags supporting teachers, hold up venue guests at the entrance to The Fort on Texas Road where Premier Doug Ford was scheduled to attend later in the evening. Photo by Nick Brancaccio /Windsor Star Windsor Police were called to The Fort to assist guests as they arrived for an event with Premier Doug Ford. About 150 protestors assembled on Texas Road to raise their concerns. Windsor Police were called to The Fort to assist guests as they arrived for an event with Premier Doug Ford. About 150 protestors assembled on Texas Road to raise their concerns. Photo by Nick Brancaccio /Windsor Star

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