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Bill Kelly: Ford’s francophone policy could hurt Scheer

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer addresses the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto on Saturday, November 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

There was an immediate and emphatic negative reaction to the announcement from the Ford government that they were eliminating the office of the French language services commissioner and scrapping plans for a francophone university in Ontario, despite having promised funding for both during the election campaign.

Francophone Canadians from coast to coast have been justifiably concerned about what they feel is rather tenuous support for francophone minority populations outside of Quebec and Ford’s move will do nothing to assuage those concerns.

WATCH: Finance Minister Fedeli discusses Ontario’s tax credit plan for low-income workers

Click to play video: 'Finance Minister Fedeli discusses Ontario’s tax credit plan for low-income workers' Finance Minister Fedeli discusses Ontario’s tax credit plan for low-income workers
Finance Minister Fedeli discusses Ontario’s tax credit plan for low-income workers – Nov 16, 2018

Ford doesn’t have to face upset francophone voters for another four years, but with a federal election less than a year from now, federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer could face the ire of disgruntled francophones.

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Scheer has been a big supporter of Ford’s policies, hoping to cash in on the momentum that Ford has generated in Ontario, but if he remains silent of this controversial move, he will be seen to be complicit, not just by francophone voters, but by other minority groups who might wonder if their support programs are next on the chopping block.

Does Scheer condemn Ford’s francophone policies and risk tarnishing his relationship with his newest political BFF, or does he sit on the fence and anger not only francophone minorities across Canada, but possibly alienating Quebec voters who take a dim view of what Ford has done.

It’s an important decision for Scheer, and he doesn’t have much time to make it.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

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