Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Good Morning Springton—are you ready to… talk federal finance!

This Magazine Staff

What do we need to know about the federal budget on a snowy midweek morning?

A) It was delivered;

#2) the Conservatives are still (astutely) afraid of an election, so they’ll support it and the government will survive.

Enough said. Time to turn the dial away from CBC radio’s endless yammering and enjoy some classic rock. Am I right? Well, if you live in Toronto… not so much.

Over the dying strains of Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood & The Destroyers comes Toronto’s voice of the common folk, John Derringer, Q107’s um, er, opinionated morning guy—and Derringer is a man on a strange and increasingly interesting political mission. He is single-handedly redefining a hugely important demographic through two influentiual media outlets—classic rock radio, and Sun Media, owners of those tabloids of the working class, The (choose your city) Sun (Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton). Check out Derringer’s take on national daycare here.

This morning Derringer took up well over five minutes of valuable fart-joke time during the drivetime morning zoo slot (between 8:30 and 9 a.m.) just chatting away with the traffic guy (?) about the budget. Keep in mind, this is a show sponsored by donuts shops, power tool companies and a hair transplant clinic.

So, okay, you’d expect a big slam on the Liberals for not delivering more on tax cuts, being out of touch with the little guy, etc. And there was a bit of that, but Derringer saved his big guns for Stephen Harper. “This guy just doesn’t get it,” says Derringer, slamming Harper for being so quick to support a budget that does not address a growing concern among Ontario’s more conservative voters—the unequal federal tax benefit Ontario receives. Which is of course a cause currently fronted by Ontario’s liberal premier Dalton McGuinty. Complicated? You bet.

Time was you could count on the Toronto Sun (and your morning rock dj) to state an uncomplicated conservative position at every opportunity—I believe it was The Sun who recoined the term “Fiberals” and first applied it to Dalton McGuinty’s provincial government. Derringer is complicating that position—actually introducing some subtle analysis. Which I applaud… but does it have to take up that small space I’ve reserved in my life for Powderfinger, by Neil Young?

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