Story and image from The National Post.
I’ll be completely honest – I usually have little interest in politics. Maybe it’s irresponsible to not be right in the thick of things regarding who controls our province, but it doesn’t seem very often that something overly exciting happens on the campaign trail.
Sporting red rubber boots, Wynne took the wheel of an open cab New Holland tractor in Paris, Ont., Tuesday, while farmer Sandra Vos stood on the side of the tractor, providing instruction.
The PCs said Wynne allowing a passenger to stand on the tractor — an extremely common practice on many farms — was dangerous.
“Wynne set a very bad example this morning when she rode into her media avail with someone hanging off the side of a tractor,” the Progressive Conservatives said in a release.
The PCs said farm tractor accidents have resulted in 250 deaths over the past 15 years in Ontario.
“Many of the deaths have involved rollovers to the side or rear, extra passengers falling from the tractor and bystanders being run over,” the PC statement said, emphasizing the line about extra passengers.
“As the minister of agriculture, Kathleen Wynne should set a good example by following ALL safety guidelines.”
I don’t know if you folks have ever gone for a ride on a tractor, but I can personally say from my experience growing up on a farm that this really is a pretty common practice. I was riding on the fender of my dad’s tractor at a young age, whether it was for fun or because I was helping him with something we would need the tractor for. Obviously my experience is not the same as anyone else’s, but I never once came close to falling off the tractor (and if I had, it probably wouldn’t have been the tractor that killed me but the baler my dad often pulls behind it).
And besides, it’s not like she was flying like a bat out of hell on the thing. She certainly appeared (from videos taken) to be driving at a pretty reasonable speed. It might be a different story if she was driving a fire-breathing turbocharged tractor like this one:
That thing looks like it would kill you for looking at it the wrong way.
The best part of this whole story, however, is the fact that the PC’s failed to mention their leader Tim Hudak’s tractor driving habits. He was photographed driving a tractor with a passenger standing on the side last September. In fact, in response to the PC’s attack, the Liberal Party sent out a video which shows Hudak (as well as Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath) driving tractors with passengers at last year’s International Plowing Match.
I can only think of one thing.
But hey, if it’s getting people like me who don’t normally care too much about politics interested in what’s going on, it can’t all be bad.