Protesting Mike Harris versus Doug Ford

The dictators are on the side that did not win the election. I am hearing rumblings that the media and left are much nastier against Ontario’s Premier Ford and his government than against Premier Mike Harris back in the late 1990s. Not so far, actually. First, a look back at the initial Harris mandate from 1995 to 1999.  While some people may not clearly remember that period, I certainly do because I was there.

For example, two weeks after the 1995 election, all the new members went to Queen’s Park to give their oath of office. As a newly hired EA and Communications Strategist, I was invited to attend with my Niagara area MPP and his family. He gave his oath of office and we had lunch in the legislative dining room. It should have been an exciting day but outside it was bedlam with protesters, having surrounded the main building, shouting “Shame.” Remember, at that point, the new PC Government hadn’t done anything yet.

Two months later, the Ontario Legislature opened, the Cabinet was sworn in and there was a Throne Speech. I was there that day as well sitting in the gallery reserved for those invited by the MPPs.  It was a very hot day and all the higher windows in the legislature were open. As a result, the noise from the protesters was so loud you could barely hear yourself think.

Then, mid-afternoon, there were 2 credible bomb threats. In the first instance, the local police had us all go to a lower floor and file out the back door to the actual Queen’s Park green space. An hour later, shortly after we were all back inside, there was the second threat and we all had to find our way through the connecting tunnels to other government buildings around Queen’s Park.

And we shouldn’t forget the daily and weekly protests everywhere throughout Ontario — for years. Sometimes, those protests, especially the ones organized by the unions, had as many as 100,000 people attending. As well, for months I had to arrive in Toronto by 6 am in order to get quietly in the back door of the legislature because the protestors would arrive around 7 am to scream and yell and block the entrances.

We knew that Ford was going to be fighting Justin Trudeau at every juncture — but did we know that he’d be taking on Pierre Trudeau’s legacy achievement too in his early days as premier?

Now to Ford. A couple of weeks ago, Ford enacted a Bill that would reduce the size of Toronto Council. Immediately, the City of Toronto slapped a law suit on the Bill. Why? Because that is how the left works. If they can’t get their way one way, they will turn to the courts to get it another way.This time, however, after what most people considered a very poor judicial ruling, Ford announced that his government would be using the “Not Withstanding Clause (NWS).”

When I heard that, I actually cheered out loud. And, no, the dictators are on the side that did not win the election. The reality is that Saskatchewan used the NWS once and Quebec several times with barely a negative ripple in the media.

The crux of the matter is that the years the Mike Harris Conservatives governed Ontario, particularly from 1995 to 1999 were hell, not only for the elected members, but anyone just trying to make a living by working for the Executive Branch.

While I am sure those in the Ford caucus and those working for them feel the same way as I did, it is not nearly as bad, yet.  I mean, Stephen LeDrew wrote on the National Post: Settle down Toronto. Doug Ford isn’t changing anything important.  A lot of the anger over the notwithstanding clause is just people still angry that Ford got elected.”

In other words, Ford just needs to continue to do what he is doing and what Harris did — full steam ahead so that he too can keep the promises he and his caucus made to their voters.

C/P at Jack’s Newswatch.

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Sandy is a retired educator, author & former conservative political strategist. She operated the first "Crux of the Matter" from 2006 until 2017 and opened this "Crux of the Matter 2.0" blog in late August, 2018.

6 thoughts on “Protesting Mike Harris versus Doug Ford

  1. The writer of this peice seems to forget to mention fords obsession with “settling scores” . Invoking this clause is a clear indication he does not follow the rule of law. That should scare any reasonable person. Apparently not the writer.


  2. No John. I heard the same stuff during the Harris years. As far as being scared, I was more scared during the Wynne years. But, thanks for being polite. I appreciate it.


  3. John, re the issue of settling scores, some said the same thing when Harris did the amalgamation. However, I have no doubt there is some truth to what you say in terms of Ford knowing full well that nothing gets done with the current no. of Toronto councillors. I do feel bad for the various staff who will lose their jobs. But, let’s face it, New York City has approx the same number with nearly 9 million people.


  4. John Rogers. Last time I looked at our Constitution, Section 33 (NWS) was still there.

    So it is you, assuming you wish to stop Premier Ford extra-electorally from making changed to City councils, who doesn’t believe in following the rule of law. Otherwise, what are you talking about?

    Spare me that the Ontario Supreme Court ruled against his move. They are not the final judicial authority.

    The judgment is surely in error on clear provincial juristiction, and the SCoC will overturn it, likely unanimously.

    You are making Sandy’s point about crybabies who won’t accept the results and implications of electoral victory.

    Nothing new there from the neo SJWs, who ditched the poor and any notion of political pluralism long ago.

    I remember after PM Harper’s majority election, Lizzie May travelled the country telling people because the CPC didn’t get a majority of votes they didn’t “deserve” an electoral majority.

    Nobody bothered to ask her, as I would have, if she was the legitimate MP for her riding since she didn’t get a “majority?” She got 46% btw, but close does not count according to her, notwithstanding her hypocrisy.

    Check out her conduct as Green Party for further illumination on her regard for representative democracy.

    Where was the outrage when the Liberals & Trudeau won majority with the same popular vote as the CPC in 2011?

    If it weren’t for double standards, John, Lizzie and their ilk would have no standards at all; typical totalitarians imho.

    Many of us were unhappy with Justin Trudeau being elected PM, but we accept we can only criticize and seek to remove him in the next election (this fall I’m speculating). Your muddying of the waters changes nothing.


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