By Thomas Walkom National Affairs Columnist Thu., Aug. 2, 2018 Premier Doug Ford is declaring war on the poor. This is not a new idea. The last Ontario premier to explicitly take this tack was Mike Harris. Harris’s welfare cuts may have been mean-spirited. But politically they were so successful that his Liberal successors were reluctant to reverse them. Ford’s cutbacks have started small. This week, Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod announced that the government is cutting a scheduled 3 per cent welfare rate increase in half. For those on basic welfare, known as Ontario Works, that translates into a maximum loss of about $11 a month. Those eligible for the province’s Ontario Disability Support Program will lose up to about $17 per month. In total, almost a million Ontarians are on the province’s welfare rolls. Article Continued Below The government is also putting on hold measures that would have allowed welfare recipients … [Read more...] about Doug Ford is channelling his inner Mike Harris
By Patrick Ho Toronto Star Thu., June 7, 2018 A look at high-profile winners and losers in the 2018 Ontario election: For up-to-the-minute results, visit the Star's Ontario election page WINNERS Christine Elliott (PC, Newmarket-Aurora) — The veteran politician who lost her bid for the PC party leadership to Doug Ford easily won in a battle with Liberal incumbent Chris Ballard, who was named environmental minister last year, and Melissa Williams (NDP). Mike Harris Jr. (PC, Kitchener-Conestoga) — The son of the former Ontario premier beat Kelly Dick (NDP) and Joe Gowing (Liberals) after a controversial start. The Ford campaign wanted to find a seat for Harris Jr., whose father’s fundraising efforts were critical for a party nearly broke after an expensive leadership campaign. Harris was appointed to be the PC candidate in Kitchener-Conestoga after sitting MPP Michael Harris (no relation) was dismissed over an alleged inappropriate text … [Read more...] about Major winners in Ontario election include Christine Elliott, Mike Harris Jr., Gurratan Singh
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief Fri., May 18, 2018 Former prime minister Stephen Harper is injecting himself into the Ontario election campaign, the Star has learned. Harper will speak on May 28 at a private $1,222-a-head Toronto fundraiser, hosted by former premier Mike Harris for his son Mike Harris, Jr., who is running for the Progressive Conservatives in Kitchener-Conestoga. The 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. event will be held at the exclusive Albany Club on King St. E. and the ticket price is the maximum annual provincial political contribution allowed. Harris, Jr., who was personally appointed as the Tory candidate by PC Leader Doug Ford on April 21, will not be in attendance because it is illegal under Ontario law for candidates to participate in fundraisers. Ford anointed him as a candidate, despite the fact the younger Harris lost a nomination battle to Dan Weber in the neighbouring riding of Waterloo just two weeks earlier. Article Continued Below … [Read more...] about Stephen Harper to speak at PC fundraiser for Mike Harris, Jr.
By Greg Mercer Waterloo Region Record Wed., May 2, 2018 KITCHENER — An Ontario PC Party MPP who was part of the review of texts sent by Michael Harris to a former Queen’s Park intern said the nomination committee did not agree they were a firing offence. That contradicts the official party line that the Kitchener-Conestoga MPP was turfed after the Tory’s provincial nomination committee (PNC) “unanimously decided to disqualify” Harris as a candidate, after looking at some of the politician's text messages from 2012. But Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett, one of two MPPs who sit on the Tories’ committee, said the PNC didn’t recommend Harris be turfed over the texts. Instead, the decision to dismiss the two-time incumbent came from the party’s leadership. He couldn’t explain how a text conversation that the party was aware of back in 2013 suddenly became grounds for dismissal in April 2018. “We were just … [Read more...] about What really happened to Michael Harris?
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief Sat., April 21, 2018 Doug Ford has taken the unprecedented step of appointing 11 Progressive Conservative candidates to run in the June 7 election, including the son of former premier Mike Harris. The Tory leader, who took the reins March 10 in the wake of former leader Patrick Brown’s departure, placed his own stamp on the party Saturday with a flurry of appointments. Even though there was interest from many would-be MPPs to contest the nomination, Ford said the election is “only 47 days away” so he needed to move quickly. “We have a strong team of candidates who are committed to delivering change that works for the people. It’s time for a government that respects the taxpayer, a government that keeps its promises and puts money back into your pockets,” he said in a statement. Mike Harris Jr., whose father was premier from 1995 until 2002, was named the candidate in … [Read more...] about Doug Ford names Mike Harris’s son as PC candidate in flurry of pre-election appointments