This petition is trying to stop Mike Harris from receiving the Order of Ontario

The petition criticizes the former Ontario premier for his role in the COVID crisis in long-term care homes


Former Ontario premier Mike Harris is receiving the Order of Ontario, and the online response has been swift and negative.

A change.org petition was launched on January 1 to stop Harris from receiving the appointment, which is Ontario’s highest honour. Three days later, at press time, nearly 31,000 people have signed – just 4,000 shy of the 35,000 goal.

“Michael D. Harris, known to the province as Mike Harris, served as Ontario’s 22nd premier, from 1995 to 2002, and is noted for his ‘Common Sense Revolution,’ which set out to reduce taxes, create jobs and boost recovery from an economic recession,” reads the official announcement of Harris’s Order of Ontario. “He was Nipissing’s most longstanding MPP, serving from 1981 to 2002, and continues to serve his community as a major fundraiser for education and health.”

That last point is where most of the criticism has come. The former Progressive Conservative leader has been head of Chartwell Retirement Residences since 2003. That’s one of the largest operators of privatized, for-profit long-term care homes in the province. LTC homes have faced a crisis of COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths and have been repeatedly criticized for their handling of the pandemic.

As of January 4, there have been 11,369 cases in Ontario long-term care homes, 2,795 resident deaths and 8 staff deaths.

Ernie Eves, who took over for Harris as Ontario premier after he resigned, is also on the Order of Ontario appointee list.

In addition to the more-than-30,000 signatures on the petition, Mike Rilstone, who started it, urges people to leave and read personal stories of people’s experiences with loved ones in long-term care homes during the pandemic.

“These comments MUST be recorded somewhere for a long, long time to come so Ontarians and historians know exactly what Harris has done,” he writes.

@nowtoronto

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26 responses to “This petition is trying to stop Mike Harris from receiving the Order of Ontario”

  1. Mike Harris’ cuts to Education during his premiership have hurt education in Ontario in profound and deep ways.
    His connections to For Profit Long Term Care and Retirement homes are concerning.
    He doesn’t deserve the Order of Ontario.

  2. Mr. Harris was a terrible Premier in that he cut services to so many needy people. Now he lavishes in big bucks at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly.

    Mr. Harris deserves the” dishonor of Ontario’ award.

    We need publicly- funded LTC facilities, not for profit ones.

  3. The most vulgar and inept premier. Disregarded the needs of health and education. Only wanted to plunder the budgets. What an ass.

  4. The murder of Dudley George was an unspeakable tragedy. How can people forget or rationalize that somehow it was fair to fire on unarmed protestors? And don’t forget the murder of Kimberley Rogers by the Harris government. Pregnant, she died in her apartment while under house arrest. The deaths of people in Walkerton, also deaths associated with cuts to hospitals and other health care providers must always be remembered.

  5. Mike Harris is a con man. He should not be getting any kind of award. His government policy seriously harmed Ontario’s Public Service. Our highways today are in really poor shape, because of his privatization policies. He downsized all Ministries all in order to give Ontario residents a $200. tax savings. And now look at the trouble we are in with the long term care homes, because public services were so diminished. The trouble we have with Ontario’s moose herds, is because of the policies unacted by Mike Harris, so many years ago. He was asked, after leaving politics, if he had any regrets. He said the only regret he had, is that he didn’t act fast enough in reducing the public service. Please people educate yourselves, Mike Harris does not deserve an award.

  6. As far as I know this gift, the Order of Ontario is given to those that have served the ruling government in a suspect manner.
    I know of a few that have received this honour and not for what they have done for the people but how they have moved the agenda of the party.
    In my opinion which I regard highly(HE HA Ha) this appointment should be put to a vote an online vote.That way we can see who is in contention and what they have done.to deserve it

  7. Let’s not forget the forced amalgamation of Toronto and it’s boroughs in 1998. Harris ignored the results of an municipal referendum where over 75% voted against amalgamation. He said the amalgamation was necessary to reduce cost and number of staff, something that’s never been proven and in fact it’s quite likely false.

  8. When Mike Harris and his government destroyed all supports for students and their teachers, they laid the groundwork for a generation of social problems and the cost to society for the neglect of needs of disadvantaged studens.

  9. First Nation / Metis & Inuit in Ontario should be all over this like a chicken on a june bug / He had no respect for anyone or anything except NORTH BAY Constituency and Infrastructure / When a Provincial Leader Says ( You can lead a horse to water /but you can’t make him drink it ) That is Misleadingly Irresponsible i.e Mike Harris Took Care Of Mike Harris . Period in his 7 year stint as Premier Of Ontario !? Michel E. Dupuis Metis Advocate For Unity & Harvesting Within Ontario & Canada EH…. ! In Closing ” Pride is a Safer Prison Than Cowardice ” He is the reason The Liberals Won and Governed for so long / Mr. FORD will not win another election in this Province ! TOO Little TOO Late ! He will be Booed Out Of Queen’s Park as he was At The Raptors Championship by the people in Ontario : ) Thank You Merci et Meegwech

  10. This man caused so much damage to this province and he still doesn’t realize how much his actions caused problems.

  11. I agree with some of the others who have said that Mike Harris was the worst premier. The Nursing and Retirement Homes are just two examples. Does anyone remember the cuts to education r the sale of Highway 407?

  12. Furthermore, Mr. Harris slashed welfare rates by more than 20% during his tenure, putting recipients way below the poverty line, a debacle from which social assistance has never recovered. The words “heartless”, “cruel”, “mean” and “unnecessary” come to mind…. He is definitely not a fitting recipient of a public aware!!!!!

  13. My family and I didn’t Recover damages coused by Harris government 1995-2002 and probably will Never Recover. It’s unimaginable to see him to receive any reward instead I love to see him procecuted for the pain suffering he caused for many Ontarians.

  14. He is getting an award for becoming richer on the back of the most frail and vunerable. This makes it quite clear what the Conservatives are all about.

  15. I CAN THINK OF NO AWARD THAT MR. HARRIS IS WORTHY…..SHAME ON THOSE WHO HAVE NOMINATED HIM, I TRUST THEY ARE IN HIS BACK POCKET.

  16. amen. this is shameful disgusting and uncanadian.

    it is spitting in the face of first nations. RIP Dudley George.

    mike harris deserves to be in jail. not celebrated. he is a disgrace.

  17. It would be a sad day in Ontario & Canadian history if Mike harris was to receive the Order of Ontario or any other significant award. Unfortunately the effects of his mean spirited agenda continued to be felt long after he exited the scene.

  18. Mike Harris should be in jail not receiving an award.
    It’s a very sad day for Canada to honour a man who has caused so much damage and not been held accountable.

  19. too many objections to list but generally Mike Harris is not fit to receive the Order of Ontario especially in view of his reduction of safeguards for long term care facilities during his premiership which are now coming back to haunt the Province.

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