Friday July 15, 2011

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 15, 2011

Andrea Horwath is the ‘new Mike Harris’?

Is there a case of mistaken identity at the Legislature? Are the governing Liberals seeing double as they languish in the polls leading to the Oct. 6 election?

Environment Minister John Wilkinson dubbed NDP Leader Andrea Horwath “the new Mike Harris of Ontario politics” during a Wednesday news conference touting Liberal achievements such as bans on lawn pesticides and hand-held cellphones in cars.

For two years, the Liberals have been branding Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak as the new Mike Harris, who as premier in 1995 slashed welfare rates 20 per cent along with spending and taxes.

But Wilkinson said Horwath’s platform doesn’t go far enough on reducing poverty and environmental problems. Veteran New Democrat MPP Peter Kormos (Welland) called the Harris comparison ridiculous.

“It’s not offensive, it’s just silly,” said Kormos, who is not running in the fall election despite hopes the party will win more seats following the federal NDP breakthrough in the May 2 federal vote.

Meanwhile, today marks the premier of the final film of J. K. Rowlings fantasy series.

Editorial Cartoon, Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horwath, Dalton McGuinty, Mike Harris, Queen’s Park, Harry Potter