Fwd: Harris's campaign gets off to rocky start

Bonnie Briggs (s248_1132@hotmail.com)
Sat, 08 May 1999 10:52:53 PDT

Hi gang,
  A Provincial Election has just been called here in Ontario. Mnay of us see 
this as an opportunity to get rid of Mike Harris. He, more than any other 
Premier, has done more to ruin this province and make life hell for people 
on welfare. Here is what happened when he tried to make a campaign stop at a 
construction yard. He says that he has created 540,000 new juobs for 
Ontarians. What he doesn't tell you is that 80% of those jobs are part-time. 
Don't believe anything he says. I can't wait for June 3/99. Talk to you 
>To: Citizens@smtp.interlog.com
>From: command@interlog.com
>Subject: Citizens on the Web: Harris' campaign gets off to rocky start
>Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 07:15:25 -0600
>Harris' campaign gets off to rocky start
>  Friday, May 7, 1999
>  Queen's Park Bureau; With a report from Gay Abbate
>  Toronto -- The finely tuned campaign of Progressive
>  Conservative Leader Mike Harris hit a bump in the road
>  yesterday when a carefully staged media event was
>  overshadowed by scuffling between police and protesters.
>  Despite extraordinary efforts to keep protesters away from Mr
>  Harris, including keeping his daily plans a closely guarded
>  secret and holding an event at a construction site behind a
>  fence guarded by police, one union leader was taken into
>  custody when he tried to complain about Conservative policies.
>  Security guards manhandled two women who were trying to
>  unfurl a banner protesting against homelessness. The guards
>  backed off when several construction workers rushed to aid the
>  women.
>  All the events were captured by television cameras invited onto
>  the site by the Tories to record Mr Harris' arguments that his
>  government has boosted the province's economy. While he
>  tried to deliver this message with cranes in the background,
>  protesters chanted, "Lies, lies, lies," and "Mike Harris has got to
>  go."
>  The noise and the sense of best-laid-plans-gone-awry aborted a
>  planned scrum with reporters. Instead, his handlers pushed a
>  grim-faced Mr Harris through the crowd of reporters and
>  protesters and onto his campaign bus.
>  Tory strategists have made careful plans to avoid this sort of
>  demonstration. They give reporters only a few hour's notice of
>  where Mr Harris will be campaigning and are keeping the daily
>  itinerary private.
>  Previous Ontario premiers David Peterson and Bob Rae were
>  dogged by protesters on occasion. Mr Peterson became so
>  familiar with a group of teachers who were regular
>  demonstrators that he often greeted them by name.
>  Yesterday's photo opportunity was a perfect spot to keep
>  protesters away. It was on fenced-in private land about 150
>  metres along a private road, guarded by police officers. Making
>  matters worse for Mr Harris and his strategists was that the 10
>  a.m. event was the only daytime one on his leisurely campaign
>  agenda.
>  As a result, Tory organizers hastily put together an afternoon
>  news conference at a downtown Toronto nightclub, the Joker.
>  There, Mr Harris said he could not comment on the morning's
>  incidents. "I can't comment on how protesters do their job, or
>  labour leaders do their job, or police do their job."
>  In Ottawa last night, the Premier said that facing protesters has
>  become part of the job of a modern politician. "Demonstrations
>  like yesterday's seem to face strong leaders wherever they
>  are."
>  He used the opportunity to criticize Liberal Leader Dalton
>  McGuinty. "I think Dalton McGuinty is the most negative leader
>  I've seen since Dr Negative, Stuart Smith, and you know
>  where Stuart Smith got to," Mr Harris said, referring to the
>  man who led the Liberal Party in the late 1970s and was
>  soundly beaten by the Conservatives in the 1981 election.
>  Even if the television videos of yesterday morning's
>  confrontation were not arresting in themselves, the fact that
>  reporters had no other material to report about the Tory
>  campaign made it inevitable that the news had to focus on the
>  confrontations with police and the arrest of a union official.
>  John Cartwright, business manager of the Toronto-Central
>  Ontario Building and Construction Trades Council, had been
>  invited onto the site by union representatives whose access to
>  it is guaranteed in their collective agreements. They wanted
>  him to talk to reporters about Bill 31, its impact on worker
>  safety and how it erodes union contracts.
>  The officers who stopped Mr Cartwright as he was walking
>  along the roadway into the site were in plain clothes, said Joe
>  McPhail, business representative with the Sheet Metal Workers
>  Union, Local 30. He was one of the people who had invited the
>  union leader onto the construction site and was walking with
>  him when he was arrested.
>  Mr Cartwright, 45, has been charged with trespassing and
>  assault with intent to resist arrest. He said he did not assault
>  anyone and did not try to resist arrest. "I'm not a fighting
>  man," he said outside the police station after his release.
>  Detective Phillip Bratton of Toronto Police said Mr Cartwright
>  put up a "slight struggle," during which a female police officer
>  strained her back. He said police intervened at the request of
>  security officers who had asked the man to leave the site at
>  least five times.
>  While two officers were at one side of the site detaining Mr
>  Cartwright, security guards spotted the two women and their
>  banner trying to approach the site of the photo op from the
>  other side. They grabbed the banner, which read "Harris =
>  Homeless," and the arms of Cathy Crowe, a nurse with the
>  Disaster Relief Committee, who was arguing that 1 per cent of
>  the provincial budget should be devoted to building shelter for
>  the homeless.
>  The police tried to force Ms Crowe and Andrea Calver of the
>  Ontario Coalition for Social Justice off the site. When the
>  construction workers intervened, and the television cameras
>  arrived, the guards thought better about forcing the women off
>  the site.
>  The shaken women and two dozen by-now-very-unhappy
>  construction workers then proceeded to disrupt the carefully set
>  up photo op, heckling and booing as Mr Harris made his
>  five minute claim that a Harris government is essential to
>  Ontario's economic boom.
>  Pointing to construction cranes at the new headquarters for
>  Call-Net, a telecommunications company, Mr Harris proudly
>  proclaimed, "Every one of those cranes is a symbol of growth,
>  jobs, hope and opportunity, each a sign that Ontario is back,
>  growing stronger and leading Canada once again."
>  Shortly after his release from police custody, Mr Cartwright
>  was given a hero's welcome by the 2,500 delegates at the
>  national convention of the Canadian Labour Congress at the
>  Metro Convention Centre.
>  Walking into the hall, flanked by two dozen construction
>  workers wearing hardhats, he was given a lengthy standing
>  ovation. Invited to speak, he said he was arrested because Mr
>  Harris "doesn't want to have anyone talking to him about
>  working people."
>Paul Rodgers

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