Ford calls OPP to investigate after protesters bring guillotine to Queen's Park
Premier Doug Ford has called in the OPP to investigate a protest outside Queen’s Park, after MPP Lisa MacLeod claimed that it involved an effigy of Ford being “decapitated” by a guillotine.
The Wednesday afternoon demonstration, marking May 1, also known as May Day, saw a mock guillotine parked outside the provincial legislature as masked protesters held signs saying “may history repeat itself, chop chop!”
The pictures, which were posted to social media and then quickly deleted, caught the attention of the Progressive Conservative government. The government has since denounced the demonstration.
“Mass protestors brought a bloodied guillotine to the grounds of Queen’s Park, and you know what they did? They beheaded an effigy of the Premier,” Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said inside the legislature today. “This is disgusting and it is a sick act.”
CTV News could not confirm whether an effigy of the premier was actually beheaded. There were no images or video from the protest showing such an act.
Premier Ford followed MacLeod’s comments and said the group took the demonstration “too far,” regardless of who the action was aimed at.
“Any time a politician, no matter what party it is, has a guillotine out there, I think that goes a little too far,” Ford told fellow MPPs. “As a matter of fact, it goes way overboard.”
Members of the Ford government said this isn’t the first time they’ve been targeted by threats of violence or profanity, which have even resulted in cabinet ministers being given OPP protection.
Last October, Labour Minister Laurie Scott’s constituency office was broken into and vandalized after the Ford government froze the minimum wage at $14 an hour and ended paid sick days. The words “attack workers, we fight back” were also spray painted outside the Kawartha Lakes office.
In February, amid persistent protests over the controversial changes to autism funding, MacLeod’s Ottawa-area home was protected by local police after repeated threats.
Earlier this week a Picton-area man was charged with mischief after allegedly spray painting the works “F—k Ford” on the exterior walls of Queen’s Park and a nearby statue of John A. MacDonald.
On Wednesday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath apologized to Ford for posing for a photo during another protest with a sign that included the words “F—k Ford.”
While the Premier accepted the apology, he also accused the NDP of supporting protesters that brought the guillotine to the legislature.
The PCs said at least two NDP MPPs – Davenport’s Marit Stiles and Windsor West’s Jamie West – were both present at the demonstration.
“That’s what the opposition believes in, supporting folks like that,” Ford said before asking for an apology and condemnation from the NDP.
The NDP said their members’ presence at the protest doesn’t constitute support of the guillotine and that they were simply hearing out the concerns of protesters.
“We support Ontarians rights to come out here and voice their concerns, but inappropriate behavior like that we are not supporting that,” said NDP leader Sara Singh.