Toronto
3 min

Eat the mike, baby

Premier Harris and the naked ladies in North Bay

SILENT TREATMENT. Mike Harris won't talk. Credit: Xtra files

Premier Mike Harris is going to the polls without cruising queer Ontarians.



For the second election in four years, Tory bag-handlers are snubbing Xtra’s request to have speaks with Harris before the Thu, Jun 3
election.



Without the benefit of access to the premier, Xtra has spliced together a question-and-answer session based on his past responses to our queries in the mainstream media.



You have a tradition of pressing anti-queer hot-buttons, yet you cosy up to a number of key homo advisers at Queen’s Park. Are Tories secretly fond of each other?



“When I look for people that I associate with or work with, that’s not one of the criteria that ever comes up.”



Fair enough, but your MPPs have equated homosexuality with alcoholism, bestiality and paedophilia.



“I don’t think any of the remarks that have been made, and some feel very emotionally and strongly about this issue, were intended as hateful.”



Okay, any chance of throwing queers a bone and resurrecting something like Bill 167? Something that would give same-sex partners spousal rights?



“We’re pretty clear with what’s in the bill. So why waste any more time in the legislature?”



How about giving AIDS patients some space, and decriminalizing marijuana?



“That’s the wrong way to go. I think the right way is to be tough, tough love if you like, zero tolerance right from the start.”



But the association of police chiefs says decriminalize.



“Normally, I would agree with the chiefs of police, but on this one I think they’re throwing in the towel.”



C’mon, didn’t you and the boys share a few tokes back when you were watching naked ladies dance on stage in North Bay?



“No, I haven’t, but I grew up in an age where we tried all these things. I found booze the more attractive thing.”



Alright, how about a 14-year-old who gets caught smoking a bit of ganja?



“I would feel that if he broke the law and would have to suffer the

consequences.”



Speaking of kids, your solicitor general said a few weeks back that he was going to put a cop in every school – all 827 of them.



“My solicitor general didn’t say that.”



Yes. Yes he did. He actually said that.



“I didn’t know.”



So what about it?



“Personally, it’s my goal that we would not never have to have armed police officers in any of our schools and I think by focussing on early prevention on respect and responsibility we can ensure that.”



And you’re going to do this by dressing school girls up in short little kilts? What does your son think of that?



“Listen, I got one vote this morning against uniforms. Mike Jr made that very clear, so let’s hear what others have to say.”



What do you have to say?



“If you swear in school you’re kicked out.”



Kinda harsh, no?



“Zero tolerance.”



What concerns you most about kids today?



“My sense is that foul language on T-shirts, if we can accept that that’s not acceptable and begin from there and try and work out something that makes sense and still allows for individuality.”



Where’s this coming from?



“The reality is, it is 1999, not 1950. TVs in our home have gone from Leave It To Beaver to Beavis And Butthead.”



Does this revelation have anything to do with cuts to single welfare mothers?



“What we’re making sure is that those dollars don’t go to beer.”



Or drugs. The plan is to finger-print welfare recipients, then make them pee in a bottle, right?



“You can’t get off welfare if you’re addicted.”



Any further punishment planned for the poor?



“The people of Ontario didn’t send us here to wring our hands.”



Of course not, but did they send you here for all this? What about the protesters dogging you through this thing?



“If you took away all the government employees, the other four or five had a point to make.”



Four or five?



“They are a lot of special interest groups… If you saw the banners going by from some of the Communist parties, as I saw, and I guess the Iraqi group and Iranian group.”



Where are you taking us?



“Thirty or 40 years ago, where it seemed to be that mom was in the kitchen with the hot breakfast cooking as everybody woke up in the morning.”



So what do you make of yourself?



“There are lots of excellent choices that I could have made, but these are the ones I have made.”