Mike Harris (politician)

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Mike Harris (2014)

Michael Deane "Mike" Harris (born January 23, 1945 in Toronto , Ontario ) is a Canadian politician who was Chairman of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario from 1990 to 2002 and Prime Minister of Ontario from 1995 to 2002 .


Teacher and member of the legislative assembly

After attending school, Harris first began studying at Waterloo Lutheran University , which he finished without a degree in 1966. He then worked as a ski instructor in his father's company in Sainte-Adèle , before studying to become a teacher at Laurentian University and North Bay Teachers' College , after which he worked as a teacher.

Harris began his political career when he was a candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the elections of March 19, 1981 in the constituency of Nipissing for the first time as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario . Subsequently, at the beginning of his parliamentary membership, he was Parliamentary Assistant to the Environment Minister and Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts and a member of the Committee on General Government Policy and the Committee on Resource Development.

Minister in the Provincial Government of Ontario, opposition leader and party chairman

1985 Harris was Prime Minister Frank Miller as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Minister in the government of the province appointed Ontario. He held this ministerial office until Miller lost his office on June 26, 1985 by a vote of no confidence and was replaced by Prime Minister David Peterson by a minority government of the Ontario Liberal Party .

From 1985 to 1990 he served as chairman of the opposition PCP faction in the legislative assembly. After Peterson's Liberal Party won the September 10, 1987 elections and had an absolute majority with 95 of the 130 seats, Harris also became opposition spokesman for taxes, labor, housing, finance and development in Northern Ontario. As financial policy spokesman, he developed the tax policy principles of his party.

On May 12, 1990, Harris succeeded Andy Brandt as chairman of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and was its lead candidate in the legislative assembly elections on September 6, 1990, in which the party was able to slightly improve its result from 16 to 20 seats, but still only the third strongest force in the 130-strong parliament remained. In this election, however, the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Peterson lost its absolute majority and became only the second largest group with 36 seats. The winner of the election was the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP), which gained 55 seats and now had 74 members instead of 19 and was thus able to provide Prime Minister with Bob Rae on October 1, 1990.

Prime Minister 1995 to 2002 and Common Sense Revolution

In May 1994 Harris introduced the PCP's new party and electoral program called Common Sense Revolution . This envisaged a plan to cut taxes and reduce the size and cost of the provincial government.

This manifesto contributed to the victory of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the June 8, 1995 legislative elections. The PCP improved by 62 seats and now had an absolute majority in the legislative assembly with 82 members. The Liberal Party remained the second strongest force, lost six of its 36 seats and had 30 members in the future. The big loser in the election was the NDP of Prime Minister Rae, 57 of their 74 seats and only the third largest group with 17 seats. In addition, a non-party member of the legislative assembly belonged .

Harris was then on June 26, 1995 as the successor to Bob Rae 22nd Prime Minister of Ontario. His government represented a drastic change from the socialist NDP government to the conservatism of the PCP. He began as an advocate for tax breaks and a smaller, less interventionist government, implementing the Common Sense Revolution , which was clearly felt in the early months of his administration. The government cut public welfare payments by more than 20 percent and lifted the previous government's anti- strike-breaker legislation. At the same time he centralized the administration of the government and formed the smallest government in the modern history of Ontario with his 20-member cabinet.

The plans also continued with a downsizing of the legislative assembly, which in the June 3, 1999 elections only had 103 seats. The PCP had 59 seats, the Liberal Party had 35 seats and the NDP had nine seats.

After nearly seven years in office, Harris resigned on April 14, 2002, handing the office of Prime Minister of Ontario to his fellow party member Ernie Eves .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Canadian Provinces (rulers.org)