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Our Meeting with Former Premier Mike Harris

The OLIP interns had the pleasure of meeting with former Ontario Premier Mike Harris. Over the course of an hour, Mr. Harris shared his approach to government and politics with frankness and sincere reflection of his time in office, and the interns left with a better understanding of one of Ontario’s most talked-about governments.

Mr. Harris started by explaining his political philosophy. Stating that he is neither right nor left wing, Mr. Harris explained his approach to politics in the form of two goals: to foster competition and reduce dependencies in the populace. Such competition should be guided by fair rules, and transparency should be a guiding principle in both the public and private sectors.

Mr. Harris walked the interns through some of his most significant policy decisions, such as the amalgamation of the City of Toronto. When asked to reflect on his political messaging writ large, Mr. Harris underlined the novelty of the Commonsense Revolution at the time of its inception. No politicians had been talking as vehemently about cutting taxes and limiting the role of government, yet the moment demanded this approach to running Canada’s largest province. Such reflections helped the interns better understand a political movement that had a lasting impact on Ontario politics.

Thank you, Mr. Harris, for your candid answers and for taking the time to meet with the OLIP interns!

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