Premier Ford under fire for hurling 'misogynist attack' at NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
Published Wednesday, February 17, 2021 2:06PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 17, 2021 4:51PM EST
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Premier Doug Ford owes an apology to every woman in Ontario for hurling what she calls a sexist remark at her during a heated exchange over the government’s plan to reopen the province.
The tense moment between Ford and Horwath occurred during Question Period on Wednesday at Queen's Park.
Horwath said she believed it is "disturbing to see how far this government is prepared to go in order to justify the rushed reopening of our province."
"When will the premier actually start listening to the hospitals, to the doctors, to his own experts, and prevent this province from going into yet another third wave and lockdown?" Horwath said.
Ford fired back, saying his government has listened to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams since the beginning of the pandemic.
"I've never waivered from that," Ford said. “Rather than sitting there and constantly criticizing from day one … why don’t you come and join us to support the people of Ontario for once, rather then just sit there and criticize."
"It's like listening to nails on a chalkboard listening to you."
After the comment was made, Horwath replied saying that "this premier always goes to the worst, worst places when he doesn't like the questions the opposition is asking.”
In an interview with CTV News Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, Horwath said the comments were “completely inappropriate.”
"I think every woman in Ontario deserves an apology for Mr. Ford's comments," Horwath said. "There's no way that the premier of Ontario should be using those kinds of sexist terms."
"But more importantly, I'm not going to be dissuaded from doing my job and fighting for Ontarians and that's what I would rather be doing than having to deal with Mr. Ford's comments. We all have differing opinions all the time and that is supposed to be the place where we have those debates and if Mr. Ford doesn't like hearing what I have to say, then then he's in the wrong position."
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner tweeted shortly after Ford made the remark saying he should "unequivocally apologize for his comment.”
"This kind of misogynist attack is unacceptable," Schreiner said.
Liberal Leader Stephen Del Duca also took to Twitter about the comments, saying "misogynist rhetoric like this has no place in the Ontario legislature."
"For it to be hurled by a premier is unthinkable. Ford should apologize immediately," Del Duca tweeted.
In a statement to CTV News Toronto, Ford's office said "the premier condemns any and all forms of misogyny and sexism" but stopped short of apologizing.
Speaking to reporters following Question Period, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said he believes "the premier has been unequivocal in suggesting that there is no room for that kind of language in the province of Ontario."
"I think in the legislature there is often heated moments that happen on all sides," Lecce said.