Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the protesters gathering outside his house and threatening his neighbours need to “stop acting like a bunch of buffoons.”
“This is a callout to the people of Ontario and a callout to the protesters: Every single day, my friends, there’s protesters outside my house,” Ford said Friday at his daily press conference.
“It doesn’t affect me, I’m not there. I have the best neighbours anyone could ever ask for. They didn’t sign up for this. They aren’t making decisions for the government.”
On Thursday, a reporter tweeted a video of protesters, some holding signs protesting the province’s COVID-19 lockdowns, outside Ford’s house surrounded by police.
“I wouldn’t care if it was Kathleen Wynne, or Mayor Tory, or any other politician. This is totally unacceptable, that my neighbours are being intimidated, being threatened, and these people, they need to stop,” Ford said.
The premier said people who want to protest him should come to the Ontario legislature.
“Come down to Queen’s Park. You could do cartwheels, you can jump up and down,” he said.
“But there’s an unwritten rule here in Canada, unwritten rule: You don’t go after people’s families and neighbours.”
Ford said the protesters, whom he alleged were from special interest and political groups, won’t change his opinion on any decisions he’s making.
“It’s unacceptable and stop acting like a bunch of buffoons out there, and start respecting the people of Ontario,” he said.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Ford also condemned independent MPP Randy Hillier, a vocal anti-masker who has spread a conspiracy theory about the pandemic and was part of a large gathering in front of Queen’s Park Thursday.
According to posts he retweeted, Hillier was charged for failing to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act. Toronto Police said in a news release the organizer of an event at Queen’s Park was charged under that Act, which, but did not name the individual.
Toronto police don’t publish details of non-criminal charges, a spokesperson told HuffPost Canada.
... this is a very serious virus we’re seeing that around the world, around our country.”Doug Ford
“I think that MPP Randy Hillier is being totally irresponsible, protesting outside Queen’s Park,” Ford said.
“Again, the anti-maskers, you know folks, we’re here to make sure we protect every single person in this province, even the anti-masker folks that believe this is just a big hoax, which, again, I’ve never figured that out, this is a very serious virus we’re seeing that around the world, around our country.”
He said he believes Ontario’s lockdown is working, and if people weren’t following protocols it could be even worse. He also pointed to surging cases in the U.S. and referenced Texas using “mobile morgues” while COVID-19 deaths climb.
“If that’s not a wake up call, I don’t know what is.”