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Bill Kelly: Is Ontario ready for another common sense revolution?

By selecting Doug Ford as their leader, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives have decided to put all their chips on an ultra right-wing leader and apparently, an ultra right-wing agenda. File

By selecting Doug Ford as their leader, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives have decided to put all their chips on an ultra right-wing leader and apparently, an ultra right-wing agenda.

But, is Ontario ready for a remake of Mike Harris’ Common Sense Revolution?

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford greets well-wishers at St. Patrick’s Day parade in Toronto, his first as the new Ontario PC Party leader'
Doug Ford greets well-wishers at St. Patrick’s Day parade in Toronto, his first as the new Ontario PC Party leader

WATCH ABOVE: Doug Ford greets well-wishers at St. Patrick’s Day parade in Toronto

Harris rose to power by defeating a very unpopular NDP government in 1995, on the promise of cutting government spending and lowering taxes — the kinds of campaign promises that always catch the attention of disgruntled voters.

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But, over time, Ontario voters realized that the PC government simply off-loaded some of its costs onto municipalities, and eliminated some key government employees. For example, privatizing water-testing and axing Ministry of Environment jobs contributed to the Walkerton water tragedy, an inquiry found.

READ MORE: Doug Ford says Kathleen Wynne’s ‘days are numbered’ in 1st appearance as Ontario PC Party Leader

Of course, that was then, and this is now, but it still begs the question, what government programs would be in the crosshairs of a Doug Ford government?

Would it be the popular free, post-secondary tuition for many Ontario families? Would he roll back the pharma-care program for children and seniors? Would he cut back on transit funding for cities?

Fact is, we don’t know at this point. But it’s a question both the Liberals and the NDP will raise a lot in the weeks ahead.

WATCH BELOW: Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath react to Doug Ford’s new role as PC leader

Click to play video: 'Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath react to Doug Ford’s new role as PC leader'
Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath react to Doug Ford’s new role as PC leader

Ford’s leadership victory was impressive, but winning the hearts and minds of skeptical Ontario voters is a much more daunting task.

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