Disturbing images from a protest at Queen’s Park featuring a bloody guillotine has the Ford government calling on the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate.
On Wednesday, several people gathered on the south lawn at Queen’s Park for a general protest criticizing Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative government.
According to its Facebook page, the protest was created, “To make our voices heard, our numbers seen and our opinions respected by Mr. Doug Ford.”
“This event will tell the Ontario government that we, the people of Ontario, are willing to grind this province to a halt to make these ill-informed cuts stop,” the post read. “It has no other political agenda, outside of stopping the current agenda being played out in Ontario and reminding Doug Ford who he works for.”
Several photos show protesters with their faces covered alongside the guillotine. The Ford government then alleges the protesters carried out a mock execution of the premier.
In the legislature Thursday, Ford called the attack “too far.”
“My friends, anytime a politician, no matter what party, has a guillotine out there, I think that goes a little too far,” he said. “Matter of fact, it goes way overboard.”
PC MPP Lisa MacLeod echoed the premier’s sentiment and condemned two NDP MPPs who she said attended the protest.
“Quite an event took place. The NDP had at least two members at the protest – a member from Davenport and a member for Windsor West,” she said. “At the same time, mass protesters brought a bloodied guillotine to the grounds of Queen’s Park. And you know what they did? They beheaded an effigy of the Premier.
“This is disgusting and it is a sick act that has to be condoned by the Opposition.”
Afterwards, speaking to reporters, MacLeod reiterated her stance and called on the NDP to not only condemn the incident but to apologize for members of its caucus for being present.
She also compared the event to several other instances in which she said members of the PC government have been attacked, including herself.
“I just want to be very clear, we have seen an attack on the minister of labours’ office, I’ve had, in my own work, New Democratic MPPs disrupt my media availabilities to the point where I’ve had to have police protection,” MacLeod said.
“This is not the way the Ontario legislature operates and I want to ensure Ontarians that.”
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The NDP would not denounce the act in the legislature, however, deputy leader Sara Singh commented after and said the party does not condone what happened.
“We understand that people have the right to protest and voice their concern but inappropriate behaviour like that, we don’t support,” Singh said.
“We were not there in an official capacity, we were out there speaking to people who have the right to be here and voice their concerns. I don’t think there’s anything for us to apologize about connecting with constituents at Queen’s Park.”
Dakota Lanktree, one of the protest’s co-organizers, said in a statement that “someone separate from our organization sought to communicate through shock.”
“Ultimately, it’s serving as a distraction from the fact that people came out in 30 communities across Ontario to collectively object to the dangerous cuts of the Ford government,” she wrote.
“Our organization came with the specific purpose of being peaceful and creating a space in which folks could express themselves about the current situation of austerity and cuts that creates very real danger for people and will take actual lives.”
Global News reached out to the OPP for comment but had not heard back by time of publication.
— With files from Erica Vella