Whether or not they believe the Harris government's policies led
to the tainted water catastrophe in Walkerton Ontarians are expressing
outrage over the premier's apparent lack of contrition on the
witness stand last week.
The days following the slump-shouldered premier's testimony at the public
inquiry into the tragedy have produced vociferous attacks on his
refusal to apologize in letters to the editor, radio and
television commentaries, local pubs and barber shops.
One letter published in a Toronto newspaper offered the analogy
to Mike Harris, a former golf pro: if a golf-course
manager ruins his golf course by cutting staff and skimping
on equipment, who is responsible?
Another stated simply, "it is appalling that we should have
sunk to re-electing a moral midget."
Given his refusal to repent, the avalanche of criticism focused
not just on Harris's political credibility but on his willingness
-- or lack thereof -- to "do the right thing."
Staging the inquiry in the tiny southwestern Ontario town where
seven people died and thousands more fell ill last May
only intensified the expectation that Harris would take a stab
at making amends, said political scientist Henry Jacek.
"For him to go to the scene of the crime
and not apologize to people there for his policies was
probably worse (than if the inquiry were held elsewhere)," said
the public policy expert at McMaster University.
"He really had to apologize, but he refused to take
responsibility, let alone show any emotion. He just completely misread
(the situation)." Source.