WARMINGTON: When Premier Ford can’t go home, things ring different

Premier, family kept from home by gaggle of rowdy hecklers

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The Ford family is famous for having thousands over to their house to party in the backyard.

But that’s when they were invited. When they are not invited, it can create some hard feelings and headaches for police.

The Fordfests were usually at the Ford Family’s mother’s home. The recent crowds have been at Premier Doug Ford’s home nearby.

And you know when the premier can’t get into his own house, thanks to dozens of rowdy hecklers and demonstrators, it’s clear things are different in Ontario this Christmas.

“The Premier and his family haven’t been able to get into their home for most of the weekend or today because anti-vaxxers have been protesting outside their house,” Ford spokesperson Ivana Yellich said in a tweet Monday evening.

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When this happens something has to give. Now, the Sun has learned, that Toronto Police did arrest one person outside Ford’s Etobicoke home.

“While we recognize that everyone has the right to protest, one woman was arrested at the scene for obstruct after breaching a barricade and not complying with police,” said Toronto Police spokesperson Connie Osborne.

“Officers were monitoring a protest in the residential area of Bemersyde Dr. and Tettenhall Rd. area on Monday, December 20, to ensure safety and to keep the peace.”

They can’t do anything about the yelling or protesting in a country where there is freedom to do both. But as the premier’s office reminds, there are others who live on the street who are caught up in the middle of this who have nothing to do with decisions made around pandemic lockdowns or vaccine rollout.

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In a statement issued Tuesday, Yelich didn’t mince words — accusing the protestors of taking up scarce police resources.

“These petty tactics have no impact on this government’s resolve to do the right thing in order to protect the people of Ontario,” read the statement.

“The only thing these people are doing is targeting and harassing innocent neighbours and family members who have nothing to do with the government’s decision-making.”

Nobody wants to make the situation worse than it already is. Chief James Ramer has indicated he would be talking with the OPP who handle the premier’s security, and no one should forget that a knife-wielding man was charged at the property this past summer.

The big question is this… should people be protesting at the home of the premier or Deputy Premier Christine Elliott’s or Mayor John Tory instead of at Queen’s Park or City Hall?

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There’s is no law preventing demonstrations on city streets or sidewalks, but one person who was there this weekend said tensions seem to be   escalating to a point where tempers could flare.

“The people on the scene were yelling at obscenities back and forth with neighbours and there was profanity and rude behaviour,” said the witness.

“It feels every strange.”

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Perhaps the best solution would be to designate a protest area nearby or have someone talk with protesters to remind them that there are neighbours and family members who are not in any involved in politics who should be spared of any acrimony?

The other problem with taking beefs to the door of politicians is if someone does go too far or is hurt, it puts pressure on law enforcement and government to crack down — and the city could end up with fenced-off areas seen in Washington D.C. earlier this year.

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The moral of the story is protesting is a right, but trying to persuade elected leaders at their homes is not likely going to change anybody’s mind.

And stopping the Ford family, or any family, from not entering their own house, is not protesting as much as it is an act of intimidation. No matter how much a decision of a leader upsets somebody, politicians are still fellow citizens who have every right to have a free path into their own abode.

The same statements can be made at the public legislatures or at the ballot box that won’t hinder others in those homes or on that street who have nothing to do with it.

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