Michael Harris (politician)

Michael D. Harris[1] (born May 10, 1979) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a regional councillor for the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who represented the riding of Kitchener—Conestoga from 2011 to 2018. He sat as a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus until April 9, 2018 and as an Independent for his last months in office.[2] On October 22, 2018, Harris was elected to Waterloo Regional Council.

Michael Harris
Waterloo Regional Councillor for Kitchener
Assumed office
December 1, 2018
Preceded byKaren Redman
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Kitchener—Conestoga
In office
October 6, 2011  June 7, 2018
Preceded byLeeanna Pendergast
Succeeded byMike Harris Jr.
Personal details
Born (1979-05-10) May 10, 1979
Mount Forest, Ontario
Political partyIndependent
Other political
affiliations
Progressive Conservative (prior to 2018)
ResidenceKitchener, Ontario
Alma materConestoga College
University of Guelph (MA)
OccupationSalesman

Background

Harris was raised on a farm near Mount Forest, Ontario.[3] He worked in the sales department at Honeywell in Waterloo before being elected as MPP for Kitchener—Conestoga in 2011. He now lives in Kitchener with his family.[4]

On October 22, 2017, Harris graduated from the University of Guelph with a Master of Arts.[5]

Provincial Politics

In the 2007 provincial election, Harris ran as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the riding of Kitchener—Conestoga. He was defeated by Liberal Leeanna Pendergast by about 1,500 votes.[6] In the 2011 provincial election he ran against Pendergast again, this time defeating her by 3,700 votes.[4][7][8] He was re-elected in the 2014 provincial election defeating Liberal candidate Wayne Wright by 1,794 votes.[9]

Harris previously served as the PC critic of Transportation and Innovation until Doug Ford became leader.[10] In addition, Harris was seen as the best fundraiser within the party, before his removal from caucus.[10]

On Saturday, April 7 2018, Harris announced he would not be seeking re-election due to health issues.[11][12] On Monday, April 9, Harris' wife, Sarah Harris, announced she would be seeking the nomination in his place.[2]

Shortly following his wife's announcement, Harris was removed from caucus and it was announced that he was removed as a PC candidate on April 6 due to sexual misconduct allegations that occurred in 2012. It occurred before he was married.[2][10] On May 1, 2018, it was reported that MPP Toby Barrett disputed claims by PC leader Doug Ford Jr. that the PC nomination committee unanimously removed Harris as a PC candidate.[10] On May 16, 2018, The Waterloo Region Record released the texts between Harris and the intern. His wife believed that the reaction to these text were over blown.[13]

Harris is not related to Mike Harris Jr., the son of former Ontario premier Mike Harris,[14] who succeeded him as the PC candidate for the Kitchener—Conestoga riding and won election on June 7, 2018.[15]

Municipal Politics

On July 24, 2018, it was reported that Harris announced his candidacy for Waterloo Regional Council.[16] He was elected on October 22, 2018.[17]

References

  1. https://www.kitchener.ca/en/city-services/list-of-candidates.aspx
  2. "Ontario PC party removes Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris from caucus". CBC News. April 9, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  3. Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (November 21, 2011). "Rookie MPPs poised to take their seats as legislature opens". The Guelph Mercury. p. B7.
  4. "Two new local Tory MPPs say they're fighting for families". The Waterloo Record. October 7, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  5. https://twitter.com/Michaelharrispc/status/922125762328657920
  6. "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 7 (xvi). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  7. "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  8. "Harris unseats Pendergast". The Waterloo Record. October 7, 2011.
  9. "General Election by District: Kitchener—Conestoga". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014.
  10. "What really happened to Michael Harris?". The Record. May 2, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  11. "Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris won't run for re-election". 570 News. April 7, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  12. "Tory MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga won't run for re-election due to eye condition". CBC News. April 7, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  13. Mercer, Greg (2018-05-16). "Texts that sank Tory MPP Michael Harris revealed". TheRecord.com. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  14. Jeff Outhit and Catherine Thompson, "Mike Harris Jr. wins in Kitchener-Conestoga, taking riding previously held by Michael Harris". Waterloo Region Record, June 7, 2018.
  15. Greg Mercer, "The complicated candidate". Waterloo Region Record, June 4, 2018.
  16. "Harris eyes political comeback". 2018-07-24.
  17. "Former MPP Michael Harris elected as regional councillor (update)".
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