The premier of Ontario received death threats and his labour minister's constituency office was vandalized hours after a bill rolling back labour reforms was introduced in the legislature, the Progressive Conservative government said Wednesday.

Government House Leader Todd Smith said the incidents were an attempt to bully and intimidate the government and would not be tolerated.

"What we want is to see...some of these other radical groups acknowledge the fact that a line has been crossed here," Smith said.

The proposed labour law, introduced Tuesday afternoon, freezes the minimum wage to $14 an hour until 2020 and rolls back other labour reforms introduced by the previous Liberal government shortly before the spring election. The measures have been met with strong criticism from anti-poverty activists, union leaders and the opposition parties.

Labour Minister Laurie Scott said her office in Kawartha Lakes, Ont., was broken into and vandalized early Wednesday morning. She said the windows were smashed and the outside wall was spray-painted with a message that read "Attack Workers. We fight back. $15."

The Liberal reforms would have raised the minimum wage to $15 in January. The bill on Tuesday also reduces the number of personal leave days currently provided to workers to eight from ten.

"This is obviously tied in to the piece of legislation that we introduced yesterday," Scott said. "I believe in democratic and peaceful protest and debate but we will not tolerate vandalism, intimidation or bullying. ... We don't know who did this, we are just saying everyone should say that that's not acceptable."

Scott said local and provincial police are investigating the incident.

Smith said all the groups opposed to the labour reform should distance themselves from the perpetrators of violence.

"What we're saying is that vandalism, violence and intimidation is not going to be acceptable," Smith said. "We'd really like to see the NDP and we'd really like to see the union leadership say the same thing."

No justification for violence, says NDP leader

New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath said people should engage in peaceful protest if they disagree with the government's decisions.

"No matter how much hurt this government creates, no matter how far they drag us backwards, no matter how many disappointing announcements we get...there is no justification for violence, no justification for criminal activity," she said.

Chris Buckley, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, said that group does not support or condone violence against persons or property.

"While we understand that the government's decision to repeal workers' rights and protections is deeply troubling and a great concern to the people of Ontario, we encourage all workers to join with the OFL and its community partners in peacefully demanding better working conditions and higher wages for all workers in this province, whether they are unionized or not," Buckley said in a statement.

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser, whose party had promised to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January, condemned the incidents, but said he can understand the anger over the labour bill. He also said the premier and his government must set a higher standard for public debate.

"It's incumbent on the premier of this province to set the tone in here and outside," Fraser said. "All I know is that when he's here in Question Period that tone is one of conflict, and combativeness and partisanship. We need to take that down a notch. A couple of notches."

Ford did not comment on the reported death threats against him, but thanked local and provincial police for investigating the "very serious incident" in Kawartha Lakes. "These actions have no place in our democracy," he said in a tweet.

Although one can never condone violence or threats of violence it must be noted that this kind of response comes from those who are oppressed and not allowed any recourse to stop injustice. We are faced with a leader and a party who care not that they won by less than 40% of voters in a system that gives unlimited power to a minority party. As they continue to drive our province back to the dark ages and give themselves standing ovations as they do it, it must be pointed out that they share responsibility for the actions of those they hurt.

Every politician, community and labour leader who "deplores" the eruption of violence, intimidation and vandalism and who gazes wide eyed with innocence into the media lenses are either hypocrites or ignoramuses who have forgotten or ignored the lessons of human history.

On both sides of these disputes over survival there is always violence. In the case of those the "left" likes to call exploiters there is the weight of wealth, power and privilege which insidiously chips away at the legal and moral requirements for a just and equitable society. Within the ranks of the "right" who consider themselves the natural and best arbiters of what is required to ensure social stability and the proper distribution of wealth, there is wilful blindness, the total failure to extend humanity to the underclass they purposely suppress.

Violence from the right cloaks itself in the righteousness of "law", violence from the left erupts from desperation, frustration and the ultimate requirement to survive. Violence is always the failure of both to negotiate justice, equity and mercy.

The injunctions against the excesses of wealth and power go back as far as the earliest recorded human history - and evidently spring from pre-historic social covenants. Those who violate either side of the social contract are equally at fault. And the current state of global politics is an expanding and desperate struggle for survival. If we fail to acknowledge and remedy the inequity we had better adjust to the miasma of fear driving the extremes of totalitarion rule, and those of survival terrorism. The relatively minor eruption of graffiti and shattered glass is a warning tocsin to which all must pay heed.

Wait, DOUG FORD is yacking about lines being crossed? This from the guy saying he was absolutely willing to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause so he could better kneecap democracy? This from the guy who hangs out with white supremacists?
Reap what you sow buddy. You cross a bunch of lines, sooner or later someone else starts doing it too. Boo hoo.

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