Ontario New Democrat MPP Joel Harden has issued an apology this week for posing with a supporter who was holding a large sign that read, “F*CK DOUG FORD.”
The image was discovered on Reddit over the weekend and Harden appears smiling beside sign baring the obscenity.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath condemned the action calling it “absolutely not acceptable,” while adding that Harden offered an apology to the premier. His apology came Monday during Question Period.
Premier Ford accepted Harden’s apology.
“I’m glad that he apologized to the premier. It’s never appropriate to have that scenario unfold and I’m glad that the premier accepted the apology,” Horwath told CTV News on Tuesday.
“We believe in raising the decorum of our political discourse. It’s clear based on their past and current behaviour that the NDP caucus do not share this goal,” spokesperson Ivana Yelich said in a statement.
Horwath herself can relate as she was caught posing with a protester outside Queen’s Park who was holding a sign that read “#F*** Ford,” earlier this year.
“I didn’t read the fine print on the bottom of that sign and I have apologized personally to Mr. Ford,” Horvath said.
Harden is taking that position as well saying he didn’t realize what the sign said and as soon as he saw it, he realized that it was a problem.
Horwath has encouraged her New Democrat MPPs to read signs being held by protesters before taking pictures.
“We’ve asked our MPPs on a couple of occasions to be very careful about that because this is exactly the outcome that can occur and it looks bad on everybody, it’s just not appropriate,” Horwath said.