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Ernie Eves

Ernie Eves is the current Premier of the province of Ontario, Canada.

Eves was born in 1946 in Windsor, Ontario into a working class family. As a teenager, Eves and his family moved to the northern logging town of Parry Sound, Ontario[?]. Eves went to law school, and then in 1981 ran for the provincial parliament in Parry Sound. He won by only six votes in his first election, but then kept his seat for the next twenty years.

Eves is a long time close friend of fellow northern Ontario MPP Mike Harris[?]. In 1990 Eves backed Harris' bid for the party leadership. In 1995 after being elected on a Reagan style program of taxcuts and government cutbacks Eves was appointed Harris' finance minister and right hand man. Eves went on to supervise unprecedented cuts to public services and also to pass legislation cutting the taxes of Ontarians.

Despite the close friendship and similar backgrounds and beliefs of Harris and Eves the two have very different personalities. While Harris tried to be the embodiment of a grass-roots politician, often not wearing a suit and spending limited amounts on food, Eves is just the opposite. Eves is always meticulously well turned out in expensive suits, for which the government gives him a $25 000 a year clothing allowance.

Eves' personal life in the last few years of the Harris government were tumultuous. His son was killed in a traffic accident in Parry Sound, and soon after his long-standing marriage broke down. Eves began a relationship with a fellow cabinet colleague and he and his wife separated. In 2001 Eves decide to resign from his post of Finance Minister.

His retirement was only very brief, however. When Mike Harris decided to step down as Conservative leader, Eves decided to run. Eves immediately became the front runner and most Tory MPP's and members of the party came to support him. At the Tory convention the almost rhyming slogan "I Believe in Eves" was ubiquitous and Eves easily defeated Jim Flaherty[?] and Tony Clement[?], the other two challengers.

Eves then became Premier of Ontario. His time in office has been a difficult one, however, as the government was still trying to recover from the Walkerton[?] affair, where government cutbacks contributed to the deaths of six people from contaminated water, when fresh problems broke out. The most severe of these was the privatization of the power system. Observing what had happened in California and seeing rates already begin to skyrocket with partial privatization the Ontario public became disgruntled. The government was forced to cancel the privatization and cap hydro rates, costing the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Soon afterwards Chris Stockwell[?] one of Eves' ministers ran into trouble when he used public money to pay for a family trip to Europe and was forced to resign.

In the summer of 2003 the power issue has come back to cause further trouble for Eves. During its time in office the Tory government had failed to make any substantial investments in new sources of power. Warm weather and the use of air conditioners pushed the Ontario hydro grid to the brink and to prevent blackouts that could destroy the government's popularity the Tories were forced to by expensive power from neighbouring producers in Quebec.

In the fall of 2003 Eves will be forced to call an election. Currently his government is behind Dalton McGuinty[?]'s Liberals[?] in the polls, but not by a great margin.



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