Harris denies family had personal stake in Dionne house

Ontario Premier Mike Harris has angrily denied stories that his father had a personal stake in a residence once owned by the Dionne family.

Archives from the North Bay Nugget show that in 1958, Deane Harris held an option to buy the property. The newspaper said Harris wanted local politicians to turn the home into a museum and tourist attraction.

At the time, Deane Harris was the president of the local tourist association. He put forward a proposal to have developers build on the land surrounding Quintland.

Premier Harris said Wednesday that his father is not well and the accusations are totally unfounded.

Last week, the three surviving Dionne quintuplets rejected the Ontario government's offer of $2,000 dollars each a month each for the rest of their lives.

The women say the money they earned during their childhood was mishandled by the Ontario government when it was put in a special trust fund.

A spokesperson for the surviving quintuplets says the involvement of the Premier's father might explain why Mike Harris is against a public inquiry into how the Dionne's trust fund was managed.

Lawyers for the two sides met on Tuesday. The women's lawyer, Clayton Ruby, said the meeting was useful and the two sides are expected to meet again, possibly later this week.