With the Ontario Election just weeks away – on Thursday, June 7 – the three main candidates are now dominating headlines and trying their hardest to throw one another under the bus.
Since our last update, the candidates have faced off for their first and second debate, the Twitter war is getting uglier, investigations into misconduct claims have been launched, and the candidates have all revved up their public appearance games.
If you’re in the dark about the Ontario provincial election (and too embarrassed to admit it at this point), you can find a 101 on the Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Party (PC), and the New Democratic Party (NDP).
While the Conservatives have led in the polls for the past few weeks, for the first time in the campaign, a new poll shows the PCs and the NDP in a statistical tie for first place (sorry, Wynne).
Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath are calling for an OPP investigation into PC riding contests that involve allegations of vote-fixing. Ford says the contests go back to Patrick Brown. This all came after the Globe and Mail reported on Saturday that PC nomination races exhibited “evidence of interference in the local democratic process.”
Last week, Ford came under fire for illegally attending a conservative party fundraiser, breaching Ontario’s campaign rules. Ford said he was misinformed about the nature of the event, and the organizer was removed from the campaign team.
On May 16, Ford announced that he would cut gas prices to ten cents per litre. He reiterated that – unlike Wynne and Horwath – he would scrap the carbon tax.
On May 16, the PC party saw the resignation of Ford’s Brampton East candidate in response to an investigation into data theft at Highway 401 ETR, where he had been employed. Days later, a news report questioned a possible political use of data like customer names, addresses, and phone numbers (hence the current investigation).
When news broke earlier this month that Hydro One board members were giving themselves raises, Ford held a rally on May 15 out front of Hydro One’s annual general meeting.
Now that the NDP is gaining traction in the polls, Ford is going after them more than he has, stating at the rally “the NDP are as bad as the Liberals.”
On May 10, Ford announced a 20% tax cut for middle-class families.
On May 7, Ford won the first leaders’ debate.
On May 21, the Liberals slammed the NDP for a “major error” in their platform’s fiscal plan, with a $1.4 billion addition to her party’s deficit.
Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath are calling for an OPP investigation into PC riding contests that involve allegations of vote-fixing.
On May 17, the Liberals filed a formal complaint with Elections Ontario over Doug Ford’s participation in a conservative fundraising dinner.
At a stop in Waterloo on May 15, Wynne reiterated the Liberals’ commitment to build a high-speed rail line through Southwestern Ontario, complete with an $11 billion price tag. She highlighted how the NDP accidentally cut $33 million for an environmental assessment of the rails project, in addition to the lack of action on the project by the PC party.
The exchange of words has continued on Twitter as of late, as the Liberal Party slammed Andrea Horwath for keeping her MPPs who are accused of workplace bullying and Doug Ford for keeping his “Islamophobic candidates.”
The Liberals issued a press release entitled “Horwath’s Double Standard on Intolerance,” in which the party calls out the NDP leader Andrea Horwath for not dropping NDP candidate Paul Miller, who is under investigation for “racist, sexist, homophobic comments.”
Last week, the Liberals announced the biggest-ever provincial investment in Ottawa transit.
On May 15, the Liberals issued a press release slamming Doug Ford for being a hypocrite. Titled “Doug Ford Just Can’t Stand Himself,” the release highlights two incidents when Ford claimed he would do one thing and was confronted with video evidence that contradicts that. One such incident involved Ford’s stance on rent control, and the other on the development of the Greenbelt.
Andrea Horwath is currently under fire by both Wynne and Ford, who called her out for making “numerous fiscal mistakes” in the NDP’s fiscal plan. In response, Horwath admitted her party had made an accounting error to the tune of $1.4 billion to the NDP’s annual deficit projections but continues to defend and stand by the ideas in her party’s platform.
This past weekend, Horwath announced she would tackle spikes in gas prices on long weekends.
On May 20, Horwath was in Ottawa to announce the NDP Party’s “Change for the Better” plan for Eastern Ontario. The plan includes improvements to healthcare, and making Eastern Ontario a more affordable place to live and work.
In Thunder Bay on May 19, Andrea Horwath said she didn’t want to see beer sold in corner stores.
On May 18, National Museum Day, the NDP Party took to Twitter to announce that they will make museums more accessible by investing $10-million to enable libraries to distribute passes to museums and galleries.
On May 17, Horwath stopped in St. Catharines to announce her plan to expand local and regional transit and to provide year-round GO service between Niagara and Toronto.
On May 15, Horwath announced her plan for Southwestern Ontario. It includes things like making sure Ontario is the premier destination for auto and manufacturing jobs, strengthening the innovation economy and workforce, and improving healthcare in small and rural communities, among others.
On May 11, the NDP party tweeted that their plan for the north includes $19 billion in new health care facilities, repairs, and upgrades.