As Ontario Election Day (June 7) creeps closer, the battle for Ontario’s next premier took an uglier turn last week, as Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford exchanged harsh words (from Tweets to a public letter).
If you’re in the dark about the Ontario election (and too embarrassed to admit it at this point), you can find all you need to know here, as well as a 101 on the Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Party (PC), and the New Democratic Party (NDP). You’ll find last week’s update here.
According to a recent poll by Innovative Research Group, the PC party has maintained a lead, with 37% support, followed by the Liberals at 26%, the NDP at 18%, and the Green party at six per cent.
Making headlines last week, through a series of Tweets on April 18, Wynne accused Ford of being like Donald Trump, saying he is bringing Trump’s “lock her up” brand of politics to Ontario and calling him a bully. “It’s not about me. I have pretty thick skin. But I want people to notice what’s going on here – Doug Ford stands for nothing but Doug Ford. And, just like Donald Trump, there’s only one way to deal with him. You have stand up to him. Because that’s how you deal with a bully,” read one of her Tweets.
Meanwhile, the PC has made a complaint to Elections Ontario – who is currently investigating – that Wynne is using taxpayer-supported government announcements to “make political statements to attack her political opponents.”
Wynne also visited a seniors’ facility last week, stressing that “our parents and grandparents deserve high-quality professional care,” and stating that the Liberal government has allocated 5,000 new long-term care beds to make sure they get it.
On April 17, Wynne took to Twitter to announce “another big step to increase fairness for workers” with the introduction of a legislation to protect workers’ wages on government contracts. “If you work on a government project in construction, building services and building cleaning sectors, you’ll always be paid fairly – period,” Tweeted Wynne.
In the immediate wake of the ice storm that rattled Toronto last weekend, Wynne met with California governor Jerry Brown to discuss the next steps in the fight for the future of our climate. On its Twitter page, the Liberal party took the occasion to slam Ford for his dismissal of climate change action.
Andrea Horwath kicked off last week with an announcement of her campaign platform on Monday, April 16. The 97-page document revealed things like cheaper daycare that averaged $12 a day, denticare for those in need, partial pharmacare for citizens of all ages, and increased health care spending (as in, hundreds of millions of dollars). Horwath also promised a 30% reduction in Hydro One rates and to buy back the organization.
The NDP party said it would pick up the tab for all of the above by raising taxes for corporations and those who make more than $220 000 per year.
A recent poll revealed that, after nine years in the political spotlight as the NDP leader, Andrea Horwath is still relatively unknown to Canadian citizens, as Wynne and Ford continue to dominate headlines.
In acknowledging the official kickoff to her campaign, yesterday, Horwath Tweeted, “Join me on April 29 in my hometown of Hamilton – as we kick off the biggest campaign the NDP has ever run in Ontario! RSVP here.”
Over the weekend, Doug Ford announced the appointments of 11 Tory candidates in ridings across Ontario. Among those appointed is Mike Harris’s son, Mike Harris Jr.
Continuing his stops throughout Ontario, Ford visited an Ontario farm on Friday (April 20) and took to Twitter with photos and the promise, “with more farmers entering their older years, it’s important to make sure we are drastically increasing the number of beds in our hospitals.”
On April 19, Ford posted an open letter to Wynne on Twitter, accusing her of “holding campaign-style media availabilities on the taxpayer dime,” calling out the effects of sky-high hydro costs, and – most prevalently – a decision made by the board of Hydro One to increase the severance packages for executives of Hydro One.
On April 16, the PCs sent a letter to Elections Canada, calling Wynne out for “campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime.”