May the Fourth Be With all the Candidates tomorrow.
In just over 24 hours the campaign for Ontario begins May 4th, as Premier Doug Ford will meet with Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell to dissolve parliament and issue writs for 127 ridings in the province of Ontario.
Ford, under the motto "Let's Get It Done", is looking to secure a second majority mandate -first for a PC premier since 1999 when Mike Harrie won reelection.
Ford is said to be running on the tabled budget from April which was tabled and then the provincial parliament was dissolved.
In the budget, the Ford government outlined their vision for the province moving into a post-pandemic world.
Rebuilding the economy with better jobs and bigger paycheques; Building highways and key infrastructure, including finally building Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass; Working for workers by getting more people into the skilled trades; Keeping costs down by cutting the gas tax and scrapping licence plate sticker fees; and, A plan to stay open by investing in new hospitals, shoring up domestic production of PPE and hiring more nurses, doctors and personal support workers.
Andrea Horwath the leader of the official opposition and Ontario NDP Leader kicked off the NDP campaign over the weekend launching the NDP platform.
“People are counting on us. Health care is in crisis. The cost of housing is out of control. Everyday families just want to get on solid ground. Doug Ford’s cuts won’t fix it. Feathering his buddies’ nests at our expense won’t fix it. And Steven Del Duca — a Kathleen Wynne cabinet minister who cut and privatized for 15 years — sure won’t fix what he helped break. But together, we can fix what matters most to people," Horwath said in a stump speech which was live streamed.
“Instead of Doug Ford’s plan to cut $2.7 billion, let’s come together so we can invest in health care, home care and bringing down the price of homes. Instead of letting Ford cut coverage, let’s come together so we can add all mental health care to OHIP,” said Horwath.
Ontario Liberal Leader, who has no seat in the legislature, Steven Del Duca said that this election was a clear choice between the PC's and the Liberals. Del Duca was speaking at his nomination meeting in Vaughn over the weekend.
“This election is a choice between the Ford Conservative’s bad decisions that favour the biggest and the richest and our Liberal plan to make Ontario a place to grow–for workers, families, and small businesses,” said Del Duca.
In speaking to community members, Del Duca highlighted the Ontario Liberal plan to do more and help more, after four years of the Ford Conservative cuts and underspending that saw life become more expensive for families and small businesses.
“The Ford Conservatives have prioritized handouts for big business and their deep-pocketed friends,” continued Del Duca. “Ontario Liberals will make Ontario a place to grow by investing in the care of our seniors, our schools, our public transit systems and provide relief for struggling families. My message to the voters of Vaughan and Woodbridge today is: the choice is yours.”
Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner, who is looking to make gains after the party's historic win in 2018, outlined part of the party's campaign platform over the weekend saying in a rally in Brampton that the government needs to discuss the severe climate, air noise pollution and health concerns communities are facing.
“We need to stop the sprawl and put climate and health first,” Schreiner said at the rally. “The air and noise pollution this community is experiencing is unacceptable. Doug Ford calls environmental protections red tape, I call them protecting the people and places we love.
“Instead of continuing on the destructive path of Doug Ford’s sprawl agenda, which is making life less affordable and less healthy, Ontario Greens will build livable, healthy and affordable communities.” Schreiner said.
Leaders will begin their cross-province tour tomorrow leading up to the June 3rd vote. The Cross Border Interviews with Chris Brown will be in Ontario during the election covering the race as it unfolds.
Tune in every Friday during the month of May as we discuss with political insiders the ongoing election.