Here’s our daily look at what’s making news in the lead-up to the next provincial election.
- The election campaign hasn’t officially started, but the political air war has begun. The Liberals have released two advertisements targeting Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford — one argues that his image as a defender of average people is a mirage; the other makes use of controversial statements that Ford himself has made. Meanwhile, third-party group Ontario Proud has launched two attack ads against the Liberals, one that claims political insiders have gotten rich under Kathleen Wynne’s premiership, and one that lists “highlights” of the Liberals’ years in power, including the gas-plants cancellation and rising hydro rates. The NDP has also released its first advertisement and is promising its biggest ad campaign ever.
- Ford revealed the slogan that will be plastered on his tour bus throughout the spring campaign: “For the people.” “Everywhere I go, people say, 'Doug, do it for the people.' So that's why we picked this slogan,” Ford explained.
- Talking to reporters after unveiling the slogan, Ford seemed to suggest that he had not, in fact, once said that a Toronto residential home for autistic youth had “ruined the community.” Journalist David Hains responded by providing a links to coverage of the meeting at which Ford made the comments, as well as to subsequent articles in which Ford not only didn’t deny having made the comments but actually defended them.
- A new poll by Innovative Research Group shows the Tories with 37 per cent support, the Liberals with 26 per cent, the NDP with 18 per cent, and the Green party with 6 per cent. Ten per cent of voters said they were undecided.
- This weekend’s rage-inducing weather wreaked havoc on several Ontario politicians’ carefully planned schedules. Wynne had to cancel two appearances on Saturday due to road conditions, while Ford had to cancel a walking tour of downtown Mississauga the same day. And a planned announcement today at Queen’s Park by Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro, who represents the northern riding of Thunder Bay–Atikokan, has been called off due to weather conditions and travel issues.
What to watch for
- The Ontario NDP will reveal its campaign platform today at 1 p.m.
- Premier Kathleen Wynne’s day is mostly focused on a visit to Toronto by California Governor Jerry Brown. Ontario’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is linked to the California-led Western Climate Initiative, so Brown’s visit provides Wynne an opportunity to burnish her environmental record. When former U.S. vice president Al Gore visited Ontario last month, he praised Wynne and called out the Progressive Conservatives for their opposition to carbon pricing. Don’t be surprised if Brown does something similar today.
- Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford will be in the Ottawa suburbs today. He’ll make an announcement in Orléans at 12:30 p.m. before attending a rally in Nepean at 6 p.m.
May we have a moment of your time?
Our public funding only covers some of the cost of producing high-quality, balanced content. We depend on the generosity of people who believe we all should have access to accurate, fair journalism. Caring people just like you!
Get Current Affairs & Documentaries email updates in your inbox every morning.