Here’s our daily look at what’s making news on the Ontario campaign trail.
- Ontario New Democrats found themselves in the crosshairs of both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives over the weekend after recent polls suggested support for the Andrea Horwath-led NDP is growing. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals accused the NDP of trying to secretly raise education property taxes on businesses. For his part, PC leader Doug Ford claimed that “the NDP have taken a page from Kathleen Wynne.”
- Ford found himself on the defensive for having said “I’m taking care of our own first” in response to a question during Friday’s Northern Leaders’ Debate about what he would do to encourage immigrants to settle in the province’s north. Both the Liberals and NDP have suggested that the comment was anti-immigrant. At a Sunday press conference, Ford was asked four times to explain what he meant, but he did not elaborate. "My opponents are playing politics — you know that," he said. "There's no politician that probably has more support out there for new Canadians. Ford Nation's full of new Canadians."
- TVO’s John Michael McGrath says that while Ford has argued he is northern Ontario’s true champion, his comment on immigration suggests he hasn’t been listening to what the north has been saying.
- Both Wynne and Horwath were asked on Sunday whether they would be willing to form a coalition government if Ford’s PCs fall short of winning a majority on June 7. While not ruling it out, both leaders played down the possibility. “We’re in day five of the campaign. I’m not going to pre-empt the result of the election,” Wynne said. “We’re going to wait until June 7 before we make any decisions,” Horwath replied.
- The Tories have promised $98 million per year to help low-income seniors get dental care. "Many Ontarians have dental insurance, but two-thirds of low-income seniors cannot afford it," Ford said Saturday. "They end up in the ER due to unbearable dental pain. More suffering for seniors and more strain on our health care system." The Liberals have promised that seniors without dental coverage would qualify for reimbursement on dental expenses up to $400 per individual or $600 per couple. The NDP have promised $1.2 billion to ensure everyone in the province has dental coverage.
- The NDP have announced that 56 per cent of its candidates in the provincial election are women. It’s the first time one of the three largest Ontario political parties has had more women running for it than men. In terms of the other parties, the Green party has 52 per cent female candidates, the Liberals 45 per cent, and the PCs 32 per cent.
- TVO’s Claude Sharma reports on the pride — and grievances — that fuel the Northern Ontario Party. And Sharma and David Rockne Corrigan talk to Steve Paikin about how fledgling political parties are hoping to win over voters in the June 7 election.
- CBC’s Ontario Poll Tracker currently shows the Progressive Conservatives with 41.5 per cent support, the NDP with 27.1 per cent, the Liberals with 24.9 per cent, and the Green Party with 5.1 per cent.
What to watch for
- Wynne will make an announcement this morning at Toronto’s Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario. At 4 p.m., she’ll visit Carpenters’ Local 785 in Cambridge. At 6 p.m., she’ll deliver remarks at a barbecue with local supporters in Kitchener.
- Ford will make an announcement at 10:30 a.m. at the Marriott on the Falls in Niagara Falls. He’ll be in Smithville for a tour of Stanpac, a manufacturer of packaging supplies, at noon. He’ll do a meet and greet in at Scorecard Harry’s in St. Catharines at 1:30 p.m. He’ll then conclude his day with a rally in Niagara Falls at 6 p.m.
- Horwath will make a health-care announcement this morning in Brampton. At 2:30 p.m., she’ll visit a dairy farm in Watford. She’ll finish her day with a town hall focused on health care at Dante Club Hall in Sarnia.
- Green Party leader Mike Schreiner started his day with an appearance on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning just after 7 a.m. This morning, he’ll be at Queen’s Park to launch the Green Party’s platform. At 1 p.m., he’ll make a housing announcement in Etobicoke. At 4:30 p.m., he’ll make a transit announcement at the Streetsville GO Station. At 8 p.m. he’ll attend the Peel Leaders’ Debate hosted by Brampton Focus.
- Representatives of the Liberal, PC, NDP, and Green parties will discuss transportation policy in a debate moderated by Steve Paikin starting at 2 p.m. this afternoon. You can watch the full discussion live via The Agenda’s Twitter feed. An edited version will air on TVO at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
- Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath highlight which ridings will help shape the election outcome.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said this afternoon's election debate on transportation policy starts at 12:45 p.m. It actually starts at 2 p.m.
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