Here’s our daily look at what’s making news on the Ontario campaign trail.
- All three major party leaders reacted to news that U.S. President Donald Trump would slap tariffs on Canadian-made steel and aluminum. Since most Canadian steel is manufactured in Ontario, the tariffs could hit the province particularly hard. “The time for talk is done. Donald Trump is a bully,” Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne said. She called on the federal government to make a “swift and sharp response” to the move. The Trudeau government did later announce that they would impose retaliatory tariffs on a raft of U.S.-made goods. Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford, who expressed strong support for Trump when he ran for president, also condemned the U.S. decision, adding, “We must work domestically to make Ontario and Canada more competitive.” NDP leader Andrea Horwath mentioned Ontario communities that would be hurt by Trump’s tariffs, including her hometown of Hamilton. “Whatever Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau have been doing isn’t working,” she added.
- Ford denied that he has broken his promise to release a fully costed platform. "I'm not breaking my promise at all — we have a dollar figure right beside every single item," he said. However, the Tories’ platform gives no sense of how the party would pay for its promises. Former federal parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page told the CBC that Ford doesn’t appear to have a good grasp of what a costed platform is. Economist Don Drummond said there was no doubt that the PCs’ platform would produce a larger deficit than the Liberal or NDP platforms.
- An investigation by the Globe and Mail alleges that former Liberal cabinet minister Glen Murray was improperly influenced by a lobbyist, and that as a result Murray bullied the mayor of Caledon in 2013 over a proposed housing development. The article also states that Wynne was told about the incident but did nothing. Asked about the report on Thursday, Wynne said that the development in question never happened and that she doesn’t recall hearing about Murray’s alleged behaviour.
- Horwath found herself defending another NDP candidate Thursday when it emerged that University-Rosedale hopeful Jessica Bell had once been arrested for trespassing during a protest about the mercury contamination that has led to decades of suffering for the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario. Said Horwath, "People sometimes do quote-unquote radical things to get the attention of decision-makers."
- Horwath promised to strengthen legal protections for renters. Specifically, she wants to crack down on “renovictions,” where landlords evict tenants to renovate a unit and then rent the unit out again at a higher price. She’s proposing the creation of a “rent registry” that will let tenants know how much a landlord has charged in the past.
- Asked this morning on CBC Radio whether she’d be willing to form a coalition government with the Liberals, Horwath said, "I'd be willing to work with anybody who believes that we need to get electricity rates down and Hydro One back into public hands ... The question would be, would Kathleen Wynne be willing to work with me?"
- Last night, The Agenda With Steve Paikin was in Sudbury to speak with Trevor Holliday, leader of the Northern Ontario Party. Holliday and Paikin discussed the reasons behind northern Ontarians’ sense of alienation and what the next provincial government can do about it.
- The Tories are questioning whether the electronic vote-counting devices being used to count votes on June 7 are safe from hacking. In response, Deborah Danis of Elections Ontario said that EO consulted extensively with all the parties about the new machines and that “there's a very high level of confidence in the technology, and we have had very few concerns raised at all.”
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What to watch for
- Wynne meets with the Hamilton Spectator’s editorial board this morning. She’ll then hold a media availability in Dundas at 11 a.m. Former prime minister Paul Martin will join Wynne for a roundtable discussion with students at the University of Waterloo at 2:30 p.m. Wynne and Martin will also appear together at a rally at Mississauga’s Versailles Convention Centre at 7 p.m.
- Ford will attend a breakfast meet-and-greet in Thunder Bay, make an announcement in Sault Ste. Marie at 11:30 a.m., and attend a barbecue and rally in Kapuskasing at 5 p.m.
- Horwath will be in Toronto for the city’s Rainbow Flag and Transgender Flag ceremony at 12:30 p.m. She’ll visit Pathstone Mental Health Treatment Centre in St. Catharines at 3 p.m. and then attend a campaign event in Welland at 4:45 p.m.
- Tonight on The Agenda With Steve Paikin, pollster Erin Kelly of Advanced Symbolics will provide an update on the state of the Ontario election campaign. Then, Ontario Libertarian Party leader Allen Small will share his views on election issues, and producer Jeyan Jeganathan will take a look at who makes up Ford Nation. Watch it all on TVO at 8 p.m. or 11 p.m. You can also catch the program via Facebook and Twitter at 8 p.m.