Transcript: Ep. 117 - Cabinet shuffle | Jun 22, 2021

STEVE:
Welcome everyone to
the
#onpoli
podcast.
I'm Steve Paikin.
JOHN MICHAEL:
And I'm John Michael McGrath.
STEVE:
On Friday, Premier Ford
announced some big changes
to his cabinet with some
long-standing names
shuffled out and one very
familiar name shuffled back in.
We'll dig into all the details.
Plus, we get to your comments
and questions
a week after
the government went for
the nuclear
notwithstanding option.
It's Tuesday, June 22, 2021,
so let's get to it.
Premier Doug Ford's long-awaited
cabinet shuffle
finally happened
last Friday afternoon.
Before we get into the details
of who's in and who's out,
let me just ask you, JMM,
this overarching question.
Cabinet shuffles one year
before an election,
well, we all know the story.
They're supposed
to refresh governments.
Governments often drop older,
long-standing members
with safer seats for younger,
more diverse members
with seats
that aren't necessarily
a slam dunk to win next time out
and that's happened here,
but this was a virtual
cabinet shuffle.
No hour-long live TV coverage
followed by another hour of
scrums with new ministers.
It was all on Zoom.
How much more difficult,
in your view,
is it to refresh the brand
without all that coverage?
JOHN MICHAEL:
You know, the Premier has
previously had, um,
minor cabinet shuffles that
happened without
all the pomp and circumstance
that we are used to seeing.
Sometimes the
announcement has been
as simple as a press release,
but, you know,
since we are viewing everything
about Queen's Park these days
through the lens of
the next provincial election,
I think it's fair to say they
probably would have preferred
to at least have the option
for the ceremony
if they could have gotten it.
That said--
if they're really feeling like
the need for a big ceremony
for public consumption,
they still have plenty
of options.
You know, they could
prorogue the House
any time Doug Ford decides to,
for example,
and, you know, that wouldn't
actually be out of the ordinary
for a government at this point
in its lifespan.
STEVE:
That is true.
Okay, let's just go through
some of the more notable
developments of this shuffle.
Starting with the return of
the former Finance Minister.
Rod Phillips is back.
I'm sure everyone well remembers
him resigning from cabinet
six months ago because of a trip
he took to St. Barts
when everyone else was supposed
to be confined to quarters
and not travelling.
Why do you think
he's back in now?
JOHN MICHAEL:
Well, you know how much I hate
to be cynical about politics,
but the cynical view would be
that Ford needs to change
his Minister for Long-Term Care
and, um, nobody else
wanted that job.
Um, I don't think that's it
or at least
I don't think that's everything.
The Premier clearly wants him
back in cabinet
and certainly,
I think other outlets,
The Toronto Star notably
have reported
that, you know, the Premier felt
that Phillips' absence
around the cabinet table during
the pretty disastrous
spring that the government had,
the Premier felt that, you know,
he might have been better served
if Phillips had been there
at the cabinet table.
Um, you know, I think it's
an exaggeration to say that,
you know, all of their drama in
the spring
could have been prevented if
only Rod Phillips had been there
but, you know, events speak
for themselves here.
The Premier clearly wants
Phillips back,
you know, wants him as
a minister,
wants to hear his voice around
the cabinet table
and, you know, even handing him
the Long-Term Care portfolio
is not, um--
I think in our newsletter
this week,
you used the phrase
"Poisoned Chalice".
It's not that exactly,
but it is--
it's gonna be
a challenge for him,
but it's also the kind
of thing that, you know,
it could help him earn back
some credibility.
STEVE:
Yes, I think when
I used the expression
"Poisoned Chalice",
it was only to say
it's not exactly
a poisoned chalice.
JOHN MICHAEL:
Yes, yes. But it's
a lovely phrase.
STEVE:
You know, it's a nice phrase
and the fact is,
you know, one hopes, come on.
One hopes--
that the worst of the bad news
related to long-term care
is now over with and behind
the Government and the Province
and that from
this stage forward,
it's about rebuilding and
putting into place
recommendations that have been
on the books
for a very long time and,
you know,
to the extent that
that needs doing immediately,
maybe Phillips is the guy
to get it done.
That's clearly their hope.
Now, to the extent that
there weren't any surprises
in this shuffle,
it may be that the biggest names
didn't get moved at all.
Bethlenfalvy,
still the treasurer.
Elliott, still still
the Health Minister.
Lecce, still the
Education Minister.
Jones, still the
Solicitor General.
Mulroney,
still in transportation.
Any theories as to why the
Premier didn't move any of them?
JOHN MICHAEL:
It's an interesting question,
right? Because--
all of them have had, you know,
various controversies
in their time as ministers,
because, you know,
it's not possible to be
a Minister of the Crown
for very long before
some controversy crops up.
But my sense of this is that,
you know,
they've all been team players
from the perspective
of the Premier's Office and--
some of them also represent
GTA ridings
that the Tories still need
to defend in the next election,
but I did write something
for TVO.org last week
arguing that, you know,
as much as cabinet shuffles
are sort of,
by definition there,
about the changes that we see,
you know,
the fact that these big names
haven't changed
tells you that the government is
going to be showing
a lot of continuity
over the next year
and one additional name I will
drop here who didn't change
is the Minister of Municipal
Affairs and Housing,
Steve Clark.
He has been really the public
face of the government's use
of ministerial zoning orders.
That's been, you know,
a very controversial policy
and he is staying put,
which suggests that
the government is not feeling
like they want
to back down on this file.
STEVE: Right.
STEVE:
Now, I remember, and again,
Mr. McGrath,
we're going way back
in the day now.
I do remember asking
Premier Bill Davis,
"What is the worst part
of your job?"
And Mr. Davis' answer was,
"Dropping people from Cabinet."
He just hated doing
that because, you know,
he understood he was essentially
telling MPPs,
your career as you
knew it is over
and I raise that story
because Premier Ford
did drop five MPPs,
some of them real veterans.
Bill Walker, Jeff Yurek,
Ernie Hardeman,
Laurie Scott,
and John Yakabuski.
If you can imagine this,
Yakabuski has been an MPP
for almost 20 years,
his father was an MPP
in Bill Davis' government.
Laurie Scott, her father was,
I think for 24 years,
an MP federally, so she's
another second generation,
also dropped from Cabinet.
Any speculation on why they may
have been dropped, those five?
JOHN MICHAEL:
You know, the government,
or rather, I should say
the PC Party is thinking about
the seats that it needs
to defend in the next election.
They've got a pretty sizable
majority in the House.
They probably don't have
that many areas
where they can, you know,
expand the seats that they hold.
It's probably one or two seats
they're looking at,
but primarily,
like any government,
they're going to be playing
defence in the next election
and you don't defend
your safe ridings
and these are five
incredibly safe Tory ridings.
You mentioned Laurie Scott.
You know, Laurie Scott was
the MPP who stepped aside
for John Tory back in 2009.
John Tory had failed to win
a seat in Legislature.
She stepped aside so that Tory
could, sort of, take a shot
at winning back a seat
and the PC Party would have
a leader in the Legislature.
You know, that's the kind
of thing you only do
in a riding that
is supposed to be,
you know, a shoo-in basically.
Of course, the 2009 by-election
was a bit of a surprise there.
John Tory did not end up winning
that race
and resigned as PC Leader
not long after that.
So, apologies for
the history digression,
but you know,
my point here is that
these are very safe,
largely rural ridings
that the Party is not really
worried about losing
in the next election and so--
they are not really
playing defence there.
STEVE:
A history digression.
That's usually my play, McGrath.
Not yours.
Anyway, no, all good points.
Now, having said all that,
there are several new names
in Cabinet.
I'm thinking of Stan Cho
from Willowdale,
Jane McKenna from Burlington,
Parm Gill from Milton,
Nina Tangri from
Mississauga-Streetsville,
Kaleed Rasheed,
Mississauga East-Cooksville,
Dave Piccini
from Northumberland-
Peterborough South.
Now, would you look
at all those new names.
Is there a theme that runs
through all of that?
JOHN MICHAEL:
I mean, sort of
the photographic negative
of the MPPs who were dropped
from Cabinet.
These are GTA ridings,
primarily, you know,
I think all of them
were represented
by Liberals before 2018.
The PC Party obviously wants
to give the MPPs
in those ridings a bit
more prominence
in the year before an election
and, you know,
it also raises the profile of
some of the PC Caucus'
more diverse faces,
younger faces.
In our newsletter this week,
I'm gonna reference it
yet again,
you noted the rise
of Prabmeet Sarkaria,
the MPP for Brampton South,
who he was already in Cabinet,
but he's now been elevated
to the post
of President of
the Treasury Board,
which had been held by
the Finance Minister,
who's wearing two hats there.
Um, an incredibly
important post.
A very fast rise
for a young MPP
and, you know, another example
of the Party
really putting its younger,
more diverse faces forward
in Cabinet.
You know, a bit of a cliche to
say that Ontario elections
are won and lost in the GTA,
but you know,
this Cabinet shuffle really,
really proves the point.
STEVE:
It does and Mr. Sarkaria,
we should say,
32 years old, one of the most
important jobs in Cabinet.
The first-ever turban-wearing
Sikh in a Provincial Cabinet
in Ontario history and, uh,
perhaps equally
as important, um--
a guy who won his riding
by 2,700 votes
in Brampton in the last election
and the NDP have nominated
a star candidate
in Andria Barrett to run in the
next election in Brampton South
and as a result, I guess they
wanted to give Mr. Sarkaria
a higher profile position
to ensure
that he got a little extra
energy in him
for the next election campaign.
One last note on the shuffle.
Merrilee Fullerton,
who was the Long-Term Care
Minister, of course,
in the last Cabinet,
in some respects,
responsible for the oldest
citizens in the province,
she now moves to Children,
Community, and Social Services,
and is now responsible
for some of
the youngest citizens
in our province.
What do you infer
from that move?
JOHN MICHAEL:
You know, the government insists
that this is not a demotion
just as they insist that none of
the other moves were demotions,
um, and even though
Long-Term Care has been
the centre of a real, um,
hurricane of tragedy
in COVID-19,
um, you know, she was in the
ministry when
she needed Health Minister
Christine Elliott's
permission really
to do anything,
because it all had
to be coordinated with
the Ministry of Health.
She is now in charge
of her own
Ministry of Children
and Social Services,
which has, you know,
a budget of almost $18 billion,
so she might have a bit
more freedom of action.
I would say that, you know, this
is the last full fiscal year
this government is going to get
before the next election
and the budgets
have all been set.
You know, the budget was passed
back in the spring,
so I'm not sure how much
freedom of movement
any of these ministers
is going to have,
but, you know, you're still
a Cabinet Minister.
You still have
a great deal of power
and importance and we will see
what Minister Fullerton
and all of these ministers
will be able to do next.
STEVE:
Indeed.
Okay, that's the look at
the Cabinet shuffle,
let's move on, and JMM,
you know that on this podcast
in the past,
I sometimes get
a little irritated
when I see
truly cynical messaging
from political parties,
they all do it,
but we got another example
of it this past week
from the Progressive
Conservative Party.
Above Doug Ford's signature,
the Premier says
in an e-blast
to Tory supporters,
"I want to stay connected
to the priorities
most important
to our key supporters.
Take our supporter poll here."
So, you click on the link
and here come the questions.
And remember,
this has been pitched
to recipients as a poll.
Number one, are you worried
about how inflation
and interest rate hikes might
hit your pocketbook?
Very concerned, somewhat
concerned, not concerned?
That's a pretty
neutral question, so okay, fine.
Fine. Question two--
do you agree with the Liberals
increasing taxes
at a time when small businesses
can least afford it.
Yes, no, or you're not sure?
No, Mr. McGrath, you've seen the
odd poll question in your day,
what do you notice
about that one?
JOHN MICHAEL:
No reputable pollster
and frankly few enough
of the disreputable ones would
allow such a slighted question,
you know, this is I think you'd
fairly call it a push poll.
Have the Federal Liberals
actually increased taxes
on small businesses? I mean,
you can argue about
the carbon tax, yes or no,
but no, I mean, really,
this is not a fair question.
It is, um, much more of
an attempt to push the idea
of tax increases
rather than seek a--
rather than, you know,
neutrally seek
an informed opinion.
STEVE:
Bingo. Okay, here comes
question three.
Do you agree with hiring
teachers based on merit
in Ontario schools? And they are
for three options again.
Yes, no, or unsure?
And again,
a slanted question basically
taking aim at teacher unions,
which prefer seniority
over merit.
They feel merit is
too subjective a criterion,
so that's that. Okay?
And here comes number four.
Do you think we should be
investing
in Long-Term Care beds
in Ontario?
That's question four.
JOHN MICHAEL: (Laughing)
JOHN MICHAEL:
I mean, could you imagine who
would answer "No" after,
you know, after the year plus
that we've had in COVID-19.
STEVE:
Exactly! I mean,
who would say, "No.
Despite the fact that 80%
of the people who've just died
in our COVID-19 pandemic have
been people in long-term care.
No, we should not be investing
in any long-term care beds
in this province.
No, I don't think so."
Uh, all right, and number five.
Here's question five.
Are you worried about
Justin Trudeau's Internet
Censorship Bill C-10?
Again, a slanted question,
knowing that the use
of Trudeau's name
will make PC supporters see red
and finally,
two similar questions--
who do you feel is best placed
to lead Ontario
after the 2022 election?
And who do you believe
is best suited
to get Ontario's economy
back on track?
And then they offered the names
of the four main leaders.
Steven Del Duca, Doug Ford,
Andrea Horwath,
or Mike Schreiner,
in that order incidentally.
And no party names either.
Just the leaders' names.
Now, you're a pretty
good mind-reader, JMM.
Why am I so troubled
by this so-called poll?
JOHN MICHAEL:
Well, first of all, I mean,
to call it a poll
is beyond charitable.
It's misleading. Um, you know,
this is not an attempt to
discover public opinion,
this is a push poll designed
to create opinions and,
you know, the Tories are going
to get the results
of these questions and then,
you know,
maybe they'll raise them in
question period in the fall.
Maybe they'll use them
in online advertising.
Whatever. But they're gonna say,
you know,
"We're building long-term care
homes and 90% of people
agree with us doing that."
And you know,
this is just an email sent
to PC Party supporters,
so when people, you know,
respond to it saying
they think Doug Ford
is the choice
to lead the next Province,
you know,
it's just an incredibly
skewed result.
It also makes me wonder, like,
why is the PC Party--
even bothering to collect
this information.
I mean, I get that the Tories
are irritated
about Justin Trudeau continuing
to be Prime Minister,
but as I've said before
on this podcast,
like whatever else happens
next year,
they are not running against
Justin Trudeau.
STEVE:
He is not on the ballot in
the next provincial election
to the best of my recollection.
That is true.
No, this is
mischief-making masquerading
as legitimate
public opinion survey,
so we are merely putting
that on the record,
we are bringing that to
our listeners' attention
so that when you hear
PC ministers using, you know,
big, inflated numbers
about how popular the Premier is
in the weeks ahead, you will
know that these numbers
are essentially bogus, okay?
There we go.
JOHN MICHAEL:
Yes, not the first time we've
had to warn our readers
about the potential use
of bogus numbers in politics.
(Laughing)
STEVE: Right on.
STEVE:
Nor will it be the last.
Okay, last week was a big one
for the Official Opposition,
the NDP kicked off
their 2022 election campaign
with a speech by
Leader Andrea Horwath
at the Party's
Provincial Council.
And they unveiled their
first three campaign ads.
These are relatively
short spots.
The Leader Andrea Horwath
basically doing
a piece to camera on what she
sees as the NDP's priorities.
ANDREA HORWATH:
A premier who cares about you
and your life.
That's what matters to me.
STEVE:
Okay, John Michael,
anything jump out at you
with these ads?
JOHN MICHAEL:
You know, I think we've
discussed this
on the podcast before.
I've certainly written about it
at TVO.org, but you know,
I do think that--
the next election
is not going to be
as much about COVID
as people might think.
That all of the three parties
are going to be less focused
on talking about the
government's responsibility
for COVID-19 and the management
of the pandemic itself
and instead, people will be
talking about
the post-pandemic world
and who has
the most compelling vision for
an Ontario after the pandemic,
and I think this, these ads
that the NDP have unveiled
really fit in with that.
I also, I gotta say,
I'm interested
to see whether this--
whether this works for the NDP.
It's going to be very
interesting, you know,
Andrea Horwath has been Leader
for a long time for the NDP
and she, she's a different
leader now
than she was in 2011
or 2014 even,
and so, I watched those ads
and I thought
I was seeing, you know,
a slightly different
Andrea Horwath than
I remember from,
for example,
the 2014 election.
And so, you know, I will be very
interested to see
what the response
to these ads is.
STEVE:
Yeah, she's certainly trying
to portray herself,
and we should remember, this is
her fourth general election
that she'll be
leading the NDP into.
She's certainly trying
to convey someone who is
comfortable in her own skin
who's on your side
and that will be, of course,
a big contrast
between the government
which she will accuse of
only being in it
for themselves, so um--
whether she can continue
to make that connection
with the electorate
is obviously the open question
that these ads are going to be
designed to deal with.
The thing about
Andrea Horwath though,
almost every election
in the past,
in fact, maybe every election
in the past,
she's gone into it as the most
popular of all the party leaders
but has never won and these ads
may go some distance
to keep her as the most popular
leader on offer.
Whether they can take her past
the finish line first
remains to be seen.
We shall see.
Now, we've got
some good questions
from social media
this past week,
so we're going
to tackle these now.
Here is one from somebody named
Steph Seka,
who was following up a detail
about the Province's
election finance laws,
which the Ford Government
has now used the notwithstanding
clause of the Charter to amend.
And Steph asks,
can third parties subdivide
to get around
the spending limits?
Thinking like, "This ad is
brought to you by--
the Toronto Chapter of
Elementary Teachers
Federation of Ontario
or the Northern Chapter of the
Elementary Teachers of Ontario."
Got an answer to that one, JMM?
JOHN MICHAEL:
I mean, getting
a question like this
is like Christmas
in June for me.
I get to totally
geek out on this one.
It actually came up
in the court case that,
um, you know,
led to the government
using the
notwithstanding clause.
Justice Edward Morgan
had a pretty clear answer to it.
Just to sort of give people
the context
and refresh their memory,
you know,
the Ford Government had brought
in tighter spending limits
for third parties for 12 months
before an election.
A number of groups critical
of the Ford Government,
primarily teachers' unions,
challenged those spending rules
as a breach of their Charter
rights to free expression.
But there's more.
The law also contained rules
that forbid things like
splitting up third parties
or combining or doing anything
that would seek
to thwart the spending limits.
So, the applicants in this case
also tried to argue
that this was a breach
of their Charter rights,
but this time they argued that
it violated their rights
to freedom of association.
So, basically, they were saying
that they should have the right
to combine their efforts however
they want to be
most effective
in their advocacy.
And here's where
it gets interesting.
Our listeners no doubt remember
that Justice Morgan
found the spending limits in
the government's
election finance law
was unconstitutional,
because they violated
the Charter's
freedom of expression
guarantees,
but he also said that if the
spending limits had been valid,
he would have found the rules
against circumventing
those limits constitutional
based on Canadian
legal precedence.
So, because the spending limits
themselves
violated the Charter,
then the rules meant
to help enforce them
were null and void.
STEVE:
So, let's just boil this down
a little bit more.
The judge basically said that
if you're going to make
a law like this,
limiting election spending,
you can also make rules that
make it harder
to skirt around the law
with creative accounting
and that would have been fine if
the spending limits themselves
had not violated the Charter.
Am I following that right?
JOHN MICHAEL:
That's it exactly.
Of course, Morgan's decision
is now moot
since the government has invoked
the notwithstanding clause
with new legislation.
That means that the law
is allowed to violate
Sections 2 and 7 through 15
of the Charter of Rights
for five years, unless it is
repealed before then.
STEVE:
Got it.
JOHN MICHAEL:
So, let's continue on because
we now have a question for you.
Listener Margaret Boland asks,
"Can you please clarify
who this affects?
Do third parties just include
unions and groups like
the Ontario Medical Association
or does it also include
commercial interests
or corporate groups?
Margaret continues--
I, for one, am a voter that does
not appreciate this use
of the notwithstanding clause.
No politician should use it
just to get
their partisan
interests bolstered.
STEVE:
Okay, thanks for that one,
Margaret.
And we have come to call
the groups affected by
the Election Finances Act,
"Third parties",
even though the law actually
doesn't identify
what first parties
or second parties are,
but here's the gist of it.
Political parties are thought
of as first parties,
candidates or
constituency associations
are thought
of as second parties.
So, that means
that third parties
are basically everybody else.
All the so-called
special interest groups,
non-governmental
organizations, unions,
professional associations,
corporations,
even individuals who like the
engage in political advertising.
They're also thought
of as third parties.
In other words,
not a political party,
not a candidate, not a
constituency association.
So, everybody else
is a third-party.
And one last note
on all of this
and I think this puts it really
into perspective--
the publication QP Briefing,
they did an analysis
of third-party advertising
and discovered
that the vast majority
of third-party ads
are funded by Ontario unions
and that 93% of the spending
with groups that spend
more than $100,000
in the last election,
they favoured the NDP,
either by directly championing
New Democrats
or by bashing the PCs
or incumbent Liberals.
So, JMM, does that tell you
anything about why
the PC Government wanted
to put its own
campaign election campaign
expenses law back into effect?
JOHN MICHAEL:
Oh, yes, absolutely, you know,
clearly, they were seeking
to limit the spending
of groups whose money would have
almost certainly been used
against the Progressive
Conservative Party
by using the
notwithstanding clause
and putting their preferred law
back into effect,
they are, you know,
clearly kneecapping
third-party efforts to boost the
NDP and probably the Liberals.
You know, the um--
Tory Government has talked about
wanting to stop
US-style election finances,
but, you know,
this is a funny thing
about this.
In Ontario, it's labour unions
that have been the biggest users
of third-party spending
and in the US,
when we talk about this kind
of campaign finance issues,
we're usually talking about,
you know,
billion-dollar companies or
hundred billion-dollar companies
or, you know,
extremely wealthy individuals.
Just one of those
little quirky differences.
STEVE:
Indeed. And a significant
quirky difference
and it just sort
of reminds me that um,
and again, I know I'm guilty
of everything
goes back to Bill Davis,
but the fact of the matter is,
back in the middle 1970s,
when election expenses
did become a controversial issue
at the time,
Premier Davis decided to create
a special committee
in which he gave Liberals,
Tories, and New Democrats
membership on the committee
and he basically said
to all of them,
"You guys write new rules.
Come to a unanimous consensus on
what ought to be in place
and then we'll pass it.
And it was
a minority parliament,
so they all had to agree
and they did
and they passed new election
expenses regulations
which made it much fairer
for everybody.
That is clearly not
what is going on here.
This is clearly one party,
which has a majority government,
using its majority
to eke out an advantage
over the other parties
at election time.
It's legal,
you can debate whether
or not it's fair,
it's certainly not the approach
taken by Bill Davis
in the mid-1970s,
but there we go.
JOHN MICHAEL:
I had to laugh. The Premier said
defending this new law,
you know,
"We're gonna have democratic
elections in Ontario."
Or that might be
a rough paraphrase of it,
but when I saw that quote,
I mean, I had to laugh,
because, of course, you know,
Doug Ford and the PC Party
won a very large majority under
the old rules of 2018
and with, you know,
substantial third-party spending
that tried to stop the Tories
and yet, you know,
if one reads the Premier's
statement literally,
2018 was not
a democratic election.
So, yeah, it's all,
it's all fun.
STEVE:
Politics is a funny business
sometimes, isn't it?
JOHN MICHAEL: Yes.
STEVE: It is.
STEVE:
Okay, we always conclude
this podcast
with our favourite quotes
of the week
and we'll have those
for you immediately
after we ask you to give us
a rating on Apple Podcast.
It helps other potential
listeners find this podcast
and when you make suggestions,
we actually listen.
JOHN MICHAEL:
You can also shoot us an email
at onpolitics@tvo.org.
Here now is my quote
of the week.
It's Opposition Leader
Andrea Horwath,
who as you mentioned earlier,
she kicked off her 2022
Ontario election campaign with
some predictable criticism
of the Ford Government,
but we also got a reminder that
the NDP very much
want to be seen at the better
alternative to the PCs
and that means reminding people
that if they want
to ditch the Tories, they should
not go back to the Liberals.
Here's Andrea Horwath.
ANDREA HORWATH:
And whatever Steven Del Duca
and his Liberals
are now selling,
they did the opposite
when they had the chance.
They had 15 years to help,
but they chose
politics instead.
Freezing, cutting,
and privatizing services
we count on.
Selling off Hydro One,
closing hundreds of schools,
bringing us hallway medicine,
neglecting long-term care homes
and our loved one's
living there.
Making life harder
for everyday people.
The Liberals
failed people then,
the Conservatives
are failing people now.
JOHN MICHAEL:
That's NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
on her competition for,
let's call it,
the centre-left vote
in the next election.
STEVE:
And here is my quote of the week
and you'll remember we talked
earlier about the fact
that the NDP has now come out
with some election ads.
Three short ads.
Andrea Horwath, piece to camera,
extolling the virtues
of her own party
and why they should be
the choice next time.
They also took out
three pretty tough attack ads
against Steve Del Duca saying,
well, actually,
you gotta see them.
You gotta see the ads.
They're pretty clever,
I gotta say.
They're, you know,
as attack ads go,
they're pretty clever,
but Steven Del Duca
yesterday morning,
Monday morning,
held a news conference,
and I use that opportunity to
ask him about
what he thought of the ads,
which he said
he had not seen,
but he had heard all about.
STEVEN DEL DUCA:
Andrea Horwath and Doug Ford
can spend all of their time
between now and June 2
of next year
obsessing and focusing on me
if they want to.
That's fine.
That's part of this business.
I will remain exclusively
focused on
the nearly 15 million people
who call this province home
and their future,
and that's why I ran
for leader,
and that's why I'm running
for premier.
STEVE:
That's Liberal Leader
Steven Del Duca
yesterday morning responding
to the new NDP attack ads,
not attacking
the government of the day,
but attacking
the third-place Liberals.
And that was episode 117
of the
#onpoli
podcast.
Produced by Katie O'Connor,
editing by Matthew O'Mara,
production support
from Nikki Ashworth
and Jonathan Halliwell.
JMM, let's wrap it up
as we always do.
Quoting Larry Paikin who says,
"Stay positive, test negative."
JOHN MICHAEL:
Stay safe, Steve.

Watch: Ep. 117 - Cabinet shuffle