Ontario leaders go toe-to-toe

Party leaders carve each other up over gas plants and corruption in live debate

CP 24

Liberal corruption and the Conservatives' plan to cut public sector jobs dominated the Ontario leader's election debate tonight.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was on the defensive from the very start of the 90-minute debate, forced to apologize repeatedly for the gas plants scandal and defend soaring electricity rates.

Wynne admitted voters have a right to be angry because ``the public good was sacrificed for partisan interests'' when the Liberals cancelled two gas plants prior to the 2011 election at a cost of up to $1.1 billion.

She said there had been a breach of trust between her government and the people, and vowed it wouldn't happen again.

The Liberal leader also said the government had to invest billions in a badly neglected electricity system, which is why electricity rates are so high.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak defended his plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs while promising to create one million new jobs over eight years, with both Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath saying he made a basic math mistake.

Horwath said ``corruption in the Liberal party runs deep,'' calling it the central issue of the election campaign while insisting voters ``don't have to chose between bad ethics and bad math.''

The three leaders answered six questions posed by voters on topics including government ethics, job creation, education, transit and the deficit.

Voters go to the polls on June 12.

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  1. franki posted on 06/03/2014 09:22 PM
    This StatsCanada chart shows labour market participation at a high of 67% in 2005 and an expected low of 62% for 2015. The Hudak plan is spot on as it appears that 3% of employees may retire in the next two years, far more than the 1.5% he wants to lose through attrition.

    If anything, over the next several years, many more than 100,000 gov. employees will retire. Labour market participation was below 60% about 45 years ago, and is headed back in that direction.
  2. JamesF_4222 posted on 06/04/2014 12:16 AM
    Is it me or is there really no sign of hope or any true leadership in this election. I really have not seen this in many of the elections of the past decade. No rallying cries, no passion, nothing that is revolutionary or evolutionary about any of these politicians and their platforms. Its all about message points, slogans and snide character attacks. Almost everyone I know is pretty much tuned out as it is just the same cycle of politics with a different colour stripe sitting atop the Iron Throne.

    I tend to lean Conservative in most elections. Hudak seemed the most composed and disciplined of the three, tonight. Yet, I just can't cheer for him. He does not inspire me. He seems like a nice guy, but he also seems like a person that wants to win rather then be someone who wants to lead.

    I won't vote Liberal and am hard pressed to vote for them ever. The Liberal party is rotten to the core. You can put all the new blood and polish into it, but its still a bloated and morally poisoned party that needs to be leveled and rebuilt from the ground up

    Horwath and the NDP has lost a lot of what made it a great force for change and is now as mundane as their counterparts. Why the hell are they still the "New" Democratic Party. They have been around since the 70's. No passion, No fire, No thanks

    Maybe I am just another jaded Ontarian. I will still vote next week. I just want to air my grievances at the lackluster political powers that vying and sniping at each other to be on top. We are that has made me wonder if it truly is a game of thrones. Where did all the great people go that we revered as political leaders.
    1. Frankie posted on 06/04/2014 09:21 AM
      @JamesF_4222 Sadly I agree with you. This feels like a race to the bottom. Hudak is the best option of a bad lot which isn't saying much.

      How difficult would it have been for the Conservatives to avoid a hate-on with unions and just proclaim they're going to eliminate as much waste as possible, whether it be from managers, middle managers, programs that have proven to be a Liberal boondoggle, etc. Another thing they could promise would be to hire the right people to run things vs the Liberal way of hiring Liberal hacks that end up costing taxpayers billions.

      Had the Liberals not been so partisan they could have hired real professionals to run eHealth, Ornge, Mars, etc. and we wouldn't have these scandals.

      The war as always should be against waste.
  3. Mike posted on 06/04/2014 11:29 AM
    They all lost in my mind because they are all just more of the same old same old. The big winner last night...anyone who wasn't there! What a joke.
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