TORONTO — Ontario’s Liberal premier is making last-ditch efforts to warn voters away from electing a majority NDP or Progressive Conservative government, after admitting over the weekend that her party can’t win Thursday’s election.
At a morning event in Toronto, Kathleen Wynne stressed voters are and should be concerned with the possibility of either of her opponents seizing a majority, and declined to say whether one option would more alarming than the other.
“I am saying that there are risks associated with both and I just am asking that people look at those risks,” she said.
Wynne said an NDP majority government would lead to indefinite strikes because of a rigid ideological opposition to back-to-work legislation. The premier also said she thinks Tory Leader Doug Ford has turned out to be “even more disturbing to people” than expected and she has talked to Conservatives who don’t want to vote for him.
The Liberal leader’s bombshell weekend announcement predicting her party’s loss came as a surprise to at least some of her candidates, who said the decision was laid out in a conference call shortly before it was made public. Some said they learned of it through social media.
On Saturday, Wynne acknowledged that some of her slate may be angry and others may be sad. But she said Monday the feedback has been largely positive.
“What I’m hearing from candidates is that it is allowing them to make the argument at the door that there will the change that people are looking, there’s change that people want, that I will not be the premier, that the Liberals will not be forming a government,” she said.
“And that allows people to reconsider and think about voting for us in order to prevent what a lot of people are worried about which is a Doug Ford majority or an NDP majority.”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath began the day campaigning in London, Ont., where she said it was probably tough for Wynne to make her admission on the weekend, but called her plea to have Liberals keep the government in check “tone deaf.”
In a later event in Sarnia, Ont., Horwath repeated her opposition to back-to-work legislation that Wynne has hammered her for but said she remains confident an NDP government could tackle labour disputes such as the ongoing months-long strike at York University.
“I will also make sure that we are able to bring good work back to our university and college system and that is one of the problems we now have. The colleges and universities are being squeezed, the workers there are part time, working contract to contract,” Horwath said.
“It’s been weeks and weeks and weeks that (the York) strike has been ongoing and I’m confident that I can fix it. I can actually resolve the problems that are outstanding and make sure that in the future we don’t have these kinds of labour disruptions.”
Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press