Tories roll out blue wheels, kick off campaign
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, August 29, 2011 11:17PM EDT
TORONTO - The start of the provincial campaign is still a week away, but Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is getting a head start.
The Tory leader officially launched what he's calling his "campaign for change" Monday by unveiling his new campaign bus.
He rolled out his big blue wheels from a Toronto bus depot, where he was joined by several Tory candidates and their families.
His wife, Deb Hutton, and three-year-old daughter Miller were also on hand as Hudak announced he's hitting the road to convince Ontarians that he should be the next premier.
The election campaign officially begins next Wednesday, although both the Liberals and the New Democrats are expected to roll out their buses right after Labour Day.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has already challenged her rivals to agree to three televised leaders' debates instead of one. Under her proposal, each debate would focus on a separate issue: health care, jobs and the economy, and energy policy.
"These debates are able to give people a clear sense of what politicians and their parties stand for, cutting through the attack advertisements and negative tactics that often define election campaigns," she wrote Monday in a letter to her two rivals.
But neither the Tories nor the Liberals would say whether they support the idea.
"I think there's been some discussions already between the campaigns about the debate format -- time and place," said Hudak.
"I'll let those discussions proceed. And until that happens, I keep focused on what I'm doing ... just talking about the kind of change we want to bring."
A Liberal spokeswoman was also tight-lipped about whether Premier Dalton McGuinty would agree to more debates.
"There is an existing process in place where the networks determine these details working with the parties," Christine McMillan wrote in an email. "We'll continue to respect that process."