Notes from the campaign trail: May 6, 2014
George Hoff, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, May 6, 2014 5:13PM EDT
The formalities of electoral rules sometimes seem a tad antiquated in the real-time world of Ontario politics and Twitter. Tomorrow afternoon the writ will be signed by the Lieutenant-Governor and the formal election clock will start ticking to election day on June 12. The Chief Electoral Officer will even be at Queen’s Park to provide “the media with information unique” to the election.
The big deadline for the parties will be midnight on May 22. That is when all nomination papers for all candidates in the 107 ridings must be filed. The Progressive Conservatives are ahead on this one. They already have candidates for each riding. That means the PC candidates across the province have teams in place and are out door knocking.
The Liberals tell me that “in 95 ridings we have candidates who have been nominated or who will be nominated in next few days.” The Liberal Party website lists 81 nominated so far. And the NDP say they have 68 candidates nominated and will have a 100 by the end of the week. The Green Party is lagging far behind. Right now it has 30 candidates nominated and says the goal is to have a Green Party candidate in all 107 ridings.
All three leaders started their day in the GTA again today. Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne focused on transportation issues and insisted there is no plan to privatize the TTC. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath got everybody’s attention on Monday when she said the Liberals will privatize the TTC. Today she changed the line a little. Now she says she “doesn’t trust the Liberals for a minute to not go down that road” implying that there is indeed a privatization scheme afoot. Horwath forced this election saying the NDP didn’t believe the Liberals could deliver on the budget and now she’s including the TTC. I expect Horwath will keep repeating “you can’t trust the Liberals.”
Progressive Conservative leader, Tim Hudak, went to another factory and said his “focus is on good middle class jobs.” He is his still vague about how the PCs will deliver on that big promise to create a million jobs in Ontario. In the afternoon he drove out to campaign in Port Hope. The PCs narrowly won the riding of Northumberland-Quinte West in 2011 and it will need to hold seats like that one if it has any chance at forming the next government.
The Liberals will send Kathleen Wynne out of the GTA for day one of the formal campaign. The Liberal campaign buses are already on the road and as far as the Liberals are concerned Wednesday is day six of a campaign that began last Friday evening.
Tim Hudak is getting up early for an interview on CP24 Breakfast Wednesday. The PC campaign bus will be unveiled – you can bet it will be blue - but no “big splash” is on the schedule.
The NDP will also unveil its decorated bus and I’d bet on orange.
The formality of the writ doesn’t seem to matter a whit to any of the parties. It’s all about trying to make points with the voters.