We’re in the home stretch of the Ontario election and as result predictions continue to come in, it looks like we’ll be seeing a new political party leading the province after votes are counted on June 7.
With only a few days left in the race, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has now publicly admitted that she will lose the election. She has also urged Ontarians to vote for their local Liberal MPPs, in an effort to prevent a Progressive Conservative or NDP majority government.
“If your concern is that you’d be electing me or electing a Liberal government, that’s not going to happen,” Wynne said in a public statement on Saturday.
In an interview with Yahoo Canada News, we asked the self-proclaimed outgoing premier the most common reader questions gathered by our team. The leader kicked off by highlighting her concern for Ontario’s future.
“I think the election of Donald Trump has given permission for language and incivility that we haven’t seen for a long time, I think Doug Ford is part of that…step backwards,” Wynne said to Yahoo Canada News. “I don’t think that’s who we are as Ontarians.”
As Wynne’s projected election numbers dipped, the “sorry not sorry” campaign crept up, indicating the premier is sorry people don’t like her but she’s not sorry for her “successes” including rent control, record lows for the provincial unemployment, and increasing minimum wage in an effort to help Ontarians support themselves and their families.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) May 29, 2018
“We’ve been working really hard to build the province and in order to do that, we’ve made investments in roads and bridges and transit and hospitals and schools…” Wynne said. “The investments that we’ve been making and the support that we’ve given business and the work that we’re doing has actually been successful and we’ve seen the economy grow.”
One of the most significant criticisms of the Liberal government, a topic that Wynne’s opponents have capitalized on during the election campaign, is the increase in electricity prices across Ontario.
“Electricity prices were going up in this province because our government..had to make investments in the electricity system to rebuild lines and wires across the province, billions of dollars because we had a degraded system,” Wynne said.
As these prices grew, the Wynne government shut down the coal-fired plants in Ontario, which added an associated cost. These increases also coincided with the government’s decision to sell off 60 per cent of Hydro One.
In 2017, the provincial government introduced the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan, which reduced electricity bills for residential consumers by 25 per cent, increasing to somewhere between 40-50 per cent for consumers in rural or remote areas of the province.
Aside from hydro, Wynne’s government promised to invest in expanding the OHIP+ program to cover seniors, provide a free all-day daycare program for preschoolers in 2020 and increase Ontario minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2019.
Liberal supporters all over the province are fired up and ready for the final debate. Tune in now to hear Premier @Kathleen_Wynne talk about the Liberal plan for #CareOverCuts #onelxn #ONdebate pic.twitter.com/C5J3B6Ex3r
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) May 27, 2018
If you’ve watched any leadership debates during the election campaign, you may have caught on to a few questionable comments PC leader Ford made to the current premier, including the “nice smile” remarks back in May and using the word “ladies” in the final leadership debate.
— Ontario Liberal Party (@OntLiberal) May 7, 2018
— Ontario Liberal Party (@OntLiberal) May 27, 2018
Wynne, Ontario’s first female premier, has expressed concerns about the language Ford uses and the comments he has made throughout the campaign.
“It really worries me that people feel that they can say anything without fear of any kind of repercussion,” Wynne said. “People have real concerns in their lives…it’s those people that I’m fighting for and I want to do that in a way that is going to help them in their lives, not pit them against somebody else in the province and foster anger.”