Ontario election agenda: What you need to know for June 3

Grant Boone
June 4, 2018

Ontario Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne speaks during a campaign stop in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Ontario Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne announced Saturday that she is conceding the premiership of the province after the latest poll numbers show the Liberals trailing badly behind Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives and Andrea Horwath's NDP. "And her request today for a minority government is a demand that she be allowed to continue to hold the power at Queen's Park - something voters have already rejected", Horwath noted in a statement.

"I don't know who voters will choose but I am pretty sure that it won't be me".

"[Kathleen Wynne's] made a decision to turn her attention to trying to keep power for herself in some way at Queen's Park", she said. "And I'm okay with that", she said.

Wynne concluded her statements saying she was going to work as hard as she can to elect as many Liberals as possible, including herself as she campaigns for reelection in her Toronto riding of Don Valley East.

Wynne's speech urged voters to support their local Liberal candidates to keep the NDP or Progressive Conservatives from having a "blank cheque" with which to run Ontario.

Nor would she comment on the possibility of strategic voting, a perennial issue in elections where voters appear to be clamouring for change.

Horwath accused Wynne of playing a "dangerous game".

Windsor West candidate Rino Bortolin did not expect this kind of announcement from the premier, but he calls it an example of her Ontario-first style of leadership.

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"We will fight for our values, for a practical approach and for a government that will be kept from extremes and forced toward a better balance for the people of this province. Let's not go from bad to worse".

"We need to do everything to make sure we get at least eight seats in the legislature.so we can be in a position again to be a moderating influence on the other two parties", he said.

Ford, meanwhile, had little to say about Wynne's announcement, noting only that the election is about change and people are fed up with the Liberals. Pauls, two Ottawa seats and some in eastern Ontario.

More than four years in the political wilderness will devastate the Ontario Liberal Party, they'll lose invaluable left leaning liberals and donors to the NDP, joining their Manitoba and Saskatchewan cousins on the endangered species list.

"Our system encourages and also thrives under minority governments at times, and this is one of those times", said Bortolin. "We will fix this".

"I know that there are people who are trying to decide how to vote on June 7 and they are anxious about a majority (Progressive Conservative) Doug Ford government", Wynne said.

"So I think electorally, it's strategic, but as a leader of a party, I actually think it's really selfless".

Cochrane explains that the Liberals and New Democrats have offered "virtually identical" policies in recent years, which means many traditional Liberal supporters are "primed to vote NDP".

The Ontario Liberal Party also released a campaign ad echoing Wynne's warning about a majority government.

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