Trudeau and Scheer attack Ford and Wynne in battle for Ontario

Liberal leader targets three big conservative rivals in second full week of campaign

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau greets supporters while campaigning Sunday, September 22, 2019 in Brampton, Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Ontario leaders — old and current — were pinned in the crossfire of Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer’s battle Monday for the vote-rich province that’s the gateway to federal victory.

Their fight focused in large part on whether a Liberal or a Conservative government would be best suited to work with the provinces to protect Canada’s public health-care system. Over in Atlantic Canada, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May also jockeyed over their party’s health-care policies.

Scheer and Trudeau, were trying to plunder a bountiful crop of votes in the densely populated communities around Toronto and the rest of the Golden Horseshoe around the west end of Lake Ontario.

Trudeau fired the first shot, telling Ontario voters not to “double down” on Conservatives after they elected Doug Ford premier in 2018. Trudeau used a new promise of a national pharmacare program to portray Scheer as a faithful Ford follower who won’t defend people’s interests in fighting for better access to doctors, drugs or mental-health counsellors.

Scheer, meanwhile, evoked the vanquished Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, and her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, linking Wynne’s political demise to a federal leader he branded corrupt and incapable of telling the truth. Scheer promised to make it cheaper for Canadians to buy homes, pledging to resurrect 30-year mortgages and ease the so-called stress test on mortgages, while accusing Trudeau of digging Canadians deeper into debt.

“The question becomes for Canadians: Who do you want negotiating with Doug Ford when it comes to your health?” Trudeau said.

In the suburban Toronto community of Vaughan, Ont., Scheer deflected questions about his affiliation with Ford by lampooning Trudeau’s focus on other Conservative leaders.

“The real question is: What’s the difference between Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau? The very same people who are the architects of the failed Kathleen Wynne-Dalton McGuinty government that raised taxes, ran massive deficits, mired in scandal and corruption, are now working for Justin Trudeau, and they’re following the same playbook,” said Scheer.

READ MORE: Liberals pitch middle-class savings as second full week of campaign beckons

“So voters in Ontario know that they can limit the damage from Justin Trudeau to one term.”

In Halifax, Singh criticized both his frontrunning opponents, saying only a New Democrat government could help deliver the health care Canadians need.

“Justin Trudeau attacked Harper so viciously but he actually implemented his cuts to health care. And Mr. Scheer is going to keep it going,” Singh said, sparking applause at a town-hall meeting.

The upbeat response allowed Singh to pivot from his uncomfortable debut in neighbouring New Brunswick earlier in the day where he was forced to address criticism that he has forgotten that province by never visiting, amid a summer controversy that saw some NDP candidates switch to the Greens.

“I’m really sorry,” Singh said in Bathurst, N.B. “I’m sorry I didn’t get here earlier. I’m happy to be here. I’m honoured to be here and it’s a beautiful place.”

In Fredericton, May outlined her party’s plan to break down barriers to mental health care, including reducing wait times and putting more money into services in rural and remote areas. “Universal health care is under attack,” she declared.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

No ferry between Quadra and Campbell River June 2

Powell River Queen suffering mechanical problems; water taxi will transport passengers

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

SD72 drops some bus routes, adds others

Changes due to physical distancing requirements

North Island College students printing safety gear

Industrial automation students use program smarts to help others

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Considerations made to keep Island community’s drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

RCMP, coroner investigate ‘unexpected deaths’ on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Summer tubing ban on Cowichan River lifted

The Tube Shack opening on June 27

Most Read