Kathleen Wynne, Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath invited to face off in televised debate on May 27
Only parties with seats in Legislature invited, prompting a protest from the Green Party's Mike Schreiner
The leaders of Ontario's three major parties are expected to face off in the a televised election debate on May 27 — just 11 days before Ontarians go to the polls on June 7.
Premier Kathleen Wynne, the NDP's Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford have all been invited to the event at 6:30 p.m. at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in downtown Toronto.
The debate - organized by a group of media broadcasters — is open to "all party leaders running candidates in all Ontario ridings that currently have an elected MPP sitting in the provincial legislature," according to the group's press release.
"The formula for leaders debates should not be one that reinforces status-quo politics. To keep me out of the debate is to censor the solutions that our party deserves to share with Ontarians, and that Ontarians have a right to hear," the Green Party's Mike Schreiner, who does not fit the criteria, said in a news release Thursday.
The Green Party leader was joined by Wynne and Horwath at a leaders debate organized by the black community on Wednesday, an event at which Ford was absent.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/MikeSchreiner?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikeSchreiner</a> up: I sincerely wish all 4 party leaders here tonite. This convo too important for anyone to skip. Crowd claps <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DougFord?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DougFord</a> <a href="https://t.co/ttlyuhBxC5">pic.twitter.com/ttlyuhBxC5</a>—@LisaYaxiXing
Ford said he had committed to a tour of northern Ontario before he received the invitation to the event.
After he turned down the invite, the premier officially challenged the PC leader, her biggest rival, to at least three televised debates on Wednesday.
Ford tweeted out his acceptance the same day. May 27 is the first date the two leaders have been agreed to share the debate floor in the 2018 election campaign so far.
- A previous version of this story said only leaders of parties with seats in the legislature were invited. In fact, the debate is open to party leaders running candidates in all Ontario ridings that currently have an elected MPP sitting in the provincial legislature.May 08, 2018 9:40 AM ET