Andrea Horwath sidesteps coalition questions
NDP leader says she can't support Liberal 'corruption' or PC plan to cut 100,000 jobs
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath would not say Monday whether or not she would throw her party's support behind the Liberals or the Progressive Conservatives if either of those parties win a minority in Thursday's vote.
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Insisting she is "running to be premier," Horwath said she could not support "Liberal corruption" or the PCs' plan to cut 100,000 public-sector jobs.
"This election is about choosing the change you want," Horwath said. "I think that you should concentrate and focus on what you want to see in this province and not vote out of fear."
Polls suggest the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are neck-and-neck ahead of Thursday's vote, with a minority win by either party a distinct possibility.
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne has slammed Horwath for refusing to rule out supporting the Progressive Conservatives in a minority government situation. Wynne has also said a vote for Horwath is a vote for PC Leader Tim Hudak. A Liberal ad released Sunday implores left-leaning voters to vote Liberal, not NDP, saying "a split vote will only help Hudak's chances."
In an opinion piece published Sunday and signed by Wynne, the Liberal leader attacks Horwath for abandoning her party's roots.
"In an effort to win just a few more seats in the legislature, Andrea Horwath has abandoned the people the NDP once professed to defend. In doing so, she’s created the very real possibility of a Tim Hudak-led government," Wynne says.
"That’s how much the NDP has lost its way. It’s not the party of Jack Layton or Ed Broadbent."
Broadbent himself, a former federal NDP leader, rejected Wynne's criticism outright.
"Kathleen Wynne has gone beyond the pale. Let no one doubt: I fully support Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP," he said in a statement Monday.
Liberals using scare tactics, Horwath retorts
Horwath said Monday that Wynne is trying to scare voters away from voting for the party whose platform they support.
"I think that people know very well that Ms. Wynne is trying to scare their vote," Horwath said. "But people don't have to choose to support corruption. People don't have to choose to fire 100,000 people."
Horwath made her comments in downtown Toronto as she stood beside a statue of former federal NDP leader Jack Layton, who died in 2011 just months after leading his party to official opposition status in Ottawa.
"I think that you should concentrate and focus on what you want to see in this province and not vote out of fear," Horwath said. "I don't think you should listen to anybody who tells you how to vote or anybody who tells you how to think."
Horwath said Wynne likes to talk about great NDP leaders "but she cannot even stand in their shadows" and added that she is fighting the same battle Layton waged against "Liberal entitlement."
Hudak, too, was asked Monday about how the Progressive Conservatives would handle possibly more minority rule in the legislature.
"I think it's a fair question," he replied, "and I've said I'm going to deal with whatever hand is dealt to me by voters of the province of Ontario."