As the writ is officially issued for the 2014 Ontario election, Andrea Horwath began her campaign with some advice for Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne.
"After 10 years of scandal after scandal Kathleen Wynne's liberals deserve a timeout, take some time and learn from your mistakes and realize that the most important thing you can do as a premier is to deliver results for people," Horwath said standing on the lawn at Queen's Park.
Facing criticism for bringing down a budget that contained a lot of NDP-friendly spending measures, Horwath says the Liberals have been good at making promises, then not following through.
"I simply do not have the confidence or the trust that the Liberals were going to be able to deliver on the 70-odd promises they threw into that budget," she said. "It is not believable. It doesn't make any sense"
Horwath said the most important issues in this campaign for families are jobs and affordability. She says Ontarians deserve a government that works for them and makes it easier for people scrambling every month to pay the bills.
Horwath called for a rethink of how Ontario's electricity system is organized, pledging a review of contracts with private-sector hydro companies and other measures she says would let her party hand out a $100 rebate to ratepayers.
She also reiterated she's not committed to selling off Ontario assets like the LCBO, saying "it's like burning the furniture to heat the house."
The NDP leader kicked off her campaign with a stop in Toronto's west end at the San Remo Bakery. Owner Rob Bozzo said he doesn't mind the NDP proposal to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2016 while simultaneously cutting the small business tax.
"I agree with her. I do like what she's saying. I think its important to have open communication between the leaders in Ontario and small businesses to help," said Bozzo.
Horwath stopped in two key battlegrounds Wednesday afternoon — where the New Democrats hope to capitalize on the success of recent by-elections.
Horwath swung into the Kitchener area on Wednesday, joining Margaret Johnson, the NDP candidate in the riding of Kitchener Centre. The riding was most recently held by John Milloy, a Liberal member and cabinet minister who is retiring after three terms in the legislature. They were joined by incumbent Catherine Fife from the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo, who won there in a 2012 by-election after it was vacated by longtime PC MPP Elizabeth Witmer.
"What we did in the last campaign, we provided people with an option between a cynical government they were walking away from and a Conservative party they were not feeling the love for, basically," Horwath said.
Horwath's day wrapped up in Niagara Falls, where Wayne Gates won the riding in February, turning the seat orange for the first time in 19 years.
Horwath's campaign team is heading to Niagara Falls on Thursday for a tour of the Spencer ARL Plant along with Gates. She will also pose for photos at the restaurant Flying Saucer on Lundy's Lane.