si-220-onley-cp-04015969

Lt.-Gov. David Onley will sign writs today that officially kick off the June 12 provincial election. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Although leaders of Ontario's political parties began campaigning last week, the provincial election is officially underway now that Lt. Gov. David Onley has signed the election writs.

Ontario Votes 2014: Full coverage

Onley took to Twitter on Tuesday to explain the actual process under the province's Elections Act for starting the campaign.

The Lieutenant Governor is required to sign two "writs of election" for each of Ontario's 107 electoral districts, or ridings, 214 in all.

Onley met Wednesday with Ontario's chief electoral officer, Greg Essena, to formally sign the writs, one copy of which goes to the returning officer and the second is retained for records.

Ontario's provincial election

Ontarians will vote in a provincial election on June 12.

Here are some facts:

  •  Ridings at stake: 107.
  •  Standings at dissolution: Liberals 48, Progressive Conservatives 37, New Democrats 21. One vacant seat.
  •  Eligible voters: About 8.5 million.

Both copies are archived after the election.

Onley has been known to politely remind journalists that elections writs are not "dropped," but are drawn up.

Elections in Ontario begin on a Wednesday and are held on a Thursday, after a minimum of 29 days, but June 5 is a traditional Jewish holiday so an extra week was added to this campaign, making it five weeks until June 12.

Today Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is in Kitchener, where she will tour a digital studio. Later in the day she will be in Brampton where she will tour a robotics firm before heading to Ottawa to open her campaign office.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak will visit businesses in Burlington and Mississauga. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will meet with the media at Queen's Park in Toronto, before visiting a bakery in west Toronto. Later in the day, she will make campaign stops in Kitchener and Niagara Falls.

With files from The Canadian Press