Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath face off today in a debate on northern Ontario issues, while Tory Leader Tim Hudak tours the Peterborough and Greater Toronto Area.
- Follow the northern leaders debate live here
- Ontario Votes 2014: Complete Coverage
- Ontario Votes live blog: The latest on the campaign
Wynne says it's "inexplicable" that Hudak wouldn't show up and it would never have occurred to her to miss the debate in Thunder Bay.
Northern leaders debate
CBCnews.ca will livestream and liveblog the debate at 12:15 p.m. ET today.
Her predecessor Dalton McGuinty was absent during the 2011 election, but she says she wasn't the premier then.
Hudak says he couldn't make it because of a scheduling conflict, but adds neither of the two other party leaders have spent more time travelling northern Ontario than he has.
Where the leaders are today
Kathleen Wynne, Liberals
- Thunder Bay - Northern leaders debate. 12 p.m. Valhalla Inn. 1 Valhalla Inn Rd.
- Thunder Bay - Media availability. 1:35 P.M. Valhalla Inn.
Tim Hudak, Progressive Conservatives
- Peterborough - Town Hall. 8 a.m. Holiday Inn. 150 George Street N.
- Thornhill - Media availability 12:30 p.m. Raywal Cabinets, 68 Green Lane.
- Milton - Photo op, 2:45 p.m. Milton Hawthorne North, Derry Rd. and Trudeau Dr.
Andrea Horwath, New Democrats
- Thunder Bay - Media availability. 9.30 a.m. Oliver Road Community Centre
- Thunder Bay - Northern Leader's Debate. 12 p.m. Valhalla Inn
- Sudbury - Campaign event. 6:15 p.m. Sudbury NDP Campaign Office. 1535 Paris St.
The Liberals issued a news release Sunday night with a list of flights to Thunder Bay with available seats that Hudak could use to still get to today's debate.
All three parties have made different promises to woo northern Ontario voters, including developing the massive Ring of Fire chromite deposit. Both Hudak and Horwath have promised to help develop the mining project, but neither has said how much money they'd spend.
Liberals, NDP make big promises for northern Ontario
Wynne is promising to spend $1 billion over 10 years to help build a much-needed transportation route to the remote area, even if the federal Conservatives don't help out.
- Kathleen Wynne highlights Ring of Fire in platform launch
- Ring of Fire hot topic in Ontario election
- Tim Hudak confirmed out of northern leaders debate
It's not clear where or when it would be built if the Liberals are re-elected on June 12.
The Liberals say those decisions will be up to a development corporation that they will create within 60 days of taking office and will include both levels of government, First Nations and private companies.
Wynne said the Liberals would also expand major highways to four lanes, including Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury, the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.
The New Democrats have promised to spend $250 million to widen 60 kilometres of highways across Ontario each year, at least half of which will be in the north.
They say they'll spend another $20 million a year to restore passenger service on Ontario Northland Rail and $40 million on 200 more snowplows and trucks to improve winter road safety.
The NDP has also promised to begin investing in infrastructure for the Ring of Fire "without delay" if elected, but didn't
allocate any money for it in its platform.
- Vote Compass: How do your views compare to the party platforms?
- Vote Compass users weigh in on economic options
- Ontario's election ads: Profiling the leaders' messages
Hudak, who served as northern development and mines minister under the former Conservative government, said he would merge the Ministry of Natural Resources with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to create one powerful northern minister.
The Tory platform also promises to repeal the Far North Act, saying it would open up the north to more investment opportunities and jobs. The party's reach only extends up to the North Bay riding of Nipissing. The Liberals hold four northern seats, while the NDP have five.