The Campaigner

Wynne: 'It's a tough election, there's no doubt about that'

It's day two of the May long weekend and all of the Ontario party leaders are making moves around the province. Kathleen Wynne gets questioned on spending a lot of time in Mississauga, an area that leaned strongly Liberal in 2014.

Why Newmarket-Aurora could go from red to blue in June

Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne congratulates runners of the Inspirational Steps Run in Mississauga, Ont., Sunday, May 20, 2018. (Marta Iwanek/Canadian Press)

It's day two of the May long weekend and all of the Ontario party leaders are making moves around the province. 

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is in Ottawa before she heads south to Kingston. 

PC Leader Doug Ford is back in the Toronto area, but he's not making any announcements today. 

After a day off, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is back in Mississauga today, her fourth trip to the area during the campaign. Reporters questioned Wynne on whether she's worried that some key Liberal strongholds will be lost on June 7. 

Here's where we are on day 12:

Latest from the campaign ​​

The moment

Kathleen Wynne is questioned by a reporter for spending a lot of time in Mississauga ridings that have been traditionally liberal strongholds. 1:04

Kathleen Wynne knows this election is anything but "in the bag."

That was part of her response to a reporter who questioned if she is playing "defence" by focusing her energy in places like Mississauga, which leaned strongly Liberal in the last election. 

"If you're asking me if we are in a horse race in this election: absolutely. This is a tough election, there is no doubt about that," Wynne said.

Wynne participated in the Inspirational Steps 5K run in the GTA suburb this morning, an event she says draws participants from around the region.

She touched on child care, minimum wage and seniors care as important issues.

"There are really, really important issues at stake in this election and it should be a tough election and people should be questioning us," Wynne said.

In 2014, the Liberals won all of the Mississauga ridings with about 50 per cent of the vote. Full Ontario 2014 riding results breakdown here. 

Wynne denied she's spent too much in Mississauga, saying she'll be in the north later this week. 

Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne begins her 5K run in the Inspirational Steps Run in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday, May 20, 2018. (Marta Iwanek/Canadian Press)

Poll Tracker

Here's the latest data from the Ontario poll tracker as of May 20. The NDP gained where the PC party dropped. No change for the Liberals who remain in third.

Get the full breakdown here.

Riding to watch

Newmarket-Aurora, population: 117,418, written by Lucas Powers

Long held by former Tory MPP Frank Klees before his retirement, the Liberals pulled off an unexpected victory in Newmarket-Aurora in 2014.

Liberal MPP Chris Ballard was able to capitalize on resurgent Grit support in the area, which observers credited primarily to changing demographics. He went on to serve in Kathleen Wynne's cabinet.

Chris Ballard is the current Liberal MPP for Newmarket-Aurora.

Ballard will face a very strong PC candidate in Christine Elliott, however. The former MPP, deputy Tory leader and three-time leadership candidate has deep experience and significant name recognition. While she doesn't live in the riding, her candidacy came as a relief to many local PC supporters.

Elliott stepped into the role after the party overturned the nomination of Charity McGrath after the entire board of directors of the local riding association resigned in protest. McGrath's team faced accusations of using shady tactics to secure the nomination.

It's likely that either Ballard or Elliott would serve in a cabinet role should their party form government.

Melissa Williams is running for the NDP in the riding. There are also six other candidates on the ballot, representing a host of lesser-known Ontario parties.

Christine Elliot is running for the PCs in Newmarket-Aurora. (CBC)

Where the leaders are

Ford: Asian Heritage Month celebration in North York (1 p.m.), Meet & Greet with Roman Baber at Cusina Lounge in North York (3 p.m.)
Horwath: Event at Abbotsford House in Ottawa (8:45 a.m.), event at Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning in Kingston (2 p.m.), visit to Steven at Peterborough Naval Association in Peterborough (7 p.m.)
Schreiner: Campaiging in Riverside Park in Guelph (11 a.m.), BBQ with Guelph supporters (8 p.m.)
Wynne: Participates in 5K run in Mississauga (9 a.m.), Visit to seniors residence in Mississauga (1 p.m.), Visit to Jollibee in Scarborough (5:15 p.m.) 

Subscribe to our The Campaigner newsletter

Like what you just read? You can now get The Campaigner delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up here to subscribe.

For more Ontario election coverage

Ontario Poll Tracker | Get the latest projections here
Vote Compass | See how your views compare with the parties' platforms
Complete election coverage | Links to all our stories
Help CBC track political ads on Facebook | Learn how here

About the Author

Victoria Valido

Victoria is a producer, writer and editor for CBC Toronto. She has written and produced countless local TV newscasts and chase produced for CBC Radio One's Metro Morning and Here and Now. She currently is a writer and social video editor for CBC Toronto's Facebook page.