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Ford promises a thriving business sector in London, rural Ontario

More than 500 people filled a room that seats only 400 at the Best Western Plus Lamplighter to listen to the newly elected leader making his rounds on the campaign trail.

Ford also touched on long hospital wait times, inflated hydro bills and poor education rates

Ontario PC leader Doug Ford took part in a rally in London on Monday. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Ontario PC leader Doug Ford fuelled a loud crowd in London on Monday with a promise of a booming business sector coming to the city and the surrounding rural areas.

More than 500 people filled a room that seats 400 at the Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn to listen to the newly elected leader, who is making his rounds on the campaign trail.

Many supporters held signs and some even sported hats that read 'Make Ontario Great Again'.

The Toronto businessman said one of his priorities is to bring more jobs to southwestern Ontario.

"My message is connecting more in rural Ontario ... They're looking at jobs. They want jobs … We have to attract businesses," he said. "We have to be competitive against everywhere in the world and we will be."

A rally-goer in London Ont. wears a "Make Ontario Great Again" hat. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc, Joanne Vanderheyden, sat among the sea of people. She said Ford's start in municipal politics has instilled in her hope that some of his focus will remain on local communities.

"[Small communities] also have an opportunity to help the province," she said. "We don't need the world but we need a hand up once in a while so we can get where we need to go without tons of red tape."

Ford also touched on campaign points such as long hospital wait times, inflated hydro bills and provincial education standards.

More than 500 people filled a room that seats 400 at a hotel in London on Monday. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

He said the province needs to be more transparent about these issues, which is why he's also committed to open phone lines.

With the provincial budget set for Wednesday, Ford said, if elected, he won't cut any provincial jobs, including in the health care sector.

That's something the governing Liberals question. They claim thousands of jobs are at risk if he wins the June election.

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