Andrea Horwath won't rule out possibility of coalition

With the Ontario election campaign down to its final week, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath isn't ruling out the possibility of forming a coalition government.

NDP leader had said she has 'no interest' in forming union with Liberals

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she would wait to see the results of the June 7 election before deciding on a coalition. (Mark Blinch/REUTERS)

With the Ontario election campaign down to its final week, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath isn't ruling out the possibility of forming a coalition government.

Earlier in the campaign Horwath said she had "no interest" in partnering with the Liberals.

But speaking with CBC's Ottawa Morning Friday, Horwath was far more equivocal. 

"I'm going to wait until Thursday of next week to determine what the people of this province have decided, and I'll go from there," she said when asked about the possibility of forming a coalition.

CBC's Poll Tracker shows the NDP ahead in the popular vote, but the party may have trouble translating that support into a majority of seats in the legislature.

Horwath said she would work with anyone if they supported some of the NDP's key platform points, such as returning Hydro One to public hands and creating universal pharmacare.

"If we get there on June 8, and that's a decision that has to be made, the question would be, would Kathleen Wynne be willing to work with me?"

U.S. steel tariffs

Horwath also said she supports Wynne's call for the three main parties to show a united front against new tariffs the United States slapped on Canadian steel and aluminum Thursday.

"We can't be divided," she said, "not only in terms of the political parties in the process of this campaign but overall as a nation."

Horwath's own riding of Hamilton Centre is in the heart of Ontario's steel industry.

"I'm quite concerned about people in my own community, but I know there are many workers across our province and others across the country that are going to be very negatively impacted."

The NDP leader gave credit to Wynne for working with the federal government and building relationships with governors south of the border — something she said she would continue if elected premier.

But Horwath bristled at Wynne's suggestion that the NDP is too ideologically intractable to talk trade and tariffs with the U.S.

"Ms. Wynne is in a difficult position in terms of where she's at in this campaign, and she's throwing everything up against the wall that she can. But that's nonsense. It's absolute nonsense."

Horwath said she would be more than willing to build relationships with the U.S. to improve trade and create jobs in Ontario.

"I certainly know what the responsibility is of a premier, and I would undertake that responsibility with every opportunity to build relationships and create opportunity and jobs."