Toronto

Horwath makes strategic voting pitch to Liberal supporters

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath visited Kathleen Wynne's Toronto riding on Friday to appeal to traditional Liberal voters on Friday, saying they should choose her party to avoid a Doug Ford government.

'It's becoming very apparent that the new premier is either going to be Mr. Ford or me,' Horwath said

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath visited Kathleen Wynne's riding on Friday morning in a final push to sway Liberal-leaning voters to throw their support behind her New Democrats. (Galit Rodan/Canadian Press)

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath visited Kathleen Wynne's Toronto riding on Friday to appeal to traditional Liberal voters on Friday, saying they should choose her party to avoid a Doug Ford government. 

The strategic voting pitch comes as polls suggest Ontario's next premier will either be Horwath or Ford.

"As we get closer and closer to Thursday, it's becoming very apparent that the new premier is either going to be Mr. Ford or me. And what I am saying to all voters is, if you're interested in having that positive, hopeful future, then please consider joining us," Horwath said during a campaign stop in Don Valley West.

Speaking to reporters in Dundas, Wynne forcefully criticized Horwath's response to recently announced U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, cautioning voters that the NDP leader is not ready to face the challenges of running Canada's biggest economy. 

"People better look very carefully at the ability of each of the leaders to tackle the challenges, the real challenges, that we're confronting in this province and make their assessment based on what they see," Wynne said, flanked by Ted McMeekin, a longtime Liberal incumbent likely to lose his seat next week. 

"There are very serious issues confronting us, and you know, if the best response from a leader is a slogan, or an uninformed response, then people need to know that," she added.

Despite Wynne's warnings about an NDP government, Horwath said she gets a sense from her team "on the ground" that people want change, and after Thursday's election the government will look different than it has in the past two decades.

"It doesn't matter if it's a Conservative held riding in the past or a Liberal held riding in the past. In both scenarios, our candidates and our campaign volunteers are saying, 'We need some help because there's something rolling here and we need to take advantage of it," Horwath continued. 

The NDP leader is making her strong push for Liberal ridings with less than a week left in the campaign.

She is scheduled to visit St. Catharines later today, where Liberal candidate Jim Bradley has held his seat since 1977.

Ford is in the north, where he will stop in Sault Ste. Marie. The city is currently held by the PCs, but polls suggest it could swing NDP on June 7. 

With files from The Canadian Press

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