Toronto·The Campaigner

Kathleen Wynne says 'I can do better'

A local Liberal candidate would prefer that Wynne not visit and Andrea Horwath returns to her Hamilton roots by picking up an arc welder. This is your Campaigner.

Why Windsor West is a riding to watch — home to Liberal candidate who doesn't want Wynne visiting

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne starts her new ad but saying she "can do better." Wynne notably did not appear in the last set of Liberal ads. (OntarioLiberalTV/YouTube)

We're just about hitting the halfway point of the election campaign.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is focusing on young people today, visiting Seneca College and holding a youth town hall in Toronto's west end. Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is travelling to the North for the first time during the election campaign, with stops in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. PC Leader Doug Ford is in southwestern Ontario, holding a rally in Chatham tonight. 

Here's where we are on day 15.

Latest from the campaign ​​

The moment

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne may have a new ad saying she "can do better," but it seems some of her candidates don't agree.

The Windsor Star reports this morning that the local Liberal candidate has turned down the leader's offer to campaign in the area. The reason?

"The focus is my brand," according to Rino Bortolin.

The brand that seems to not be the focus is the Liberal brand. Not only is another area candidate, Remy Boulbol, non-committal about a Wynne visit before election day. But it appears some candidates aren't even using the word "Liberal" on their signs, including Markham-Unionville candidate Amanda Yeung Collucci, the Star reports.

The news of Liberal candidates distancing themselves from the party comes as polls suggest the election may now be a two-horse race, with the NDP and Progressive Conservatives neck and neck.

Riding to watch

Windsor West, population 122,990, profile by Jason Viau

Will a PC "blue wave" sweep over an orange Windsor West and unseat NDP incumbent Lisa Gretzky? Or can city councillor Rino Bortolin win while attached to the Liberals — even though he doesn't want Wynne visiting, as mentioned above.

Gretzky narrowly beat out Liberal Teresa Piruzza four years ago, with 1,022 votes separating the two. The PCs are running businessman Adam Ibrahim.

Windsor West candidates for the 2018 provincial election. NDP Lisa Gretzky, left, Liberal Rino Bortolin, centre, and PC Adam Ibrahim, right. (CBC)

But it's been Bortolin making the most headlines. He was recently reprimanded by the city's integrity commissioner for "disparaging" remarks he made in the media when talking about council's decision to refurbish an old trolley.

"When I have to continually go back to residents and say there is no money for a $3,000 alley light where that person got beat up and raped last week, it's hard," Bortolin was quoted saying.

However, he plans to use this to his advantage. "One of the reasons why I was sanctioned is because I spoke up for my residents," said Bortolin. "I'll do the same thing at Queen's Park."

Noted

"You're too humble." 

That's what former Toronto city councillor and current Liberal candidate Shelley Carroll had to say about Wynne during a campaign stop Wednesday morning in Toronto. 

When Wynne was asked to defend her track record on transit, she hemmed and hawed before Carroll grabbed the mic and told a spirited tale of Wynne's time as minister of transportation during Rob Ford's mayoral tenure.

"Thank you," Wynne could be seen mouthing as Carroll finished.

Dispatch from the road

On the NDP campaign in Etobicoke, by Mike Crawley

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath got in touch with her Steeltown roots on the campaign trail Tuesday. Horwath, who was born and raised in Hamilton and still represents the city at Queen's Park, toured the Ironworkers Local 721 training centre on Kipling Road in Etobicoke. She got a demonstration of welding then donned a hard hat and shield to do a little herself. 

Andrea Horwath took a turn at welding yesterday. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Horwath thanked her union hosts for "giving me a chance to try my hand at the welding, which was a lot of fun." Then she told reporters that it got her thinking about her late father, who sometimes did welding in the family's basement. 

"I'm sure if my dad was around these days, he'd be pretty proud of me," she said. 

Horwath's father Andrew worked for Ford on the assembly line in Oakville. (That's the Ford motor company, not Doug Ford.)

Where the leaders are

A look at all the places the party leaders have gone so far in the campaign. Red represents Kathleen Wynne, blue is Doug Ford, orange is Andrea Horwath and green is Mike Schreiner. (CBC)
  • Ford: Announcement in Woodslee (11 a.m.), meet and greet in Kingsville (12:30 p.m.), rally in Chatham (6 p.m.) 
  • Horwath: Tour of Seneca College in North York (9 a.m.), town hall with young people in Toronto (6 p.m.)
  • Schreiner: Candidates debate in Guelph (10:30 a.m.), transit announcement at Guelph Central Station (11:45 a.m.)
  • Wynne: Announcement at Metro Toronto Convention Centre (8:30 a.m.), announcement in Sudbury (1:15 p.m.), rally in Thunder Bay (6 p.m.)

Track all the places the leaders have gone so far.

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With files from Andrea Janus, Mike Crawley, Jason Viau, Victoria Valido and Haydn Watters

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