Local Liberal candidates “surprised” Kathleen Wynne says party won't win

Liberal candidates in Ottawa say they were "surprised by Kathleen Wynne's announcement and say they will continue to campaign as normal despite predicting a loss in the Ontario election.

"People in my community do not want Doug Ford to be the premier," says incumbant Yasir Naqvi in Ottawa-Centre.

Wynne admitted Saturday that her party won't form government after Thursday's election, but pleaded with voters to at least elect some Liberals. She warned about what an NDP or Progressive Conservative majority government would bring, and pitched votes for the Liberals as a way to keep either of those parties in check.

Candidates say they were “surprised” to hear the news. Naqvi only found out moments before through a conference call.

“It’s very difficult, but again proved to me what a strong leader she is. It takes lot of guts to make an announcement like that,” Naqvi says.

Some candidates hope the move will help save seats Liberals are at risk of losing.

Marie-France Lalonde called Wynne’s decision “honourable.” She says, “We were surprised. We didn’t know. But at the same time I found it was gracious.”

But she says the decision can impact the outcome of Tuesday’s election in her riding of Orléans. “I am that person; I am that seat that could prevent Doug Ford from a majority government.”

In Kanata-Carleton it is a tight race. Liberal candidate Stephanie Maghnam hopes this can be a game-changer and change how voters decide who to vote for. She says, “I think this has opened a lot of doors for the folks that are perhaps are undecided after the premier removing that barrier.”

Voters go to the polls on June 7th.