Advanced polling wraps ups as leaders enter home stretch of election campaign
The Ontario election is now less than a week away as voters will head to the polls on June 2.
Saturday marked the final day of advanced polling across the province, the last chance for eager voters to cast their ballot early.
"I'm here to vote today because it's more convenient to vote in advance," said Ottawa resident Amanda Robinson.
Many of those voting early at the Rideau Curling Club in Centretown Saturday did so with specific issues in mind.
"Education and healthcare," said voter Sarah Langstaff.
"I think we need an education minister who actually understands our education system, and healthcare because of the issues we've seen during the pandemic."
Khor Rad lives across the street from the polling stating and voted early out of convenience.
"The number one issue is making sure there's a government change, we're not happy with the current administration, and beyond that access to French language resources and legal aid funding," she said were the issues top of mind for her this campaign.
Saturday marked the last of 10 days of advanced polling.
On the campaign trail, leaders are on the home stretch.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca focused on the fight against rising gun crime Saturday by promising to crack down on firearms.
"An Ontario liberal government will move forward quickly to partner with the federal government to ban handguns in the province of Ontario," said Del Duca.
He said a liberal government would push forward even without a national ban in effect.
PC Party leader Doug Ford rallied supporters in Kitchener Friday night.
"It's time to paint Kitchener-Waterloo blue in '22 so on June the 2nd everybody let's do it, let's get it done and God bless the people of Ontario," said Ford.
Ford pledged to cut the gas tax and build half a million new homes. He did not make any official campaign stops Saturday.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath re-upped her pledge to hire 30,000 more nurses and 10,000 new personal support workers.
"Imagine going to the hospital, to the Sault area hospital with your little one in an emergency situation, knowing that your child will get the attention they need right away," said Horwath.
She planned to campaign in the north Saturday but the tour was grounded after her plane suffered mechanical issues.
Green Party leader Mike Schreiner campaigned Saturday in Parry Sound–Muskoka. Schreiner dubbed it "Super Saturday" as he's confident the Greens can win in the riding - which is traditionally PC.
So while leaders continue their bid for premier, many voters have already made their choice.
"I generally feel like I don't hear enough from the leaders, but I think my cup is mostly full," said voter Marc Zahradnik.
This time last year, downtown streets were full of people zipping by on scooters. The city has approved a third season of its e-scooter program, but we have yet to see any.
The city's director of rail operations pushed back against claims political pressure led to the LRT being launched before it was ready during the third week of testimony at the public inquiry into the problem-plagued system.
Ottawa Senators fans will be watching closely Monday as the 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are announced.