Beyond the podiums and photo ops: Who are the party leaders?

Two platform launches and a debate—week two of the Ontario election campaign was jam-packed with policy announcements and trips down memory lane.

The week started with a debate in northern Ontario, in which the four major party leaders sparred over highways, housing and taxes. While each participant took time to talk about what they would do if elected premier, a lot of energy was spent talking about how each government has failed when given the opportunity to be in power.

 

In episode two of Ballot Box, the team breaks down what you need to know from the policy-heavy week. Here's the breakdown:

  • Leaders Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath, Steven Del Duca and Mike Schreiner all took part in a debate in North Bay.
  • The Liberals released their election platform, which included putting an end to for-profit long-term care, introducing a new income tax and scrapping Highway 413.
  • The Green Party released their fully-costed election platform shortly later, committing to a plan to reach net zero by 2045 while also ending homelessness in Ontario and enacting sweeping electoral reform.

A number of candidates also faced criticism, and in some cases dismissal, after controversial incidents were dug up.

Stephen Lecce, the PC candidate for King-Vaughan, apologized this week for a 2006 fraternity incident in which donors could hire members as "slaves" as part of a charity fundraiser. Party leader Doug Ford reaffirmed that Lecce would remain on the ballot, saying he believes the candidate is truly "sorry" about participating in the event.

Meanwhile, a number of Liberal candidates have been dropped from the roster hours before the deadline. Alec Mazurek, the former Liberal candidate for Chatham-Kent-Leamington, was terminated as a candidate Thursday after Facebook comments were brought to light in which a slur for gay people was used.

The candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka was also dropped from the Liberal Party amid allegations that a book he self-published detailed scientifically baseless views on homosexuality.

The candidate in Sault Ste. Marie was removed following claims the teen participated in online discussions in which people joked about "dying of AIDS." The candidate has told local media he did not actually make any of those comments on the discussion board.

WHO ARE THE PARTY LEADERS?

The CTV News Toronto digital team spoke with three of the four Ontario party leaders about their priorities and promises. PC Leader Doug Ford declined multiple requests for an interview.

The full interviews can be found here:

Andrea Horwath

Steven Del Duca

• Mike Schreiner (coming Saturday)

Ballot Box is your one-stop shop for news from the campaign trail, breaking down the promises, politics and punches thrown during the week. The podcast airs every Friday on the iHeart radio app before becoming available on other streaming platforms.