Digs and promises: Here's what happened on week 1 of the campaign trail
Cue the rallies, meet-and-greets, handshaking and elbow bumps.
While it may seem like the Ontario election campaigning began months ago, Wednesday marked the first official day on the trail for party leaders. Standing in front of podiums with their catchphrases or slogans on fully display, the four major candidates for premier rejoiced in the fanfare of an election launch—boasting about their accomplishments while slamming their opponents for not doing enough.
The team at CTV News Toronto's Ballot Box broke down what happened on week one of the campaign, focusing on the themes of affordability and building that were presented by each major political party. Here's the breakdown:
- The Liberals announced buck-a-ride -- a reduction in transit fares to $1 until 2024, a cancellation of Highway 413 and a promise to build schools, and cap class sizes at 20 students
- The NDP focused on healthcare this week, promising a provincial dental-care plan
- The PCs reiterated their pledges to build Highway 413 and remove tolls on two other highways
- The Greens made a housing announcement in Waterloo, promising to build 160,000 affordable rental homes
Speaking with Ballot Box, CTV News Toronto's Queen's Park Reporter Siobhan Morris said that voters may be able to expect a few more fun tidbits from the Liberals and the Greens, the two parties that have not yet released a comprehensive election platform.
"It's kind of hard to think, especially for the PCs, because they've committed a plan and a budget, to add in a nugget in the middle of a campaign," she said. "I mean, listen, there's some big holes in that budget, some broad sweeping things that we don't know how much they really cost. But there would be questions, of course, of how you're going to pay for any new measure."
In addition to the news conferences and photo ops, there was a flurry of slogans, jingles and new ads.
"I think in the early part, so far, it's seeing who thinks who is the enemy," Morris said. "There's been some really sharp attacks from both the PCs and the NDP against Steven Del Duca and the role that he had in the former [Liberal] Wynne government."
"If that changes, that will tell you something about what the parties are seeing in their own internal polling, which often is really what guides the campaign."
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 first on the iHeart radio app before becoming available on other streaming platforms.