Ontario Liberal leader says Ford was campaigning at announcement with Trudeau

Days before an anticipated provincial election call in Ontario, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is suggesting a joint announcement between Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is more of a campaign stop than an act of governing.

On Monday, Trudeau and Ford shared the podium to announce a joint investment of more than $1 billion in electric vehicle manufacturing in Brampton and Windsor.

However, before the announcement took place, Del Duca suggested Ford’s motives were not genuine.

“I suggest that the Prime Minister is governing but Doug Ford is campaigning. Frankly, Doug Ford has been campaigning for well over a year now, instead of doing the heavy lifting that Ontarians have required him to do,” Del Duca said at an unrelated news conference on Monday.

Trudeau turned down the suggestion that the appearance of the two leaders standing side-by-side should translate to his support for Ford’s provincial election campaign. Instead, he said that he felt it was unfair to hold off on their announcement any longer.

“We have been working tirelessly at this for many, many, many months. And this is good news that I know that the people of Windsor wouldn't want to have waited a day longer for. This is an important announcement,” Trudeau said.

Ford echoed that sentiment and brushed off the possibility that this joint announcement was a political ploy.

“I don't care about the political stripes. The people expect us to get it done. We're getting it done. And the people will decide on June the second,” Ford said.

While the premier has not yet asked for an election to be called, Ford is anticipated to do so within days as the June 2 date to cast ballots is just weeks away.