Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is denying accusations from the Progressive Conservatives that she’s running a negative campaign and is using ads to attack her rivals personally.
Wynne says her spots — one suggested NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is out of touch with Ontarians — are about contrasting differences between the Liberals and the other parties.
Her comments come a day after deputy Tory leader Christine Elliott charged that Wynne was launching personal attacks, pointing to the Horwath ad in particular.
But Wynne says her campaign messaging is about debating “facts,” such as her party’s budget priorities on infrastructure spending and Tory leader Tim Hudak’s plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs.
“I believe that it is very important that as we go through an election campaign we make it clear what we stand for and then we make it clear how we’re different from anyone else,” she said.
“That’s not personal attack. That is a clear statement of who we are and how we differ.”
Wynne had a light campaign schedule on Sunday, and after a morning stop in Mississauga went to Orangeville for her granddaughter’s birthday and to do some mainstreeting.
The New Democrats also rolled out their first ad of the campaign on Sunday.
The 40-second online video takes aim squarely at the Liberals, showing a rising tally of “wasted tax dollars” against a red backdrop as an announcer says Wynne’s party deserves to be “put in the penalty box” for what he calls years of mismanagement.
“What this ad is, is a reminder for Ontarians about the track record, the dismal track record of the Liberal in Ontario,” Horwath said Sunday.
“I think that’s a big part of what this campaign is all about and that’s why we thought it was important to remind people about the track record of the Liberals.”
On Saturday the Progressive Conservative website debuted a new ad they say showcases them as the party with a message of hope.
The parties can only run ads online for now, as there is a blackout for election ads on traditional media until May 21. Voters head to the polls on June 12.