For a week, Andrea Horwath has been reluctant to talk about the issue sucking the air out of the campaign so far – the Liberals' plan to give employers who hire immigrants a $10,000 tax credit if they provide training.
Not her issue, she insisted. "Mr. McGuinty needs to defend his policy himself."
But on Monday, she was the one to bring it up.
"For much of the last week, there's been talk about a proposal to help a small number of new Canadians compete for a shrinking pool of jobs," she said. "We can do better than that."
Of course, that's a cue to talk about her plan to pay companies to create new, full-time jobs "for all Ontarians."
But this was the first time she came out swinging against the plan and against the other two parties, whom she's accused of endless "squabbling."
She was quick, later on, to revert to her previous stance that the real issues should be debated in a more thoughfult way (like, for example, the additional leaders' debates she keeps bringing up, to no avail).
"I think they're both wrong and I think Ontarians are pretty disappointed by the tenor of the conversation so far," she said. "While they're hurling insults at each other … everyday Ontarians are getting lost in the shuffle."
There are much more important issues to debate. And I hope we can start debating them."
But she also used more aggressive messaging than she has in the past, calling the province's cuts to corporate taxes last year an "across-the-board corporate tax giveaway," and the eventual tax rebates on corporate entertainment expenditures "freebies for bigwigs."