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It’s day nine of the Ontario election and the deadline (at 2 p.m.) for candidate nominations. Today, the leaders of Ontario’s main political parties are making stops across southern Ontario.

All Ontario’s Democrats say if elected they’ll expand access to safe injection and consumption sites, increase detox beds and call on the federal government to decriminalize illicit drugs in an effort to combat the opioid crisis.

The Green Party unveiled its costed platform, focusing on the climate crisis with $65-billion investment.

Yesterday on the campaign trail, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said that her party would overhaul the province’s auto insurance system, slashing rates by 40 per cent and ending what she called “postal code discrimination” that leads to varied insurance rates. Meanwhile, Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca announced his party’s plan to address surgical and diagnostic backlogs with a $1-billion investment over the next two years.

Here’s where the leaders of Ontario’s main political parties are today.

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford

Doug Ford will be in Kitchener this morning at 9:30 a.m. to make an announcement.

Stephen Lecce ‘slave auction’ controversy

Ontario Progressive Conservative candidate Stephen Lecce faced criticism Wednesday after reports emerged the he participated in a “slave auction” and “slave day” with his fraternity at Western University in 2006.

At a news conference this morning, Doug Ford said Lecce has his full support. Ford says Lecce acknowledged it was inappropriate, has said sorry, and has been a strong advocate of combatting racism in schools during his time as education minister.

Lecce said in a statement that he “unreservedly” apologizes and will advance the interests of all Ontarians, regardless of faith, heritage, orientation or race.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Andrea Horwath will be in Paris to announce details of a mental health plan at 9:15 a.m., then visit a community health centre in West Lorne at 12:30 p.m. to mark International Nurses Day. Her final campaign stop of the day will be in Essex, visiting the local campaign office of NDP candidate Ron Leclair at 3:30 p.m.

Pntario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca attends an announcement in Etobicoke on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca

Steven Del Duca is in Toronto to make an announcement at 9 a.m., then heads to Markham where he’ll speak about his buck-a-ride pledge at Unionville GO and meet local business owners at Maydoh Restaurant. He ends the day in St. Catharines with a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m.

Liberals drop third candidate

The Liberals have dropped their candidate for Chatham-Kent-Leamington Alec Mazurek after the NDP unearthed comments he made on Facebook using a slur for gay people.

Del Duca was not yet aware of the Facebook posts when he made an announcement today on mental health, but when asked about them he said it’s important for leaders to take decisive action in such situations.

The Liberals also dropped two other candidates in recent days: Their nominees in Parry Sound-Muskoka and Sault Ste. Marie.

The candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka was dropped following reports described a book he self-published that details scientifically baseless views on homosexuality. The Liberal candidate for Sault Ste. Marie was dropped following a media report that the teen candidate participated in online discussions in which people joked about “dying of AIDS,” though he told local media he did not make those comments.

Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner speaks to candidates at a campaign event in Kitchener on Sunday, April 10.Geoff Robins/The Canadian Press

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner

Mike Schreiner is in Toronto to unveil the Green Party’s costed platform at 10 a.m., then he’s meeting with the Toronto Star Editorial Board and ends the day in Guelph, participating in a debate for the Guelph Coalition for Social Justice at 7 p.m.

Ontario Green Party platform focuses on climate crisis with $65-billion investment

Independence for chief medical officer of health announcement

The Greens called for greater independence for the Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and boost oversight of long-term care. A section of their health-care promises includes the idea of making the chief medical officer of health a watchdog-like role with annual reporting. The Greens would also create a formal oversight system for medical directors of long-term care homes.

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