It’s day 24 of the Ontario election and election day is less than a week away. The leaders of the main political parties will be campaigning largely in the vote-rich Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area today as election day approaches.
Three Ontario political parties – the NDP, Liberals, and Greens – are promising to repeal Bill 124, the legislation that has capped public sector wage increases for workers such as teachers and nurses since 2019. The Progressive Conservatives introduced the legislation in 2019 to limit compensation increases in public-sector contracts to one per cent a year for three years. The time-limited approach was to help eliminate the deficit, the PCs said at the time.
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has said that when the next contracts expire he would sit down and “fairly negotiate.”
Here’s what the leaders of Ontario’s main political parties are up to today:
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford
Doug Ford will be speaking in Oakville today and is set to host a rally in Kitchener tonight.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
Andrea Horwath heads first to east Toronto, then the Hamilton region and later to Mississauga, with a stop in Paris along the way.
Bill 124: Horwath said the controversial legislation is disrespectful.
“You can’t pretend that these last couple of years haven’t actually meant wage cuts for these working people, it has, with inflation running as high as it has been, obviously, these folks have taken cuts,” she said Friday.
“What I will do is bargain with respect and in good faith, and they haven’t seen that in this province in a very long time.”
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca
Steven Del Duca will be in Mississauga to discuss his party’s plan to oppose a new highway (Highway 413) promised by the Progressive Conservatives, before heading to Brampton.
Bill 124: Del Duca said repealing the legislation would be his top legislative priority if he is premier.
“Doug Ford chose to ram this through prior to the pandemic, which basically takes away the rights of front-line health-care workers and education workers, including nurses and PSWs, takes away their right to bargain in a free and fair and open way,” he said.
“We’ll restore that right.”
Del Duca said the Liberal plan includes about $16 billion over four years in contingency funding, which would be enough to absorb the compensation increases that would come from bargaining freely with the public sector.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner
Mike Schreiner will be making a climate announcement in Hamilton before heading to Brampton later in the day.
Bill 124: Schreiner has also said he would repeal the legislation.
Early voting for the Ontario election
Advance polls for early voting: Advance polling is now open until May 28. Ontarians can vote at any of the advance voting locations in their electoral district. Advance voting locations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Find your electoral district by entering your postal code on the Elections Ontario website. Election day is on June 2.
Ontarians can register to vote online through Elections Ontario’s eRegistration. Voters will need one piece of identification that has their name and current residential address in order to register.
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