Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Tories Quietly Release List of Campaign Promises, Call It Final Plan

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Tories Quietly Release List of Campaign Promises, Call It Final Plan

Article excerpt

Ontario Tories quietly release plan online

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After vowing for weeks to deliver a fully costed platform, Ontario's Progressive Conservatives on Wednesday quietly released a compilation of their campaign promises without saying how they would pay for them.

The updated "Plan for the People," posted on the party's website, lays out how much each initiative is expected to cost but not where the money will come from, nor does it explain the billions in so-called "efficiencies" Tory Leader Doug Ford has promised to find.

Ford did not speak about the online document, but his spokeswoman said it was the party's final plan.

"We do not know the state of Ontario's finances and anyone who tells you they do is lying to you," Melissa Lantsman said, alluding to the provincial auditor general's finding that the governing Liberals' deficit projections are understated by billions.

Lantsman said the Tories would not balance the budget in the first or second year of their term but were committed to getting the books back in the black as quickly as possible.

Ford faced increasing criticism for not releasing a full platform earlier in the campaign, with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne deeming it disrespectful to voters.

Both Horwath and Wynne heaped scorn on the notion that Ford had released a full plan Wednesday.

"Look: This is not a fully costed plan, it's not coherent," Wynne said at a stop in Markham, Ont., where she pushed her government's transit record. "All of the things that Doug Ford has said would add up to a $40-billion hole and they have no idea how they would find that."

Horwath was equally jaundiced, saying it wasn't good enough for Ford to write a "list of things he might do and put it on the internet."

People should know what Ford's plans are, what he's going to cut and what services might be at risk, the NDP leader said.

"His list of things-to-do that he put on his website is not going to help people to decide which way to vote and what's their best interest in this campaign," Horwath said. "What's worrisome is we have a leader who's trying to take the chair of the premier in this province and he's not being honest with people."

The Tories began the campaign with a significant lead only to find themselves now battling the NDP for first place in the polls, which also show the Liberals falling further behind both.

With the election roughly a week away, Wynne travelled to the heart of her NDP rival's riding on Wednesday to portray herself as the only seasoned stateswoman in the campaign capable of rising above the ideological fray. …

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