Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
TORONTO-Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford faced a series of attacks from the other three major party leaders in the Ontario election debate on Monday, but often refused to take the bait, referring to himself its promises of infrastructure construction and affordability.
One of the strongest criticism came from Green Party leader Mike Schreiner, who criticized Mr Ford for what he called the Tory leader’s disrespect for nurses as prime minister, including for limiting salary increases for to public sector workers.
“Sir. Ford, have you talked to a nurse recently? Mr. Schreiner asked. Have you ever talked to a nurse about how … he felt insulted to be called a hero and then cut his salary by of its freezing? Mr. Ford, if you want to build the capacity of our system, you have to invest in the people who deliver our care. ”
Mr. also criticized. Mr. Schreiner Ford in his administration of long -term care during the pandemic, and Mr. Ford in saying he is building hospitals.
“When we came to power, our health care system was broken,” he defended himself earlier during the debate focused on health care.
“Every region of this province is getting a new hospital … 50 projects per region,” he said.
Mr. also recalled. Ford said the Progressive Conservatives would fund nurses’ tuition if they were working in an underserved area, and noted that his government had given orders a $ 3-an-hour increase and given nurses $ 5,000 and retention bonus.
The other three leaders argued that removing the law that reduces wage increases for nurses and other public sector workers would help them more than giving them a one-time payment.
This law, Bill 124, also affected teachers and sparked a series of tense educational collective bargaining negotiations with the Ford government.
Teachers and education staff have staged various strikes and work-to-rule campaigns against wage moderation, increasing class size and imposing two e-learning courses for graduation. secondary education, although the government eventually softened its stance on the latter two. The government is also temporarily considering reductions in full-day kindergarten.
“One of the things Mr. Ford refuses to acknowledge is the cuts and disruption he has brought to our public education system,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said. Your cuts and disruptions greatly weaken our education system. Ask any parent and they will tell you the same thing. You can’t cut and have a better system, you can’t. “
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca also criticized Ford in the education file.
“Your public education record is a disgrace and you should be ashamed of yourself,” he said. You, sir, have failed in this province. ”
Mr Ford said he was proud of his government’s record in education, saying it helps students prepare for future jobs.
Hectic exchange of Ford and Del Duca
The leader of the Progressive Conservative often returns with his message to build, create jobs and put money in people’s pockets.
The debate began with the hot exchange of MM. Ford and Del Duca.
Mr. Ford rolled out a list of accusations against Mr. Del Duca, including that he wants to reinstate license plate renewal fees and increase highway tolls.
Mr. entered. Del Duca to refute every point, Mr. Ford on the Ontario Liberals website to view their campaign commitments.
“There’s an old saying in life, ‘You’re entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts,’ Mr. Ford,” Mr. Ford said. Del Duca.
Ford’s opening statement highlighted its plan to build Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, saying the economy is evolving.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she hopes the New Democrats will fix what matters most to Ontarians.
He also enjoyed the 90 -minute debate itself.
“I’m sure it’s not the most fun thing you’ll do on a Monday night, but because you’re joining us it shows that you care and that this election has a lot at stake,” he said. -he says.