Jun 04, 2014

By Jane Brown

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It was Tim Hudak who won last night’s televised Ontario leaders’ debate.  An Ipsos Reid poll conducted right after the debate says 36 percent of voters felt the Progressive Conservative leader was the winner, while 27 percent said it was Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.  26 percent said NDP leader Andrea Horwath won the debate and 10 percent said they didn’t know.

Kathleen Wynne; Tim Hudak; Andrea Horwath

Kathleen Wynne was grilled on both sides by Horwath and Hudak over the decision by the Liberals to cancel gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga prior to the last election.  Wynne admitted on several occasions it was a bad decision.  She also apologized several times.  But at one point, Wynne tried to turn around the gas plant scandal and relate it to Tim Hudak’s promise to create a million jobs.  “It is a challenge to say when there’s been a mistake.  If you make a mistake in your platform, and the numbers are wrong, and it’s a completely flawed premise, do you then apologize or not?” Wynne questioned Hudak, who laughed off the analogy, “How can you say the same thing, about an argument among economists about the jobs we’re going to create when they agree we’re going to create jobs?  How can you compare that to taking a billion dollars out of the pockets of viewers tonight? How can you compare that to your decision to actually sign that document?”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath meantime, attempted to sway voters to look to her party rather than the two frontrunners.  “I would put to the people of Ontario to put to you, that you don’t have to choose between bad ethics and bad math.”

Political analysts say even though both Wynne and Horwath talked about Hudak’s questionable math in his million jobs plan, the P.C. leader got off easy and was never forced to explain his numbers outright.  Hudak did say that he’s so confident in his plan that if he’s elected premier and doesn’t keep those promises, he’ll resign.

Hudak visits the Zoomerplex here today at 11am when he will be a guest on the The New AM740’s Goldhawk Fights Back.  He also has stops in Ajax and Nepean.  Kathleen Wynne will be in Vaughan and Ottawa.  Horwath plans to stay in the GTA.  All 3 party leaders have been invited to visit Goldhawk Fights Back.  So far, only Tim Hudak has accepted.


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