In a new barrage of campaign ads, Prime Minister Doug Ford is pointing out that controversial construction projects like Hwy. 413 and the Bradford Beltway will be key drivers of the election.
The Progressive Conservatives released three clever television spots on Thursday that serve as strategic cues for the direction of the June 2 vote.
“I hear it all the time, politicians are famous for finding reasons to say ‘no’. That is not me. I am Doug Ford, leader of the Ontario PCs, and we are the party that says ‘yes’, ”intoned a cheerful Ford over the images of him smiling and meeting with voters.
“Yes, to the construction of roads that can be driven, so that it does not become stagnant,” continues the prime minister.
“Yes, to build houses that more families can afford. We are the only party that looks to the future and we are ready to build ”.
In another 30-second commercial criticizing Andrea Horwath, a narrator mocks the NDP leader as a politician who “says one thing and does another.”
“He talks about tackling the housing crisis, but is opposed to building more houses. He says he’s against the traffic jam but he’s opposed to road construction, “says the narrator as the message,” No, to Highway 413, “flashes on the screen.
Horwath shrugged at the Tory attack.
“It’s no secret,” the New Democracy leader said of her party’s opposition to the 60-kilometer highway that connects Milton with Hwy. 401 to Hwy. 400 in Vaughan.
“I am proud to be a protector of the environment,” she said. “I’m proud to say that I don’t think we should build new roads, plow the green belt, plow farmland.”
The proposed highway would obliterate 2,000 acres of farmland, traverse 85 waterways, and pave about 400 acres of Greenbelt protected land in Vaughan.
Similarly, the Bradford Bypass, a 10-mile highway connecting Hwy. 400 and Hwy. 404, would cross 27 waterways and traverse environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh lands.
“We should have learned that this is not the way of the future,” Horwath said.
“It is shocking that this government wants to go ahead with these types of plans.”
But Environment Minister David Piccini, who took over the portfolio in June’s cabinet turmoil, said Conservatives want to curb the stagnation to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to the climate change.
“We know that transportation is one of the main GHG emitters. (Ontarians) are not stagnant when we invest in transit and we are investing in GO trains and subways, ”Piccini said.
“This government understands that you have to build roads, you have to build subways, you have to build GO trains (lines), you also have to build the infrastructure for (electric vehicles).” he said.
The third conservative ad, which does not mention road construction, is aimed at liberal leader Steven Del Duca.
Do you remember life under Kathleen Wynne? Steven Del Duca wants to take us back. He was Kathleen Wynne’s right hand man, ”the narrator warns about the photos of the two liberals and the close-up video of Del Duca on her Facebook page.
“Together they sent their hydro bills through the roof, they sold Hydro One, all while the Liberals got rich,” says the narrator, referring to the former Liberal prime minister’s sale of the province’s majority stake in the electricity transmission company.
Ontario collapsed under Kathleen Wynne and Steven Del Duca. Let’s not go back. “
In an internal memo from campaign manager Christine McMillan to liberal MPPs and candidates, the party called the attacks a badge of honor.
“Doug Ford’s conservatives have joined the NDP in running announcements of attack on our leader, Steven Del Duca,” McMillan wrote, referring to the New Democratic announcements to be released on Friday.
“Neither has a positive plan to improve life by making our classrooms safe, providing working families with affordable childcare, or helping small businesses,” he wrote.
Instead, the NDP and now Doug Ford’s Tories are turning to their old playbook: attacking the only party with a positive plan that tries to help the people of Ontario. In June, Ontarians will be able to choose between the divisive attacks of two parties desperate for power or Ontario’s positive and progressive liberal plan. “
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