More accusations expected to fly in Ontario election campaign

Andrea Horwath

Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion officially endorsed PC Leader Doug Ford for the Ontario general election in June, on the same day she endorsed Mississauga-Lakeshore Liberal incumbent Charles Sousa.

It's hard to believe Mr. Ford is actually concerned about the ongoing allegations of data theft, ballot-stuffing, fake IDs and bogus memberships at PC nomination meetings if he himself took part in dubious activities on behalf of PC candidate Kinga Surma in 2016, long before he became party leader.

The Liberals provided an affidavit from the woman running against Surma for the Etobicoke-Centre nomination in which she says she encountered several people on the membership list who maintained they had not signed any forms or paid any fees.

Ford says his party has been responsible about putting a dollar figure behind each campaign pledge.

Martino also alleged that Ford intimidated her by following her home, but Ford denied those accusations.

Messages left by The Canadian Press seeking comment from Surma's campaign have not been returned.

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said that's a reflection of the antipathy respondents feel toward the Liberals, led by Kathleen Wynne.

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"The NDP is gaining momentum and so they are becoming the main opposition or alternative.to the Conservatives, so basically the fight would be between the two", she said.

A similar trend is showing here, with the NDP and PCs neck and neck in the critical regions of Toronto and the GTA. "Absolutely not", Wynne said at a campaign stop on Toronto's waterfront.

Despite Horwath's performance and her party's favoured second-choice status among supporters of the other two parties, Bourque said it is still too unpredictable to predict the New Democrats will end up in first place - at least in terms of the popular vote.

"It's time he step up and talk to Ontarians about exactly what role he's played in these nomination meetings", Horwath said in Toronto on Thursday.

Ford has pledged in recent days to act swiftly if evidence of wrongdoing by candidates surfaced.

"That's what they've been told since the start of the campaign - that the Ontario PCs would win", Bourque said.

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