Tue May 6, 2014
Ontario elections scheduled for June 12
An election campaign is underway in Ontario. Premier Kathleen Wynne called for the dissolution of the legislative assembly on Friday after support for her minority government collapsed.
Wynne's announcement came in the same week her government presented its new budget, which included big spending plans such as a made-in-Ontario pension plan.
But that budget led to a political crisis for Wynne's minority Liberals. The third party, the left leaning New Democratic Party had supported Wynne for the past two years, but on this budget NDP leader Andrea Horvath, said she could not.
Horvath says the new budget contains more than 70 promises, but the government has not even been able to keep a handful of promises made previously.
"I have lost confidence in Kathleen Wynne and her ability to deliver," Horvath said.
"I cannot in good conscience support a government that people don't trust anymore."
Within an hour of that statement the premier announced the election call.
"On June the 12th, the people of the province will have a choice," Wynne said.
"They'll have a choice between the balanced approach of a Liberal government that will create jobs and nurture our economic recovery and the opposition party that would recovery in jeopardy with reckless schemes and irresponsible choices."
For now, polls suggest no clear party has an edge.
Wynne's Liberals are faced with several scandals that took root under her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty. It's not clear whether voters will punish her for McGuinty's mistakes.
Andrea Horvath may have jumped the gun in not backing the budget. There is widespread support for some of its proposals, even from the labour sector where Horvath draws support.
Many voters are still not keen to embrace the main opposition Conservatives. The divisive policies of the Mike Harris government, who took an ax to taxes as well as spending on welfare and other government programs and services, may still be fresh in voters' minds.