Five things to know about the Ontario leaders’ debate

Five things to know about the debate between Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, and Green Leader Mike Schreiner:

Spreading butter:

The affable Schreiner, known for cooperating with MPPs of all parties, received high praise from Ford: “I can work with Mr. Schreiner… I wish I could rub it off on your other two colleagues,” Ford said as Schriener smiled awkwardly.

The binder:

During opening remarks, Ford looked at the notes in his folder, which now has its own fake Twitter account. She rarely referred to him while on camera during the debate, but did so often as rival leaders spoke. Horwath told reporters later, “as far as I could see, none of the other candidates had a portfolio or written notes.”

In front of the media:

Unlike last week’s Northern debate, where he dodged reporters’ questions, Ford attended the post-debate news conference. He was asked if he was afraid of making a mistake. The answer: “Of the three leaders, none has been in front of the press more than me during the four years.”

Without regrets:

Sorry, they have few. Asked to name one from political life, Schreiner said he should have run in the Guelph race that he won in 2018 for the first time. Taking a cue from that, Ford said he should have run four years earlier (however, he planned to run for mayor of Toronto in 2018 until the PC job opened up for him). Del Duca, who lost his Vaughan-Woodbridge seat in the 2018 Ontario election, said the previous Liberal government should have listened to voters more carefully. Horwath dodged the question, saying he doesn’t believe in the concept and instead sees “learning opportunities.”


Education provoked a passionate debate. Horwath, Del Duca and Schreiner criticized Ford. “Who Cuts Education During a Global Pandemic?” Horwath asked. Ford, however, said his budget increases spending on education, and he boasted that the province had the best education minister in Stephen Lecce (although he did not name Lecce, who recently apologized for appearing at a “slave auction”). “from a charitable fraternity while at Western University).


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