In fact, I checked out Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca for a week.

A leader. Five days. Three candidates fired. And some false claims.

After checking Green leader Mike Schreiner’s data last week, on Wednesday I moved on to the leader defending the next fewest seats in the legislature: Steven Del Duca.

The week of the liberal leader did not start very well. For three days in a row, he was forced to rule out candidates after revelations of his inappropriate behavior surfaced (in one case, a candidate had written an entire book on a theory he invented to describe the alleged cause of homosexuality). .

But Del Duca pressed on, continuing to tout the Liberals’ “fair, far-sighted, full-cost plan.” And he did so with great honesty in discussing the politics of his party.

The relatively unknown Liberal leader, who took the helm of the party two years ago, faces an uphill battle to show his party is ready to govern after suffering a crushing defeat in 2018 that saw Del Duca himself ousted by a Tory.

The Liberal leader’s strategy so far has been to target Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford to show Ontarians why Del Duca is a better option.

But it was in Del Duca’s attacks on the headline that his veracity often wavered.

I counted 11 different claims Del Duca made about Ford or his administration this week. Of those, six were fake or stretched the truth in some way.

Del Duca misrepresented the PC government’s record a couple of times, such as when he said that Ford’s finance minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy, refused to confirm whether the Conservatives would resubmit the budget if elected. Yes, Bethlenfalvy was speechless when reporters first asked, but eventually said they would. That is something very important that Del Duca must omit.

(On another occasion, Del Duca said that Bethlenfalvy refused to confirm whether the Conservatives would resubmit the budget on budget day, which I brushed aside, as it wasn’t until the next day that Bethlenfalvy confirmed it.)

More often, Del Duca has blamed Doug Ford for complex and broad issues that cannot be reasonably linked to the prime minister’s policies.

Speaking in Scarborough about the rising cost of living, Del Duca said: “As the guy who goes shopping for my family every Saturday, I think about the price of food and how it has gone up. He shot up under Doug Ford.”

The cost of food in Ontario has skyrocketed, by 8.2% this year to be exact, but that’s true across the country and even the world, due to supply chain issues, economic effects of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s kind of rich that Del Duca blames that on Ford.

But there were things about Ford’s record that Del Duca got right, like when he said the prime minister changed his mind about a promise he made on rent control during the 2018 campaign.

This week, Del Duca’s rivals questioned whether the Liberal plan can be considered fully budgeted, as the Liberal leader often claims, because in several cases the party relies on federal funding promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during last year’s election campaign. but excluded from your budget

The party also hopes to squeeze a couple of billion more out of Ottawa by renegotiating the childcare deal, something Ottawa has not said it is prepared to do.

I asked Kevin Page, an economist who served as Canada’s first parliamentary budget officer about this. He said that while it is risky for Liberals to have such funds, the fact that we know they are doing it and can debate whether it is a good idea or not is what really matters for a platform with costs.

In total this week, I found five false claims in 121 minutes of filmed public appearances. I also found five separate claims to be exaggerated, meaning the claim was broadly true but misleading in the specific context in which Del Duca said it.

That results in a “dishonesty density” of about one false claim every 24 minutes. That puts him in good company with Schreiner, whose density of dishonesty was a false statement every 20 minutes (although he spoke half the time).

As I continue to check the data for incoming Democrat Andrea Horwath next week, followed by progressive conservative Doug Ford, this is the measure I will use to compare the leaders.

See our other fact checks:
• Mike Schreiner
• Andrea Horwath (as of May 25)
• Doug Ford (as of June 1)

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