LILLEY: Horwath and Del Duca didn’t do what they had to do.

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They didn’t get it.

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Ontario’s opposition leaders needed to find a way to show that they were ready to replace Doug Ford as prime minister. Ultimately, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, Liberal leader Steven Del Duca and Green leader Mike Schreiner failed to show that they are ready to lead the next government.

Ford was the punching bag for the other party leaders throughout the debate regardless of the issue. On the pandemic, education and health care, the united opposition parties said Ford has failed to deliver.

Early on, during a face-to-face part on affordability between Ford and Del Duca, Ford forced Del Duca to admit, despite all his criticism that the PC government was making life unaffordable, that a Liberal government would not repeal the gasoline tax relief. as of July 1, it would not bring back license plate sticker fees and it would not bring back tolls on Highways 412 and 418 that the Liberals built, under Del Duca, with expensive tolls.

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Claiming that your opponent is making your life more expensive and then agreeing that you would keep all his cost-cutting measures was not a good image for Del Duca.

Overall, the Liberal leader performed well during the debate, but did nothing to stand out from the crowd. He sometimes had some good times in education, but then lied about the Ford government incorporating private, illegal hospitals in Ontario for decades, even though he knew better.

He even claimed that Ford only showed up 18% of the time for the question period, a figure that didn’t sit well with someone who paid to watch. It appears that Del Duca’s team timed Ford and claimed that when he left after the leaders’ question round in 20201 and 2022, he did not show up for work even though he was dealing with the pandemic.

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It is not unusual for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to leave many days after the leaders’ round, I doubt Del Duca’s Liberals will count in the same way.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath, struggling to keep her job as the official leader of the opposition, performed well for the leader of the opposition but, like Del Duca, she did not look like someone who was behind the scenes as the prime minister to the waiting. She stuck to her talking points, reiterated the claims she made on the campaign trail, but didn’t have a breaking point.

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At one point, Horwath looked directly into the camera and said he would not raise taxes.

His own platform details income tax increases, capital gains tax increases, and the rise of a new carbon tax, called a cap-and-trade system, that he will introduce. In the current fiscal year, the NDP platform promises $6.7 billion in new taxes with $9.1 billion next year and $9.8 billion the year after that.

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At one point, when Ford pointed out that the construction unions were supporting him and abandoning her, she laughed uncomfortably.

Ford was cool, collected, and collected, and yet, despite the claim that he was the only one unable to address the public without notes, both Horwath and Schreiner also had notes with them. Del Duca may think he is morally superior to Ford for being able to come face to face with other leaders without grades, but most voters couldn’t. Public speaking terrifies most people and making fun of those in need of help diminishes those who are being made fun of rather than those who are being made fun of.

In the calculation of who won and who lost, Ford simply didn’t need to lose on Monday, but it’s entirely possible he did win. The opposition needed to find a way to break away from each other like a racehorse down the stretch and they didn’t.

Unless Horwath or Del Duca find something soon, this remains a race for second with Ford far ahead.

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