Ontario Election 2022: Leaders on the Campaign Trail as Election Day Approaches

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The race for Queen’s Park is on and Postmedia is here to provide wall-to-wall coverage ahead of the June 2nd vote. Our daily live blog will keep you up to date on the latest developments in the election campaign as party leaders travel the province in search of votes.

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13:00

The Ontario New Democrats are urging provincial election officials to investigate the nomination papers of a local Liberal candidate, alleging the party used signatures intended for their nominee to get another one on the ballot.

The Ontario Liberals eliminated Alex Mazurek, their original candidate in the Chatham-Kent-Leamington race, hours before the Ontario election nomination deadline after the NDP revealed Facebook comments he had made as a teenager using an anti-homosexual insult.

The Grits replaced Mazurek with Audrey Festeryga, however the NDP alleges the party used Mazurek’s nomination paper signatures (candidates must have the signatures of 25 voters in the race to get on the ballot) for Festeryga in their place.

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“(Liberal Leader) Steven Del Duca must be held accountable for how he and Liberals approved the use of apparently false or inappropriate documentation to support Festeryga’s candidacy,” the Ontario NDP said in a statement Wednesday.

Festeryga’s nomination papers were signed and witnessed at 1:46 pm on May 12, shortly before the 2 pm Ontario Elections deadline to participate on the ballot. Her nomination papers, which were reviewed by The Chatham Daily News on Wednesday morning, include two pages with 15 signatures each. Both were dated May 11.

When asked about the Chatham-Kent-Leamington nomination in Toronto on Wednesday, Del Duca criticized the NDP for wasting time with partisan attacks.

“I think it’s a really sad comment with 16 days left in this campaign that Ms. Horwath and the Ontario NDP have resorted to desperate tactics,” Del Duca said.

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Festeryga previously ran for the Federal Liberals in the Essex race last fall.

12:30 pm

Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford endorses Will Bouma after a published report said his party’s candidate Brantford-Brant was involved with organizations publishing homophobic views.

Ford, who spoke Wednesday in Hamilton, said Bouma did not write the articles in question.

On Twitter this morning, Bouma posted: “I am a proud, loving and supportive father of a daughter who is a member of the LGBTQ community. My views are clear, I support the rights of all my constituents, regardless of their orientation. I did not participate in the writing of these articles.”

Bouma came under fire after Press Progress reported Tuesday night that, before running for the Conservatives in the 2018 election, he oversaw a publication by the Free Reformed Church of North America.

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He was chairman of the church’s education and youth committee. The publication, called Youth Messenger, called on young people to reject the “homosexual lifestyle,” claimed that “God condemns…homosexual desires and acts,” and promoted the now-illegal practice of conversion “therapy.”

10 a.m.

If elected, a new Democratic government would create a provincial pharmaceutical care program, NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

“Pharmacare is health care, and you shouldn’t have to rack up credit card charges to get the medicine you need,” Horwath said. “With pharmacare, you’ll get the medication you need with your OHIP card, not your credit card.”

Horwath said the plan will save families about $350 a year. Seniors can expect to save about $100 a year.

Canada is the only developed country with universal health care that does not include access to prescription drugs. Ontario is the only province in Canada that does not have a provincially funded pharmacy program.

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