Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday May 8, 2018
Trudeau to stay out of June Ontario election
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no plans to campaign for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals during the Ontario election, but the federal Conservative and NDP leaders are helping their provincial counterparts as the race officially kicks off this week.
Mr. Trudeau appeared with Ms. Wynne in Cambridge, Ont., last week as Toyota announced a $1.4-billion upgrade to its Canadian manufacturing operations, backstopped by $220-million from the federal and Ontario governments.
But Mr. Trudeau will stay out of the campaign once the writ drops on Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“As the [Prime Minister has] said before, Ontarians will make their decision on who to elect as premier and he will work with whomever they choose,” PMO spokeswoman Chantal Gagnon said in an e-mail. “Since taking office, we have worked hard with the province of Ontario and achieved much.”
Mr. Trudeau has generally steered clear of provincial campaigns since becoming Prime Minister, Ms. Gagnon said, although he campaigned in an Ontario by-election in 2016. He also campaigned with Ms. Wynne when he was Liberal leader during the 2014 Ontario election. During the 2015 federal election, Ms. Wynne promised to do everything she could to defeat Stephen Harper and elect Mr. Trudeau.
“The federal Liberals anticipate, as almost everyone … that the Liberals are going to lose the election,” said Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto.
“Associating Trudeau directly with that is not a positive.”
A recent Nanos poll puts Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives at 42-per-cent support, 11 points ahead of the Liberals. The Ontario New Democrats sit 10 points behind the Liberals, but Ms. Wynne still scores lower than Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Mr. Ford for preferred premier, the poll said. The leaders will square off for a first televised debate on Monday night. (Source: Globe & Mail)