Trudeau and Scheer attack Ford and Wynne in battle for Ontario

Liberal leader targets three big conservative rivals in second full week of campaign

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau greets supporters while campaigning Sunday, September 22, 2019 in Brampton, Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Ontario leaders — old and current — were pinned in the crossfire of Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer’s battle Monday for the vote-rich province that’s the gateway to federal victory.

Their fight focused in large part on whether a Liberal or a Conservative government would be best suited to work with the provinces to protect Canada’s public health-care system. Over in Atlantic Canada, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May also jockeyed over their party’s health-care policies.

Scheer and Trudeau, were trying to plunder a bountiful crop of votes in the densely populated communities around Toronto and the rest of the Golden Horseshoe around the west end of Lake Ontario.

Trudeau fired the first shot, telling Ontario voters not to “double down” on Conservatives after they elected Doug Ford premier in 2018. Trudeau used a new promise of a national pharmacare program to portray Scheer as a faithful Ford follower who won’t defend people’s interests in fighting for better access to doctors, drugs or mental-health counsellors.

Scheer, meanwhile, evoked the vanquished Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, and her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, linking Wynne’s political demise to a federal leader he branded corrupt and incapable of telling the truth. Scheer promised to make it cheaper for Canadians to buy homes, pledging to resurrect 30-year mortgages and ease the so-called stress test on mortgages, while accusing Trudeau of digging Canadians deeper into debt.

“The question becomes for Canadians: Who do you want negotiating with Doug Ford when it comes to your health?” Trudeau said.

In the suburban Toronto community of Vaughan, Ont., Scheer deflected questions about his affiliation with Ford by lampooning Trudeau’s focus on other Conservative leaders.

“The real question is: What’s the difference between Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau? The very same people who are the architects of the failed Kathleen Wynne-Dalton McGuinty government that raised taxes, ran massive deficits, mired in scandal and corruption, are now working for Justin Trudeau, and they’re following the same playbook,” said Scheer.

READ MORE: Liberals pitch middle-class savings as second full week of campaign beckons

“So voters in Ontario know that they can limit the damage from Justin Trudeau to one term.”

In Halifax, Singh criticized both his frontrunning opponents, saying only a New Democrat government could help deliver the health care Canadians need.

“Justin Trudeau attacked Harper so viciously but he actually implemented his cuts to health care. And Mr. Scheer is going to keep it going,” Singh said, sparking applause at a town-hall meeting.

The upbeat response allowed Singh to pivot from his uncomfortable debut in neighbouring New Brunswick earlier in the day where he was forced to address criticism that he has forgotten that province by never visiting, amid a summer controversy that saw some NDP candidates switch to the Greens.

“I’m really sorry,” Singh said in Bathurst, N.B. “I’m sorry I didn’t get here earlier. I’m happy to be here. I’m honoured to be here and it’s a beautiful place.”

In Fredericton, May outlined her party’s plan to break down barriers to mental health care, including reducing wait times and putting more money into services in rural and remote areas. “Universal health care is under attack,” she declared.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Most Read