Truth is the first casualty of war. In Ontario politics, it's an assault on all fronts.
PC leader, Doug Ford had his first misfire of the campaign this week. In a video leaked by the Liberals and dutifully reported by the Toronto Star, Ford said: "We will open up the (GTA) greenbelt, not all of it, but we're going to open a big chunk of it up and we're going to start building."
There's an argument to be made for development across parts of the GTA greenbelt, even evidence the Liberals have pecked away at the greenbelt already. It's a case that could have been put to the voters, openly, as part of a plan for affordable housing. Instead it turned into a leaky mess.
For a Wynne campaign team in the doldrums, the leak was heaven sent. It didn't take long for the war room to torque the issue. Not only would Doug Ford raise your rent, he would pave the greenbelt! (The whole thing?) It's caught on tape!
The PC's let the issue fester for a day, made the claim there's been a consultation and in the end we learned Ford does not govern through government. (He uses the force!)
Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford promises not to touch the Greenbelt
This afternoon, Doug Ford announced that after consultation with the people of Ontario, an Ontario PC Government would maintain the Greenbelt in its entirety. “I looked at it as making sure we have more affordable housing,” said Ford. “There have been a lot of voices saying that they don’t want to touch the Greenbelt. I govern through the people, I don’t govern through government.
The 'greenbelt leak' stalled what was otherwise shaping up to be another week of momentum for Team Ford. It's been ahead of the curve on the Hydro One executive compensation issue. Ford was roundly mocked by the deep thinkers of the media for vowing to fire the six million dollar man. Two weeks ago the Premier called the idea 'galling' and said: "there's a guy to the south of us who is governing by firing and I'm not sure that's going so well."
Yet Tuesday arrived and the Globe and Mail reported the Ontario government plans to vote against Hydro One's new compensation plan at the utility’s May 15th annual meeting. So the Wynne liberals won't fire the CEO, but suddenly his pay package is “unjustifiably generous.”
Then there's Andrea Horwath and her NDP.
The party released its 100 page platform and dedicated a few lines to the asylum issue, exploding along the Canada/U.S. border.
"We will declare Ontario a Sanctuary Province."
There's no information what this means. There's no estimate what it would cost. And not one word about what local services the party is talking about. Does that mean OHIP? Ontario Works? ODSP? Does that mean social housing or a driver's license for somone ordered deported from Canada?
Are they just making stuff up? If they are, they don't have the monopoly.
It's war out there and truth is the first casualty.