Leaders of the three main parties have effectively been campaigning since May 2, when Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Ontario would go to the polls on June 12, but it wasn’t until this morning that Lt. Gov. David Onley signed the writs, signalling the official start of the election campaign.
Surprisingly, the slowest out of the gate is the NDP, the party that triggered the election after announcing it would no longer support Wynne’s Liberal minority government. As of May 6 the NDP had 39 ridings without a candidate. In midtown Toronto the party has so far named only one candidate, Kate Sellar in Toronto Centre.
The NDP’s Toronto Area Council has not responded to requests for information regarding candidates for the other midtown ridings of Don Valley West (held by Wynne), Eglinton-Lawrence and St. Paul’s.
The Liberals and Progressive Conservatives have candidates in all four midtown ridings, while the Green Party has candidates in both St. Paul’s and Toronto Centre.
Sellar, a 35-year-old human rights lawyer, said today she isn’t concerned with going up against a high-profile incumbent in Liberal Glen Murray, who most recently had been transportation minister.
“The incumbent is a member of a party that has had trouble keeping its promises,” she said. “I think that can be said for all the Liberal incumbents — they are part of a team that has let us down.”
Eglinton-Lawrence incumbent Mike Colle (Lib.) told the Town Crier he has been preparing for a few weeks for the election after sensing something had changed within the NDP and that they wouldn’t be supporting his party’s budget, no matter what it included.
“I just canvassed door-to-door today and I was over the moon with the incredible reaction I got from people,” he said on May 5. “They were happy I was at the door and talking about an election.
“People usually say, oh not another election, but this time they were saying we’ve got to support you, that (the Eglinton Crosstown LRT) has to be completed and we’ve got to bring in that (Ontario) pension.”
In Don Valley West, first-time Progressive Conservative candidate David Porter, 55, said he is confident he can beat Wynne in the same riding where she beat former PC party leader John Tory in 2007.
“As a leader, she is not going to be doing a lot of things locally and I think she may be a focal point for a lot of disappointment among voters, notwithstanding her popularity in the past,” he said, adding that “there’s definitely a sense among quite a few people I’ve spoken to” that it’s time for a change.
Mark Daye, a 46-year-old property manager who is running for the Green Party a second time in Toronto Centre, says even though he knows he’s an outside shot he sees this election as an opportunity for the party to make a splash.
“I think it’s one of those elections where we don’t know what’s going to happen, which means anything can happen,” he said. “Win or not, it’s not about getting elected, it’s about getting our position out there, our message out there, giving people a choice and giving them an option to say they don’t want the status quo.”
Don Valley West
Kathleen Wynne, Liberal (Incumbent)
David Porter, PC
Mike Colle, Liberal (Incumbent)
Robin Martin, PC
Eric Hoskins, Liberal (Incumbent)
Justine Deluce, PC
Josh Rachlis, Green
Glen Murray, Liberal (Incumbent)
Martin Abell, PC
Kate Sellar, NDP
Mark Daye, Green
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