Top 6 moments from the 2022 Ontario election debate
Ontario’s four main party leaders were relatively civil as they sparred at Monday night’s televised election debate in Toronto.
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner spent 90 minutes discussing topics that fell into four sub-topics: the economy, healthcare, education and leadership. Here are the top six moments from the debate:
One topic of tension was physically present on the debate stage: a binder sitting on Ford’s podium.
Every so often, the PC leader would glance down at his notes for a little added support. He was the only person to bring notes for the debate.
“If you've watched debates across the country, provincially, federally, municipally, there's nothing wrong with putting notes to make sure you're organized,” Ford said in a post-debate scrum.
“People don't care about that. You know what they care about? They care about jobs of the future.”
While Horwath acknowledged that each party leader did have a sheet of paper in front of them, she said it was just a set of instructions, which she was grateful for, along with her own blank sheet paired with a pen to scribble down debate points.
“Mr. Ford was beside me. He had his binder, and he certainly did refer to it quite a bit. That was his choice. That was his decision,” Horwath said.
The Liberals did not directly address Ford’s use of notes, but Del Duca made reference to the binder in post-debate scrums and in a news release.
The Liberal leader said Ford was "literally reading a script like he took it from a binder from four years ago" when talking about PC policies. Meanwhile, a Liberal news release subtly poked fun at the binder trope by compiling a list of “corrections to the most glaring lies in Doug Ford’s binder."
Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader Doug Ford, left, looks at his notes as Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca speaks during the Ontario party leaders' debate, in Toronto, Monday, May 16, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Rather than jab at Ford, Schreiner took a question about the binder in his scrum to dive into his ability to be authentic and speak from the heart. “I tell you exactly how I feel,” Schreiner said.
"It's unfortunate that maybe not every leader feels like they have the freedom to be that straight with folks."
FORD DEFENDS PANDEMIC ACTIONS
As was expected, the COVID-19 pandemic was top of mind for party leaders as they discussed issues such as the economy, healthcare and education.
Following a question about what the party leaders learned from the pandemic, Ford admitted it was "the most challenging time" of his term as premier and that his government did not get everything right.
"I'll tell you every decision I made was with the best intention with the best medical advice I could get at the time. But we're gonna fix the system. We're fixing it right now," he said while promising it would "never happen again."
At the same time, Ford reacted defensively when his three opponents criticized those very decisions, saying it's easy to comment from the sidelines.
Del Duca, for his part, argued that Ford’s argument that he worked “24/7”during the pandemic was void because “this was the job you signed up for.”
In a post-debate scrum, the Liberal leader said he was disappointed that Ford vied for pity when talking about the last two years.
“You don’t just get to be premier when there are parades and sunshine,” he said.
Ford blamed the Liberals for leaving hospitals without enough personal protective equipment while Horwath argued that healthcare deteriorated under the 15-year Liberal reign, but that Ford’s cuts destroyed the system.
PCS TOUT UNION SUPPORT
Ford took advantage of as many opportunities as he could to point out that multiple unions have thrown their support to the Progressive Conservative Party.
The NDP has typically been known as a pro-worker party and has supported labour movements in the past.
Ford said the endorsements by some labour leaders show the NDP has “lost touch.”
“You're out of touch with the hard working men and women that are supporting us for the first time,” Ford said while Horwath quipped back by saying, “I think you need to look in the mirror.”
The PCs have received the support of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers as well as unions representing construction and electric workers.
When asked what it means that unions are supporting Ford as premier, Horwath answered by saying reporters will have to ask those union leaders.
“I certainly do know that the commitments to working people will never end for me.”
‘DOUG FORD SMILES’
At the end of the debate, Del Duca addressed Horwath’s digs against him and his party, saying that every time the NDP attacks him, “Doug Ford smiles.”
Horwath has often spoken about how the Liberals had 15 years to “fix things” and they didn’t. Throughout the 90-minute debate, she stuck with this technique, pivoting between criticizing Ford’s actions over the last four years and commenting on how the system was broken to begin with.
Speaking after the debate, Del Duca reiterated this statement -- saying the NDP’s first round of ads last year targeted him rather than the party in power. While he says he isn’t concerned about vote splitting, he says he is disappointed considering the many policies the two parties have in common.
“It’s disappointing that Horwath has spent a lot of time, maybe an equal amount, maybe even more time attacking Ontario Liberals instead of taking the fight where it belongs.”
Horwath, for her part, didn’t seem concerned about splitting votes. She told reporters that Del Duca “is just not ready” to be premier, adding that his party doesn’t have candidates in every riding.
“We’re your best shot at getting rid of Doug Ford.”
‘A COLOSSAL MISTAKE’
A clear divide drawn in the early days of the campaign widened when Highway 413 became a topic in the first few minutes of the debate.
The NDP, Liberals and Greens opposed the project while Ford touted its benefits in his opening statement.
Del Duca’s disapproval came in the form of a personal response to the six-lane highway, which would run east from Halton to York Region through his riding of Vaughan.
“I'm the only person on this stage tonight whose community is directly impacted because of this proposed highway,” Del Duca said. “'I’m also the person who several years ago, when I was serving as Minister of Transportation at that time, I saw that this was a mistake, a colossal mistake, that you don't need.”
Meanwhile, Schreiner and Horwath separately honed in on the extensive environmental impact of the highway. “It's a climate disaster,” Schreiner said.
“It paves over farmland, it paves over the Greenbelt,” Horwath said, “What we don't need is more massive highways to mansions that nobody can afford.”
Ford applauded one party leader during the debate.
“What I like, at least Mr. Schreiner is honest and upfront,” Ford said.
When the topic of addressing rising levels of hate crimes and political divisiveness was presented, Ford complimented Schreiner’s transparency while claiming the NDP and Liberals are not upfront when it comes to raising taxes.
“He says he's for higher taxes. He's for more regulations. And I just wish you would rub off on your other two colleagues,” Ford said about the Green Party leader.
“We work together, Mike, and you're the type of guy, you can put the political stripes behind you.”
Before Schreiner could respond, moderators interjected to announce time was up and they moved onto a new category.
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
As Pride festivities kick off around the world, many refugees are celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community for the first time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, protesters and supporters of the ruling gathered at the high court's building in Washington, D.C., and in other cities nationwide.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
A barge that ran aground near Vancouver's English Bay last year quickly became an accidental attraction, drawing selfie-seekers and inspiring T-shirt designs. But after seven months, residents seem to have grown weary of its hulking presence on the shoreline.
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday. But not on its native streets and not as a celebration.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
A motorcyclist was airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries Saturday morning following a crash in Bayham, Ont.
The identity of a pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle on Walpole Island has been released by police.
The Chatham-Kent police Major Crime Unit is working alongside the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office to determine the cause of a house fire after a body was found inside the home.
A fire at a townhouse complex in Kitchener Friday night has resulted in extensive damage.
Many in Waterloo Region are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and what it could mean for Canada.
Norfolk County OPP are investigating after they say a pedestrian was found on the side of a road and had to be airlifted to hospital.
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota said he was shocked by Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
The summer festival season in Ottawa kicked off this weekend with thousands gathering for events across the city.
Someone called 911 from Britannia Beach at approximately 7:15 p.m. Saturday, reporting four people had fallen off a paddleboard and were floating towards the Deschenes Rapids in Ottawa's west end.
There are no reports of injuries after two jet skis collided near Petrie Island Bay in Ottawa's east end.
Essex County theatre opening doors of artist residency home to U.S. women seeking abortions in Canada
A theatre company in Essex County is opening up one of its spaces to American women seeking abortion services in Canada, following the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark reversal of Roe v. Wade.
No one was injured, but six people have been displaced following a house fire Friday morning.
The program has been extended by two weeks, past its June 30th deadline in Barrie, but advocates say a permanent solution is needed.
The Town of Innisfil is working to ensure everyone, no matter their circumstances, has a chance to dip their toes in the waters as summer is in full swing.
Two Georgian Bay communities are now one again as a critical piece of infrastructure has officially reopened to traffic.
An Amber Alert issued by Cape Breton Regional Police on Friday has been cancelled, as the missing youth has been located safe early Saturday morning says police.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 321 yards and Malik Henry scored a third-quarter, go-ahead touchdown for the Calgary Stampeders in a 30-23 win over the visiting Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
As the first sustained heat of the season settles in across B.C.'s south coast, Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement advising people of high temperatures and humidex values through Monday.
Metro Vancouver is experiencing its first stretch of hot summer weather this weekend and people are scouring stores looking for air conditioners and fans to cool off – some being met with empty shelves.
The family of a Vancouver police officer who died by suicide is suing the department, alleging she endured sexual assault and exploitation enabled by an "unsafe workplace culture and insufficient policies and procedures," court documents show.
Fans leaving the Garth Brooks concert at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night were happy and smiling, despite some logistical issues that delayed the show and frustrated some.
A Member of Parliament from rural Alberta went live on Facebook Friday to celebrate a United States Supreme Court vote to end constitutional protections for abortion.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Edmonton City Hall Saturday to celebrate the first large Pride event in the city in four years, and the first one in Churchill Square in eight.