Ontario election ads a study in contrasts
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May 19, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Ontario election ads a study in contrasts

Hope versus fear — if the political parties’ advertising is to be believed, that’s what the June 12 provincial election is all about


Hope versus fear.

If the political parties’ advertising is to be believed, that’s what the June 12 provincial election is all about.

As Elections Ontario’s restrictions on television ads are lifted on Wednesday, voters can expect an onslaught of commercials over the next few weeks.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, who has been touting his “Million Jobs Plan,” said he is the candidate of hope.

“Look at the ads we’ve put out there already. You’ll see in the PC ads a very hopeful, optimistic view of what Ontario can be again. A leader in job creation with more people working,” Hudak said in Mississauga on Monday.

“That means paying steady taxes to improve our hospital care and make sure special-needs kids get the care they deserve in the classroom,” he said.

“So I’d compare our positive, optimistic vision and our talk about our plan to the very negative approach that Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals have taken.”

Hudak, who unveiled a new spot entitled “I want a job” featuring three Ontarians looking for work, said he is “proud” to be running with a positive message and suggested his Liberal rival is the candidate of fear.

“I’m very disappointed in Kathleen Wynne that she’s gone so negative. It just looks to me like somebody who’s more interested in and worried about keeping her own job instead of focusing on creating more jobs for Ontarians,” he said.

The Liberals have released a blistering online spot likening Hudak to former Tory premier Mike Harris and reminding voters cuts can lead to tragedies like the 2000 Walkerton tainted-water disaster that killed seven people and left thousands sick from E. coli bacteria.

“It’s very important in an election campaign that people understand what the choices are, what the contrasts are,” Wynne told reporters at Ontario Place.

“There’s no doubt this is an election where there are some very, very stark contrasts,” she said, adding “the Conservatives are talking about firing 100,000 people” as part of their cuts.

“I take responsibility for making those contrasts clear.”

While Wynne insisted the Liberals “have a positive vision for the province,” she makes no apologies for the party’s hard-hitting commercials.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, meanwhile, is giving the Liberals a taste of their own medicine.

Horwath, who sparked the election by announcing May 2 that she could no longer prop up the Liberal minority government her party has supported for two years, is pushing a scathing attack on the Grits.

The NDP ad reminds viewers that the Liberals cancelled the Oakville and Mississauga gas-fired power plants — which could cost $1.1 billion over 20 years — and were in office during the ORNGE air-ambulance and eHealth Ontario expense scandals.

“Kathleen Wynne can’t run away from her scandals,” intones a male narrator as the Liberal’s “wasted tax dollars” tally rises on screen.

“You are looking at 10 years of Liberal mismanagement,” it continues.

The ad does not mention that the NDP supported the Liberals’ budgets in 2012, under former premier Dalton McGuinty, and in 2013, under Wynne.

In contrast, Hudak’s Conservatives voted against both those fiscal blueprints.

Still, the NDP ad appeared to have struck a nerve with Wynne.

“It’s interesting coming from the NDP. There are a lot of questions about why the NDP didn’t support our budget,” she said, referring to the left-leaning spending plan tabled May 1.

“There is a lot in our budget . . . that would have recommended itself to people who think progressively about this province. I would say to those NDP voters to take a very close look at the plan that we’re putting forward.”

Toronto Star

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