LILLEY: Ford promises to build while Horwath and Del Duca fall into its trap

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Doug Ford got behind the wheel of a CAT 416 backhoe and started moving dirt Wednesday morning. It was a symbolic decision as he kicked off his re-election campaign with his promise to “do it”.

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“We build the roads and the highways,” Ford said.

Ford is banking heavily on its infrastructure plan – $60 billion for public transit, $40 billion for health care infrastructure and $25 billion for roads and highways over the next 10 years. He’s not just promising money, he’s putting it front and center in his campaign, even as his opponents promise to shut down projects like Hwy. 413.

“It’s time to make this election to say yes,” Ford said.

Ford held its first official campaign event at the boundary of two constituencies – Brampton North and Dufferin Caledon – both of which would benefit from the construction of the new highway. Meanwhile, Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca drove to the heart of the Ford Nation in Etobicoke and stood outside a public school to say he would cancel the freeway. 413 and put the money into education.

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“The fact that Doug Ford wants to invest that $10 billion in (Highway) 413 instead of making sure our kids go to state-of-the-art schools really shows how out of touch he is. height,” Del Duca said.

He promised that if elected on June 2, a Liberal government would spend the same money on building and repairing schools – building 200 new schools and repairing 4,500 others.

The NDP had none of that; they sent out a quick-response press release, noting that the Liberals, including when Del Duca was minister, closed 270 schools and saw the repairs backlog reach $16 billion.

“Our schools need investments so that Ontario students have access to safe and healthy schools to learn and grow. Andrea Horwath’s NDP will fix what the Liberals and Conservatives broke,” the NDP said in a statement.

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Horwath started his campaign at Queen’s Park before visiting Mississauga, Pickering and Scarborough later in the day.

“If the job is to get rid of Doug Ford and not give him the chance to make things worse for people,” Horwath said, “then the best chance we have of doing that is to elect an MP New Democrat in your riding.”

We apologize, but this video failed to load.

Like Del Duca, Horwath would cancel Hwy. 413, a project that would add much-needed road access to one of the fastest growing regions in the province. Part of Ford’s plan is to portray his party as saying yes to key infrastructure while his opposition says no.

The NDP and the Liberals are making it easier for him by saying no more often than they should.

Ford listed the off-road projects it supports in the GTA, Windsor, Kitchener and across Eastern Ontario, saying Horwath and Del Duca say no time and time again. It’s not a representation that either one is fighting against, determined to get the votes of die-hard environmentalists while ignoring the overwhelming majority of people who travel by car.

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The PC Party issued a press release highlighting times when New Democrats and Liberals complained about traffic and gridlock in the GTA. Most of them were from years ago, but complained about the traffic jam in areas where the freeway. 413 would reduce congestion.

Del Duca himself tweeted that commutes were too long and congestion was too heavy, while promising to kill a needed freeway.

We cannot add more than 250,000 people per year to a geographic region without building new infrastructure. That’s what the NDP and the Liberals are asking us to do, and it just can’t be done.

For this reason, the first day of the election campaign belongs to Doug Ford.

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About Kristina McManus

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