Notes from the campaign trail: Long list of questions for Doug Ford
Reporters had a list of questions for Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford today but they had to wait until early afternoon. Ford started late and went to a pizza shop in Cambridge. He made a very short four minute announcement committing to an 8.7 per cent cut in small business tax. Again today there was no explanation how a PC government will make up the revenue lost by forgoing more tax dollars.
Then Ford took eight questions from reporters. The first was about his candidate in Brampton East who dropped out last night hours before nominations closed today. Simmer Sandhu put out a statement late yesterday denying allegations made against him tweeting, âThis election is too important to get caught up in the issues surrounding any one person.â The issue appears to be connected to data of users of the 407 toll highway. Sandhu worked for the 407 ETR Concession Co mpany. 407 ETR sent out a release yesterday afternoon stating, â407 ETR is directly contacting approximately 60,000 customers by mail to advise that their account name, mailing address and in some instances their phone number were removed from 407 ETR's office at some time over the past 12 months.â How and if any data was used in the campaign is still not clear. But Ford said he acted as soon as he learned about the issues involving Sandhu saying he learned about it yesterday. He said, âI took immediate action and weâre moving forward with a new candidate.â
But Ford had another issue that touched him directly. The Toronto Star reported Ford went to a campaign fundraiser in Scarborough at the end of April. This is a clear violation of Elections Ontarioâs new campaign law. Ford said he was unaware that the event was a fundraiser. He said today, âI was misinformed, very clearly misinformed. The person that put on the event was immediately dismissed.â< p> The questions didnât stop there. Another reporter wanted to know why PC candidates are not going to all candidate debates. Ford said that was the first he was hearing of this noting that heâs ânever told them not to go to a debate.â Ford then deflected a question about the PC candidate, Andrew Lawton, in London West. Yesterday, the Liberal Party released a series of racist and sexist statements Lawton made on an online program. Ford said he accepted Lawtonâs apology and then went on to say, âWe have a big tentâ¦we welcome everyone inside that tent.â Ford did not comment on the words used by Lawton. The Ford appearance at the pizza shop lasted 13 minutes that shaved a full two minutes off yesterdayâs media event that lasted 15 minutes.
The NDP and Liberals put transit issues at the top of their election agendas this morning. Both Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath were up early this morning and both were quite content to get thei r announcements out of the way and take questions about Doug Fordâs problems. Horwath said of Ford, âitâs pretty shocking somebody would flout the rules so blatantly.â Wynne said, âboth situations are disturbingâ and went on to say that âthere is a law in this province about attending fundraisers. We all know that law.â
This afternoon Ford tweeted that he cannot comment on the allegations around the use of the 407 ETR data without seeing the evidence. Tomorrow Ford will be in London and will surely face more questions about Andrew Lawton. How many questions he takes will be in the hands of Fordâs media handler.
***Source: Google News