Doug Ford claimed on Friday that he “doesn’t pay attention to the polls,” but his blistering attack on the surging NDP seems to suggest otherwise.
A Forum Research poll released on Friday morning showed the NDP vaulting into first place, with the support of nearly half (47 per cent) of Ontarians.
That would be enough to secure a majority government if the election were held today.
It was also enough for the burly PC leader to shift his attack from Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, to Andrea Horwath’s NDP party.
Ford tore into the sudden front-runners during an appearance Friday morning at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto.
“If you thought the Liberals were bad an NDP government would be 10 times worse,” Ford bellowed, adding that the NDP would implement $20 billion in new taxes.
“The NDP would make life more expensive, they would make life harder,” he stressed. “Because at the end of the day … the NDP are not working for you, they are not working for the people, they are working for special interests who don’t care about preserving jobs. People who want to change society to fit their radical views.”
Ford noted that Horwath supports cap-and-trade and the carbon tax, and said gas prices and hydro bills would surge under her leadership.
“To the NDP high gas prices are a good thing,” he said. “The less you can afford to drive the happier the NDP activists are. Under an NDP government you will pay over $2 per litre for gasoline by next summer. The NDP want to drive up your hydro bill instead of returning the Hydro One dividend to the people.”
Ford said on the contrary, he would cut gas prices, reduce the average hydro bill by 12 per cent, and implement a 20 per cent tax cut for the middle class.
“We will put more money in your pocket,” he said.
While Ford refocused his attention on the NDP, Kathleen Wynne maintained she wasn’t ready to give up despite dismal results in recent polling.
Friday’s Forum Research poll had the Liberals earning just 14 per cent of the vote.
Despite dwindling support, Wynne touted her accomplishments. “We’ve made such progress over the last five years,” she said Friday morning from Ontario Place in Toronto. “We have an economy that’s thriving, we have low unemployment rates, record lows.”
“I am not prepared to say ‘well it looks like the polls are bad, so I’m just going to sit this one out’ because it’s too important that we continue to build this province.”
“So if you’re asking me if I’m going to give up? Absolutely not.”