Hundreds brave ice storm to attend local Ford rallies
Doug Ford rolled into Ottawa on Monday, hammering away on some traditional Conservative targets — Hydro One and Liberal spending, for example — and unveiling a new campaign pledge: eliminating provincial taxes for workers earning minimum wage.
“My heart breaks for people on minimum wage,” the Ontario Conservative leader told a rally Monday night at the Nepean Sportsplex. “The Liberals decided to put (minimum wage) up to $14, but what people don’t realize is that they’re getting gouged by higher taxes. We took a commonsense approach,” Ford said.
The announcement, the first plank in the Conservative platform for the June 7 provincial election, would eliminate provincial income tax for Ontario residents who earn less than $30,000.
Close to 700 braved Monday’s ice storm to attend the rally, which followed a Ford appearance at a noon-hour rally in Orléans. Led by Lisa MacLeod, MPP for NepeanCarleton, the rally also attracted other Tory stalwarts, including retired Conservative senator Marjorie LeBreton, MP Lisa Raitt and former MPPs Claude Bennett and Gary Guzzo. Former Ottawa mayor Larry O’Brien was also there.
But it was Doug Ford the crowd had come to see, hoisting their “Doug for the people” signs, whooping at Ford’s promises to cut taxes, eliminate waste and axe programs such as Ontario’s Green Energy Act and carbon tax.
“The days of gouging the taxpayers are done,” Ford said. “We will go line by line through the budget and we will squeeze out every bit of waste there is.”
Days of gouging the taxpayers are done. We will go line by line through the budget and (squeeze) out every bit of waste.
Mentions of Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau drew hearty jeers.
“I believe he is the one who can bring the real change that needs to happen,” said August Strotmann of Barrhaven. “I’m tired of the Liberals being in power so long.”
Georganne Burke and friend Bernadette Patton were also keen Ford supporters, taking front row seats behind their party’s leader.
“I was one of those people who supported him from the beginning and I can’t say that I am as proud of anything provincially as that,” Burke said. “He’s a great guy and I think he’s going to be a fantastic premier.”