Notes from the campaign trail: Long list of questions for Doug Ford

Ceria Alfonso
May 18, 2018

"When you spend time in small-town Ontario, it's clear that small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities", Ford said during a Thursday afternoon event at Capri Pizza on Dundas Street.

This would leave the small business tax rate at 3.2 per cent, down from its current 3.5 per cent. We know that most people won't feel that.

Ontarians head to the polls June 7. However, Ford did not say how the government make up the billions of lost revenue that may arise as a result of these changes. The first was about his candidate in Brampton East who dropped out last night hours before nominations closed today.

But that might be a high mountain to climb for Wynne and the Liberals, who are now a distant third in the latest poll, trailing the Progressive Conservatives, led by Ford, and the NDP, with leader Andrea Horwath.

As well, he asked to cut red tape so students in the skills trades could become apprentices much easier.

"If you've spent time in nearly any town in Ontario - you know that small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities", said Ford.

But still, Wynne warned that a new government would grind transit investments to a halt.

"It's a never-ending discussion", Wynne said.

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Ford has suggested that by reducing the gas tax, the price at the pumps will fall, and consumers will have more money to spend, thus stimulating the economy. "We have to keep the momentum going".

"There's a direct connection between the ability to invest in transit and the gas tax, that's a reality", she said.

Wynne's itinerary for Thursday also includes stops in Kingston and Whitby.

He said he'd do so partly by scrapping the province's cap-and-trade system, which puts a price on carbon and has added 4.3 cents a litre to the price of gasoline.

"If Kathleen Wynne is ignoring small businesses, then the NDP are allergic to them", said Ford. According to a press release, the tax on extraction of oil and diesel fuel in the provinces now amounts to 14.7 cents and 14.3 cents per litre, respectively.

"Every single day, we meet with a new announcement".

It's money brought to you, in part, by the provincial gas tax, Wynne says, but it's funding she attests is at risk in the upcoming election. "The reality is that the prices fluctuate - vastly, wildly". The Liberal government announced a year ago it they would increase it in 2019 to 2.5 cents a litre, and up to four cents by 2021 - increases the Tories would maintain.

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