Highlights from provincial election debate last night


Ontario party leaders faced off in a televised debate Monday night ahead of the June 2 election. Here are some key quotes:

“Under yourself and the former premier Kathleen Wynne, you destroyed this province. The economy was going downhill quicker than the Canadian bobsled team.” – Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford on Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca’s record as a former cabinet minister.

“There’s an old saying in life: you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, Mr. Ford. And the truth of the matter is, you need to stop reading the script that looks like it came out of the fiction section.” – Del Duca to Ford.

“You left a wreck behind you and you have to step up and take some responsibility for that, Mr. Del Duca. Where were you when all these decisions were being made? Were you out getting a coffee?” – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on the Liberal government’s record on hospital investments.

“Mr. Ford, have you talked to a nurse lately? Have you talked to a nurse about how disrespected they feel, how overworked and underpaid and underappreciated they are, how insulted they feel being called heroes and then essentially having their wages cut by having them frozen? Mr. Ford, if you want to build capacity in our health-care system you have to make sure you invest in the people who deliver that care.” – Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner.

“Was everything perfect? No, it wasn’t perfect. But if there was an issue, I’ll get up there, I made the change, I apologized.” – Ford on his pandemic response.

“He’s here tonight, bragging like he deserves a medal or a pat on the back about supporting public education. Your record on public education, Mr. Ford, is an embarrassment and you should be ashamed of yourself for what you have done to kids across this province, like mine and the hundreds of thousands of others that just want a premier who understands that you have a moral obligation to get public health care right and you – you, sir, have failed this province.” – Del Duca on Ford’s record on education and student mental health supports.

“This is the premier that basically had a tantrum and tore out EV charging stations when he first took office. He tore up green energy contracts when he took office. Now he’s seen the light, perhaps? I somehow doubt it.” – Horwath on Ford’s embrace of electric vehicle manufacturing.

“He will roll out the red carpets for the Amazons of the world and the big box stores of the world, but when it comes to supporting local farmers, he’ll pave over their farmland.” – Schreiner on Ford’s plans for highways.

“Mr. Del Duca, for two and a half years, literally 24-7, I was working on this pandemic. It’s easy to sit back from the sidelines, when you didn’t have to make the tough decisions that I had to make, and criticize. You have the easiest job. You just sit there and criticize.” – Ford on Del Duca’s criticism during the pandemic.

“Let’s face it, the Ford conservatives have walked away from their responsibility to lead and left you to fend for yourselves, and that’s not good enough.” – Del Duca on continued strain from the pandemic.

“I’m sure this is not the most fun thing you’ll ever do on a Monday night, but because you’re joining us, it shows that you care and that this election has a lot at stake.” – Horwath to viewers.