With hours left to go before the tip of the provincial election campaign, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made a second and final stop in London on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to secure voters in hotly contested London North Centre.
London North Centre has emerged as a battleground riding within the province, and is predicted to be an in depth race on Thursday. Ontario’s 4 predominant political parties have all made the riding a predominant stop through the election campaign.
Schreiner was joined early Wednesday afternoon by the party’s 4 London-area candidates, including London North Centre’s Carol Dyck, and other party supporters on the corner of Oxford Street and Wharncliffe Road for a transient campaign stop and media Q&A.
Addressing reporters, Schreiner touted previous campaign announcements from the party geared toward bolstering the green economy, including a $5-billion tech innovation fund and a $4-billion climate bank, geared toward supporting green innovation and helping green economy entrepreneurs and start-ups.
“This election comes at a critical moment in time for our climate and our economy, and the Ontario Greens know that we will deliver the economic solutions this province needs if we address the climate emergency, because climate motion is job motion,” Schreiner said in an address to reporters, lasing just over five minutes.
“Sadly you wouldn’t know that watching the campaigns of the opposite parties who’ve barely talked about delivering solutions for the climate crisis. Half measures and taking us backwards won’t get the job done.”
The party also previously announced a plan to supply a yr of free college tuition and a yr of guaranteed work upon graduation to 60,000 young Ontarians to provide them proper skills and experience to work in what the party has dubbed “the brand new climate economy.”
“We’ve got the solutions. We’ve got the innovations. We’ve got the technology,” Schreiner said.
“We’ve got the expert labour force to be global leaders within the $26 trillion latest climate economy, to draw and maximize the job opportunities within the 65 million jobs that shall be created worldwide in the brand new climate economy.”
During his remarks, Schreiner slammed Ontario PC Party Leader Doug Ford, calling his agenda “anti-climate and anti-jobs,” referencing Ford’s decision to tear up 750 renewable energy contracts shortly after winning the 2018 election.
“It’s absolutely time for something latest in Ontario. I believe individuals are hungry for a latest way of doing politics. Latest solutions to old problems,” Schreiner told Global News.
Included within the list of guarantees made by the Greens through the election campaign is a pledge to incorporate mental health and addictions care in OHIP, and the doubling of Ontario Disability Support Program rates, a move later matched by the Latest Democrats.
“The undeniable fact that we’re forcing individuals with disabilities to live in poverty is unacceptable,” Schreiner said Wednesday.
“The Ontario Greens are going to proceed to guide on ending poverty, lead on addressing the housing affordability crisis, lead on addressing the climate emergency and lead on fixing the systemic explanation why we’re facing a value of living crisis.”
Speaking with Global News last month, Western political scientist Cameron Anderson said that, based on polling on the time, the race in London North Centre was more likely to be a tossup between the NDP’s Terence Kernaghan and the PC’s Jerry Pribil.
“Most recently, the perfect polling I can find (suggests) a dead heat between the NDP and (Progressive Conservatives) with the Liberals not trailing too far behind,” Anderson said in an email on Wednesday.
On average, he said, it appeared that the NDP and Tories were in a dead heat polling within the low 30s, with the Liberals trailing by roughly eight points.
“Indeed, expected vote support for every of those parties lies inside the margin of error meaning that any of those parties could win come election night. After all, riding level estimates have pretty large margins of error so this (lessens) confidence within the precision of those estimates,” he said.
Schreiner’s London stop is one in every of several on the docket for the ultimate day of campaigning. Schreiner appeared in Brantford and St. Thomas before arriving in London, and can stop in Kitchener within the mid-afternoon.
Elsewhere across the province, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca has two Toronto stops on his schedule, while NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is making multiple stops within the GTHA, including in Brampton, Brantford, Cambridge, Freelton, and Toronto.
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has a rally scheduled in Toronto at 8 p.m.
Polls suggest Ford’s Tories are the frontrunner party with a robust possibility of forming one other majority government.
— with files from Andrew Graham and The Canadian Press