Ontario election leaders debate: Running highlights of Wynne, Hudak and Horwath

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath are in CBC’s Toronto studio tonight for the one and only debate of the 2014 Ontario election. It was 90 minutes long and was hosted by TVO’s Steve Paikin.

The format: video questions from citizens of Ontario that the leaders must respond to.

Follow Globe reporters Sahar Fatima, Adrian Morrow, Adam Radwanski and Kaleigh Rogers on Twitter.

Click here for a quick summary of where the parties stand on the important issues. And for subscribers, here’s our latest analysis of the very up-and-down Ontario polls.

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, left, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, centre, and Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak, right, take part in the live leaders debate at CBC during the Ontario election in Toronto on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, left, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, centre, and Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak, right, take part in the live leaders debate at CBC during the Ontario election in Toronto on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

 

First round: ethics

A resident of Guelph, in southwestern Ontario, got the first question: How can I trust a Liberal government with my money, given scandals involving wasted money, such as the gas-plants cancellations?  It was addressed to Ms. Wynne, and Ms. Horwath had a chance to debate the issue with her. Mr. Hudak leapt in at the end.

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne takes part in the Ontario provincial leaders debate in Toronto, Tuesday June 3, 2014. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

 

Second round: energy

A resident from Ajax, in the Greater Toronto Area, asked the leaders about keeping electricity prices low. It was addressed to Ms. Horwath and Mr. Hudak had a chance to debate it with her. Ms. Wynne jumped in after.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

 

Third round: jobs

A resident from Peterborough, in central Ontario, asked Mr. Hudak: how do you reconcile eliminating 100,000 public-sector jobs with your “One Million Jobs Plan”?

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

 

Fourth round: the budget

A resident of Waterloo, in southwestern Ontario, asks Ms. Wynne: what would you cut from the government to balance the budget?

Ms. Wynne and Mr. Hudak. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Ms. Wynne and Mr. Hudak. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

 

Fifth round: transit

A resident of Cobourg, outside Toronto, asked why drivers should subsidize the costs of major public transit projects in Toronto.

Ms. Horwath and Ms. Wynne. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Ms. Horwath and Ms. Wynne. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

 

Sixth round: education

A resident of Newmarket, part of the Greater Toronto Area, asked Mr. Hudak what he would do for high-school students and for teachers’ job security.

Final statements

At the end, all three leaders had a chance to make their final pitches to Ontarians watching.

Leaders arrive

Before the action began, the leaders arrived at CBC’s office in Toronto to prepare for the debate — and there were big crowds waiting to greet them.

Where do voters get their politics news? TV and the Internet, mostly

In this new digital age, how do you reach voters? Increasingly, parties need to go online. But for now TV is still king.

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Abacus conducted the survey by talking to 2,002 Canadians over the age of 18 through a mix of online panels and live telephone interviews. The data were demographically weighted in line with the general population, and the margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The poll was conducted in January and February of this year.

Ask The Globe: Do we, as PM Harper has stated, have the cleanest electricity grid in Canada?

For the duration of the election, The Globe is answering your questions – from fact-checking leaders’ statements to digging deep into policies and promises. Have a question? Tweet it with #AskTheGlobe

Globe reader Greg Bennett asks: Do we, as PM Harper has stated, have the cleanest electricity grid in Canada?

Energy reporter Shawn McCarthy says yes – it’s true. But the answer is a little more complicated:

Conservatives’ attacks on Mulcair not too effective, survey suggests

As explained in today’s story, new survey data from Innovative Research Group suggests the Liberals are having some success with advertising rebutting Conservative attacks against Justin Trudeau. But of course, they wouldn’t need to do so if those attacks hadn’t been effective in branding the Liberal Leader as a “not ready” lightweight to begin with.

To the much more limited extent that the Tories are going after NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, it appears they’re struggling to find an angle that’s similarly effective.

In the same early-August  survey in which it found the Liberals’ new ad has a significant impact on those who see it, the polling company also tested a pair of anti-Mulcair Conservative ads. Both use the same “job interview” format as the ones against Mr. Trudeau, but the attempts to cast Mr. Mulcair as an opportunistic career politician seemed to have more limited effect.

In fact, when Innovative Research screened the first of those spots (above) – asking respondents a series of questions both before and after they saw it – it found no statistically significant impact on either voting intentions or impressions of Mr. Mulcair relative to the other party leaders.

The second ad, which is slightly more focused on alleging Mr. Mulcair has wasted taxpayers’ money and less so on using his longevity in politics and his past as a (Quebec) Liberal to suggest he’s an opportunist, proved somewhat more effective. Among respondents who hadn’t seen it before, support for the NDP went down by five percentage points after they saw it, although it’s not clear whether that went to the Tories or the Liberals. And the share of respondents who chose Mr. Mulcair as the leader who most “cares about people like me” went down by seven points.

While significant, neither of those hits is huge when an ad is viewed in isolation. And on other perceptions of leaders’ qualities, such as competence and who cares most about the middle class, there was again no clear impact.

Considering how little these two ads have been airing so far, it’s possible the Tories aren’t using their best stuff against the NDP yet. But it’s worth remembering that, even with Mr. Trudeau, they spent a while running spots that didn’t really work before they hit their target. If they decide before this campaign is over to make Mr. Mulcair their main target, they’ll have a much smaller window to get it right.

(Full methodology for Innovative Research’s surveys are available from its website.)