Everything you need to read before you vote in the Ontario election

The Ontario election campaign is in its last few days, with voters set to head to the polls on June 12. Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is pushing for another stint in office, while PC Leader Tim Hudak has offered a very different vision for Ontario’s future and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she would be a fresh face for the government.

Find everything you need to know about the leaders, their platforms and key events during the campaign right here before casting your vote. 


Ms. Wynne, Mr. Hudak and Ms. Horwath are busy touring the province to share their plans for Ontario. Learn more about the people fronting each party with this quick summary of their biographies.

The three leaders also offered up their respective elevator pitches in this video, which features each candidate making a case for the premier’s office with only 30 seconds to speak.


If you’re looking for more than soundbites on the major issues, use this interactive to compare platforms from the Liberals, PCs, New Democrats and the Green Party. It highlights eight topics, including heath care, education and taxes.


Ms. Wynne was attacked for her party’s spending scandals by both her opponents during the lone leaders’ debate on June 3. Didn’t tune in? Catch up with Adrian Morrow’s article on the debate, or get the abridged version of events from Kaleigh Rogers.

The three leaders also participated in a Globe Debate faceoff, with each touting the virtues of their respective economic plans. Check out their write-ups, and if you like, vote on one and see how you compare with other Globe readers.


The party leaders have spent weeks criss-crossing the province — and where they’ve been says a lot about which regions they hope to win. Take a closer look at the leaders’ tours with our interactive.


It’s not an election without a few tough words. Issues that have cropped up during the campaign include:

The cancelled gas plants: The opposition parties hammered Ms. Wynne over the spending debacle during the leaders’ debate, and they received more ammunition when provincial police ramped up its investigation.

‘Bogus math‘: Economists poked holes in Mr. Hudak’s signature Million Jobs Plan, though he stands by his numbers.

Internal rift: Dozens of NDP members accused Ms. Horwath of abandoning the party’s roots by voting down the Liberals’ budget.

MaRS:  The PCs accused the Liberals of secretly approving $317-million to bail out a real-estate development for a Toronto research centre.

The police: For the first time in its 60-year history, the union presenting the Ontario Provincial Police released a political attack ad. The television ad targets Hudak’s plan.


With the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives leading the race, The Globe and Mail’s examined their platforms and the state of Ontario’s government and finances through a series of editorials. The last of the four pieces backed Mr. Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives, but with a minority government.

You can also check out the earlier parts of the series here.

Part 1: Advice for the undecided voter

Part 2: Sense and nonsense from the Conservatives

Part 3: Uncertainty surrounds the Liberal platform

As well, we’ve complied a list of editorial endorsements in Ontario elections from 1981 to present. 


Polls open on June 12 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (ET). Find out more about the voting process here. 

Ask The Globe: Answers to your questions on marijuana, the census and Liberal sponsorship scandal

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

Spencer Smit asks: @globeandmail Harper saying cannabis is worse than tobacco, citing “evidence” please advise #AskTheGlobe

Mike Hager, a Globe reporter in Vancouver, recently looked into this:

The Canadian Cancer Society says smoking tobacco continues to be the leading preventable cause of premature deaths in the country, claiming about 37,000 lives each year. The non-profit organization says tobacco is the main risk factor for cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung disease in Canada.

In contrast, no deaths have been directly attributed to cannabis use or overdose, says Dr. Tim Stockwell, director of the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research. But it is likely a factor in “a few” fatal crashes and “a few” lung-cancer deaths each year, he said.

Elizabeth Jane Banks asks: #AskTheGlobe Please fact check Elizabeth May’s claim that almost no one completes the voluntary census. #cdnpoli #elxn42

“Almost no one” may be a bit strong, but experts have warned about the quality of the National Household Survey data after it was made voluntary in 2011. Previously the longform census, which asks for more detailed information and is sent to a fraction of households, was mandatory. The response rates for the voluntary form were about 70 per cent in 2011, whereas the response rate for the mandatory form in 2006 was 93.5 per cent.

Alex Dempster asks: @globeandmail Harper said of the Liberal sponsorship scandal that $40 million of Canadians taxpayers’ money lost. Accurate? #AskTheGlobe

Maybe? This one’s a bit tricky, and may be a case of fuzzy math in campaign slogans. But it may originate in the $40-million of government funds for contracts to a firm where there was no evidence of work done, etc.

(The Globe and Mail, incidentally, won the prestigious Michener Award for public service in journalism for its uncovering of the scandal.)

Ask The Globe: Your questions on citizenship, C-51 and refugees

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

Ben asks: #AskTheGlobe Can the government legally revoke someones Canadian citizenship? #MunkDebate

and Sarah asks: What conditions can a Canadian loose their citizenship, residency, or voting rights? Do refugees hafta pay interest? #AskTheGlobe

Let’s deal with these two together.

First, yes, the government can legally revoke citizenship if it was obtained fraudulently. The Conservatives also added another policy, which is that dual nationals can potentially lose their citizenship if convicted of terrorism or treason crimes. Depending on the circumstances, someone whose citizenship was revoked may be removed from the country.

On voting, the Conservatives did change the eligibility to vote for Canadian expats living abroad. Generally they lose their right to vote after five years, which Donald Sutherland was not very happy about.

Chris asks: Did Tom Mulcair really say different things about repealing C51? #AskTheGlobe

The NDP has never supported Bill C-51, the Anti-Terror Act. The New Democrats voted against the bill, which was supported by the Conservatives and Liberals. However, in interviews earlier in the year, leader Thomas Mulcair did change his tone. In February, Mr. Mulcair said he wouldn’t commit to repealing the bill if elected, though his party would definitely change it. Weeks later, in March, Mr. Mulcair committed to repealing the entire law.

Myles asks: Harper says ours response has been generous- is that true compared to past refugee crises? #MunkDebate #asktheglobe #futurevoter

It depends on what past refugee crises we’re comparing it to. In terms of numbers and speed of access for refugees, it’s much lower than Vietnam (when Joe Clark raised the target to 60,000 refugees). Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau at the Munk Debate brought up comparisons with Vietnam to accuse Harper of being stingy. What sets Syria apart from Vietnam is the rules Stephen Harper introduced about refugees needing their status approved by UNHCR or a third country, a rule that didn’t exist for the Vietnamese (and which the Kurdi family blames for the events leading to Alan’s death off the Turkish coast). If we’re comparing Syria with the Second World War, though – when we famously turned away a boatload of Jewish refugees in 1939, and were pretty hostile to Jewish refugees even during the war – our current response looks more generous. (Doug Saunders and Sean Fine have done really good historical analyses of Vietnam, the Second World War and our response to the Hungarian refugee crisis in the 1950s).

Ask The Globe: What happens if two parties tie for the most seats?

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

Christopher Stasiuk asks: If two parties tie for first with the most seats in the federal election, who governs? Who is the PM? #asktheglobe

According to Wednesday’s Nanos numbers the Liberals and Conservatives are locked in a dead heat atop the polls. Which makes Christopher’s question a timely one.

Digital politics editor Chris Hannay explains the process.

The incumbent always gets first crack at forming government. (Usually, if the incumbent has not won the most seats after an election, they decline.) If the incumbent is one of the tied parties and they have a Speech from the Throne, and it gets defeated by the other parties, they have to go to Governor-General David Johnston and declare that they don’t have the confidence of the House.

The Governor-General can then decide whether to call an election or let another party have a chance at governing.

If an election has just happened, typically the Governor-General is expected to let another party have a chance to form the government so as not to waste voters’ times. (This happened in 1926)

If the second-place party, or the other party that was tied, can survive a confidence vote with other parties’ support, then they’re in government now.

This is essentially what happened in Ontario in 1985.