May 4, 2014 2:17 pm

Rob Ford casts a shadow over the Ontario election

WATCH ABOVE: Global Toronto’s Jackson Proskow and Alan Carter break down the latest news on Rob Ford and the snap election in Ontario. 

Even in his absence Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is casting a long shadow over the Ontario election campaign.

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Ford’s continued support in the polls is forcing Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak to walk a fine line, said Global’s Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Alan Carter. For fear of losing supporters Hudak won’t condemn the latest actions by Ford, but he also doesn’t want to be seen as too friendly with the embattled mayor.

“Mr. Hudak, even though he doesn’t want to be associated with the Fords in any way, knows that he cannot alienate that rock core solid support that Mr. Ford has in Toronto,” said Carter in an interview on The West Block with Tom Clark.

Despite being slagged by Ford in an audio recording released by Sun News, Hudak could also be playing it safe because Ford still has a shot at winning the mayoral race.

“Rob Ford isn’t like any other politician we’ve seen before,” said Global Toronto’s City Hall Reporter Jackson Proskow. “You just can’t predict anything with this guy, so you probably can’t count him out of the race just yet.”

Ontario goes to the polls June 12

The province was plunged in a campaign for a June 12 election after the opposition parties said they had lost confidence in the minority Liberal government.

Tory Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath decided to force an election rather than supporting a plan that would see Ontario through its fragile economic recovery, Premier Kathleen Wynne said.

It would also improve people’s lives with a made-in-Ontario pension plan, billions for transit and transportation infrastructure and grants for businesses to create jobs, Wynne said.

“Quite frankly I thought there was a lot in the budget that would recommend itself to both the Tories and the NDP, but she made a different decision,” she said.

Although the NDP wrung concessions out of the Liberals in the last two budgets, Horwath said she could no longer prop up a government that was plagued by scandal after scandal and couldn’t trust the Liberals to keep all their budget promises.

“I cannot in good conscience support a government that people don’t trust anymore,” said Horwath.

- With Files from The Canadian Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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