TORONTO – Ontario’s political leaders began campaigning last Friday after Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Lt. Gov. David Onley to ask him to dissolve the legislature, but the official campaign period for the June 12 election doesn’t begin until today.
Onley took to Twitter on Tuesday to explain the actual process under the province’s Elections Act for starting the campaign.
The Lieutenant Governor is required to sign two “writs of election” for each of Ontario’s 107 electoral districts, or ridings, 214 in all.
Onley will meet Wednesday with Ontario’s chief electoral officer, Greg Essena, to formally sign the writs, one copy of which goes to the returning officer and the second is retained for records. Both copies are archived after the election.
Onley has been known to politely remind journalists that elections writs are not “dropped” but are drawn up.
As for the political leaders, it will be a busy day today.
Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne visits businesses in Kitchener and Brampton and helps open a campaign office in Ottawa.
Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak plans to visit businesses in Mississauga, Burlington and Brantford today.
New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath has two events in Toronto, followed by a campaign stops in Kitchener and Niagara Falls.
There was some controversy Tuesday over the use of images from Russia in a Progressive Conservative election TV ad promoting job creation in Ontario.
Hudak didn’t immediately comment, but a party spokesman said he had no idea where the footage came from but defended the commercial as current practice.
Elections in Ontario begin on a Wednesday and are held on a Thursday, after a minimum of 29 days, but June 5 is a traditional Jewish holiday so an extra week was added to this campaign, making it five weeks until June 12.
But it’s actually 41 days if you count from last Friday, when the New Democrats announced they’d lost confidence in the Liberals and Wynne pulled the plug on her own government.
The chief electoral officer scheduled a media briefing for Wednesday afternoon at the legislature to provide “information unique to the June 2014 provincial general election.”