PC leader Doug Ford dropped into Kingston on April 17 as part of the provincial politician’s campaign tour.
It was Ford’s second day on his tour bus, and with only seven weeks of campaigning to go before the June 7 election, Ford was feeling confident. Asked how his tour around the province was going, Ford answered:
“Phenomenal. We’re hitting towns from Ottawa to Kingston, Cornwall to Brockville. We’ve had an incredible response.”
It was standing room only at Minos Village Restaurant, where Ford showed up in the evening after campaigning in Brockville earlier in the day. According to Kingston and the Islands PC candidate Gary Bennett, they estimate that more than 350 showed up at Tuesday night’s rally in Kingston.
“We were overwhelmed by the turnout,” said Bennett, who is running for the first time this year provincially, but who served two terms as the mayor of Kingston.
Bennett said he was pleased that Ford chose to come to the community prior to the election.
Despite the fact that the limestone city has been a Liberal stronghold since 1995, Bennett is optimistic that this might be the year the tides turn for the PC party in Kingston.
“I think every riding in Ontario is winnable,” Bennett said. He believes his own past experience in municipal politics will make him an ideal MPP for the region, and he also believes that Ford is the man to lead Ontario toward the change he says the public is yearning for.
“I’m going to make this province prosperous,” Ford told CKWS.
Despite Ford’s determination, the Liberal party has come out swinging against him and the PC party.
In an ad released this week, the Liberals claim a PC plan to freeze the minimum wage increase would take $1,100 a year out of each Ontarian’s pockets.
Doug Ford says the ad is just another reason he believes the Liberals have to go.
“They have the attack ads. I don’t need that. They have people following me around everywhere,” he said.
“We don’t have to follow Kathleen Wynne around. We’ve seen her destroy the province and the Liberals for the last 15 years.”
Ford said people have been coming up to him and vowing their allegiance to his party, even if they had voted Liberal or NDP in the past. Whether that will translate to a historic win for Bennett in Kingston is yet to be seen.