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Doug Ford makes campaign stop in Barrie

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford spoke to an arena of supporters in Barrie on Friday night.
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford spoke to an arena of supporters in Barrie on Friday night. Hannah Jackson / Global News

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, made a campaign stop in Barrie on Friday evening.

Ford joined Barrie-area Progressive Conservative candidates Andrea Khanjin and Doug Downey, and candidate for York-Simcoe, Caroline Mulroney at Holly Recreation Centre in the city’s south end.

Ford arrived in Barrie after a full day of campaign stops, and a leaders debate earlier Friday morning.

He addressed the rally crowd, and was quick to criticize Wynne’s government. “The party with taxpayer money is over, absolutely over,” he said, pointing to the Liberals’ care-over-cuts plan.

He said his Progressive Conservative Party has a different philosophy, which will “put money back in the pockets of Ontarians.”

“See, the difference between ourselves and the Liberals and NDP they think, especially Kathleen Wynne thinks she’s smarter than all of us. She believes that people work for the government, we have a different philosophy. We have a philosophy that is, we’re working for the people, and when the people say ‘Jump,’ we say, ‘How high?'” he said.

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Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford speaks with supporters after a rally in Barrie on Friday night.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford speaks with supporters after a rally in Barrie on Friday night. Hannah Jackson / Global News

Ford plans on enforcing this philosophy by giving minimum-wage earners a tax credit of $850. Additionally, he says under a PC provincial government, anyone earning from $43,000 to $85,000 would receive a 20 per cent reduction in their tax rate. For small businesses, Ford says his party will be offering a “responsible and modest” tax reduction of one per cent.

However, these tax cuts have been a point of contention for Ford, with both Wynne and Horwath doubting their feasibility and transparency.

Another issue Ford says the PCs will tackle is hydro rates. “People can’t afford to pay their bills — it comes down to paying their bills or putting food on their tables.” Ford says the PCs are going to reduce the hydro rates across Ontario by 12 per cent.

The PCs also have plans to scrap the carbon tax, and what Ford calls the “green energy scam,” known formally as the Green Energy Act. The PCs have also promised to address wait times at hospitals and invest in mental health care.

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However, if elected, Ford says his first official business will be to conduct a complete audit of Queen’s Park to look into what he says has been “complete mismanagement and corruption,” at the hands of the Liberals.

“This is a province of people that are fed up, everyone is uniting, everyone is coming together to make sure we turn this province around, and we will make sure that happens,” he said.

Ford is hoping to do so on June 7, when voters fill out their ballots during the Ontario general election. For now, it is all about the next 27 days of campaigning.

Ford is the third leader to visit Barrie ahead of the election. The city hosted Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Shreiner and Ontario Liberal Party Leader Kathleen Wynne on Thursday. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is expected to make a stop in the city on Saturday.