Ford commits to twinning Highway 3, local NDP and Liberal candidates skeptical
Ontario PC leader Doug Ford says he’s committed to twinning Highway 3 immediately, if he is elected as premier in the upcoming provincial election.
Ford made the announcement in Kingsville Wednesday afternoon.
The issue has been a hot topic in the riding.
"I'm committed to 100 per cent, once we sit down with the community I just want to consult with them first," says Ford.
But that’s not good enough for Essex NDP candidate, Taras Natyshak.
"That is not a firm commitment,” says Taras Natyshak. “Our community has talked at length about the need, the safety concerns, the economic concerns around Highway 3."
The incumbent has been vocal about twinning the road and says it's written in ink as part of the New Democrat's southwest Ontario platform.
“If it isn't on paper, then it doesn't exist,” says Natyshak. “I don't see anything coming out that isn't a firm commitment from the party."
Natyshak says his party has made it a firm commitment and it would start to happen on Day One of a NDP government.
Liberal candidate Kate Festeryga says she supports twinning the highway and notes the Liberal's plan to widen the road as part of the 2017 to 2021 southern highways fund.
“I applaud Doug for in fact saying he will in fact endorse widening Highway 3, but I honestly have grave concerns whether this is something he will actually do," says Festeryga.
The Ministry of Transportation sent a letter to Essex County Council on May 4, saying there’s no expansion planned in the near future and the statistics didn't support the need for immediate action.
The letter did say the province is still committed to the project as a part of the 2017-2021 Southern Highways Program.
Ford was also in Woodslee Wednesday morning, where he talked about wanting to expand natural gas, cell and broadband to rural Ontario during a stop in Essex County.
He also talked about the importance of rural communities, and how the NDP is more interested in downtown. He says he has committed to making a farmer the Minister of Agriculture.
Ford also plans on attending a rally this evening in Chatham.
The major party leaders are spreading out across the province today as they campaign for the June 7 election in the face of polls indicating the New Democrats are on the rise as the governing Liberals falter.
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne made an announcement in Toronto Wednesday morning, then is heading to Sudbury, Ont., for an event at a distillery, and meet with supporters this evening in Thunder Bay, Ont.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is in Toronto today where she'll tour Seneca College this morning and then attend a town hall with young people this evening.
Two recent polls suggest the New Democrats now have the most support, along with the Progressive Conservatives. In the months before the campaign, polls had shown the Tories with a hefty lead, followed by the Liberals and the NDP.
Wynne -- whose Liberals have fallen to third place in the polls -- said at a campaign stop in Toronto on Tuesday that she was "not under any illusion that this is not a challenging election" for her party.