POLITICS

Election campaign in 2nd week; leaders court votes in southern Ontario

09/14/2011 04:00 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:18 EST
TORONTO - The campaign for the Oct. 6 provincial election moves into its second week Wednesday with the party leaders hunting for votes in southern Ontario.

Premier Dalton McGuinty starts the day in Ottawa with the mayor's breakfast and a speech to the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.

In the afternoon, he will be in Toronto for a visit to Women's College Hospital.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is spending the day in the southwest with stops in Leamington, Stratford and Guelph.

New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath begins campaigning with an announcement in St. Thomas and then travels to Ottawa for a meeting with supporters.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner will tour a farm north of Alliston that boasts the largest rooftop solar installation in Simcoe County.

Candidates in Perth-Wellington have been invited to an all-candidates meeting on agriculture Wednesday night in Arthur.

A previously planned meeting was cancelled by organizers who cited security concerns and a planned rally against Liberal John Wilkinson.

Horwath says she's willing to participate in a leaders' debate in Thunder Bay to focus on issues facing northern Ontario families.

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association has invited the leaders to debate issues affecting the North.

On the campaign trail Tuesday, Hudak said that McGuinty would increase taxes, drive up hydro bills and engage in more eHealth-style waste.

He said a Conservative government would give families relief by taking the provincial portion of the HST off hydro bills and home heating.

Meanwhile, McGuinty and Horwath focused on jobs.

Horwath visited a skills training centre in Windsor and talked about helping young people break out of a long-term reliance on part-time work.

McGuinty held events to talk about green energy jobs, with a particular focus on solar power.

Wind power hasn't really been raised yet, but McGuinty said that's coming.

And the early campaign hot-button issue of the promised Liberal $10,000 immigrant tax credit faded away Tuesday.

Hudak initially slammed the plan as an "affirmative action program to hire foreign workers," but he made only passing reference Tuesday to McGuinty's "misguided $10,000 affirmative action subsidies."