10/01/2011 04:00 EDT | Updated 11/30/2011 05:12 EST

Last weekend of tight campaign in Ontario; Tories, Liberals virtually tied: poll

TORONTO - As the last weekend of the campaign leading up to next Thursday's election begins a poll suggests a tight race between the Liberals and Tories.

The poll done for The Canadian Press puts support for the Tories at 36 per cent support and 35 per cent for the Liberals, while the NDP sits at 25 per cent.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has six campaign stops scheduled for Saturday, including Niagara Falls, Welland and St. Catharines.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will visit Kingsville, Brantford and Hamilton, while Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty stumps in Cornwall and Ottawa.

McGuinty, Ontario's self-proclaimed "education premier," is promising to take a hard line against problem teachers.

At a campaign stop on Friday in Brampton, McGuinty vowed to out those teachers who abuse their "position of trust."

Parents have a right to know when teachers misbehave, the Liberal leader said, and more should be done to warn them.

What's more the Ontario College of Teachers, the profession's watchdog, must be more open about how it deals with rogue teachers, he said.

The organization, which licenses and regulates Ontario's teachers, has hired retired judge Patrick LeSage to examine its disciplinary procedures.

Horwath assailed Liberal health care plans on Friday, singling out McGuinty's pledge to ask doctors to accept a wage freeze.

McGuinty's wage-freeze plan is one that hasn't worked in the past and won't work in the future, Horwath said.

But when asked if a New Democrat government would rule out a wage freeze altogether, Horwath wasn't as forthcoming.

"I don't think it's achievable to start a negotiations process by saying zero, by bringing that up as the start point," she said.

McGuinty has said he'd ask Ontario's doctors to accept a two-year pay freeze once their contract runs out at the end of March.

A former Ontario finance minister gave Hudak his seal of approval on Friday.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told a business audience in Toronto that Ontario can't afford another four years of Liberal government.

He noted the province has gone from a net debt of $132.6 billion the year he left his post as finance minister to a net debt of $241.2 billion this year — almost double in eight years.

Flaherty said he has sat at both negotiating tables and dinner tables with Hudak and believes he is the only leader who can take the province on a new path.