NEWS
10/01/2011 02:44 EDT | Updated 12/01/2011 05:12 EST

Liberals go on the offensive in new TV ad, suggest Tories would cut health-care

BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Ontario's Liberals are going on the offensive in the dying days of an election campaign that has them neck-and-neck with their Tory rivals.

A new TV ad set to hit the air in the next few days aims to stir up fears that the Progressive Conservatives would slash health-care funding if elected next week.

The 30-second ad asks Ontario voters who they want representing the province in negotiations with Ottawa over a new 10-year health-care plan.

It starts off with side-by-side photos of a frowning Tim Hudak and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

A voice-over highlights Hudak's ties to former Conservative premier Mike Harris, whose cost-cutting efforts closed dozens of hospitals.

The ad then switches to a smiling Dalton McGuinty while touting his government's work to build new hospitals and hire thousands of nurses.

It's not the first time the premier has questioned the Tories' willingness to stand up to their federal cousins.

He suggested earlier this week that having Hudak and Harper work together would lead to "double the cuts."

Hudak, who has battled comparisons to Harris throughout the campaign, has sworn to boost health-care funding by $6.1 billion if elected on Oct. 6.