02/06/2014 18:53 EST | Updated 04/08/2014 05:59 EDT

Niagara Falls byelection: Jobs a key issue in 3-way race

The need to boost employment in Niagara Falls has made jobs a key topic of conversation during the byelection race that will wrap up next Thursday.

The Niagara Falls riding was left vacant when former Liberal MPP Kim Craitor announced his retirement last September.

And while the Liberals want to hang onto the seat on Feb. 13, they are facing tough competition from both opposition parties.

The Progressive Conservatives have Bart Maves, a regional councillor and the riding's former MPP, running for them, while the New Democrats have Wayne Gates, a city councillor and longtime union organizer, taking on the challenge of winning the open seat. Joyce Morocco, who is also a city councillor, is the candidate for the Liberals.

Closer to Toronto, a byelection is being held in Thornhill on the same day. That riding was made vacant when Peter Shurman exited the legislature at the end of December.

The face of the government won’t change in Ontario, no matter what happens in the twin byelections, as neither the PCs nor the NDP will be able to push past the governing Liberals with a gain of two seats.

At present, the Liberals hold 49 seats in the Ontario legislature, while the Progressive Conservatives have 36 and the New Democrats hold 20.

The newly elected MPPs in Niagara Falls and Thornhill may not serve long in the legislature before heading back out on the hustings — an election could come as soon as the spring, should the Liberals find themselves unable to pass the coming budget.

Click on the video above to see a full report from the CBC's Genevieve Tomney.