TORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives plan to introduce a motion in the legislature today to test the confidence of the minority Liberal government.
The Canadian Press has learned the Conservative motion, which will be debated next week, will ask if the government and Premier Kathleen Wynne have the confidence of the legislature.
However, it’s not a true confidence motion, so the results would not be binding on the government, but it would be a test of the Liberals’ standing with members.
Sources say it’s an attempt by the Tories to try to force the New Democrats to stop propping up the minority Liberal government and help trigger an election.
The Tories say the Liberals wasted more than $1 billion to cancel gas plants to save seats in the 2011 election and no longer have the moral authority to govern.
Just last week, the Tories introduced a motion to force the Liberal party to pay back the money spent on the cancelled gas plants, a motion the New Democrats supported.
However, the Tories failed to have enough members in the house for the vote, so the Liberals were able to defeat the motion by a single vote, 27-to-26.
PC insiders vow that won’t happen when the vote on the confidence motion comes up next Wednesday, saying they want the legislature to clearly express a lack of confidence in the Liberals.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak wrote an open letter to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Sunday, saying he was “shocked” the New Democrats were not fed up with the Liberals’ behaviour and ready to try and bring down the minority government.
“The moral bankruptcy and corruptness of the Liberal government of Ontario is now patently obvious to the majority of Ontarians,” wrote Hudak.
“I remain somewhat astounded that you and your party don’t grasp that continuing to prop up the Wynne government by being at its beck and call is doing Ontario no favours.”
Hudak said Tuesday he had not received any response from Horwath to his letter, which also requested a meeting with the NDP leader “sooner rather than later.”