HAMILTON – Premier Kathleen Wynne is urging Ontario Liberals not to go negative in the next provincial election, which is expected as early as next spring.
Wynne told about 500 Liberals at a provincial council meeting in Hamilton that there’s a lot of pressure to engage in what she calls the politics of division, and said she wants to change the tone of debate.
In her first address to a Liberal convention as Premier, Wynne said she does not want the party to get dragged into being mean or engaging in personal attacks like she has been subjected to.
Wynne said she can take the attacks, but insisted Ontarians don’t want the negativity or to see their politicians fighting and pointing fingers so Liberals will show people that there is another way.
The Liberals are meeting to begin their process to develop policies for the next election, which will include asking the public for ideas.
Wynne defended the Liberals’ 10-year record in government and said they had turned Ontario around.
“I’m not going to let anyone diminish these accomplishments or rewrite the history of our contributions,” she said in a speech to the party faithful.
The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats say the Liberals are reaching out to the public because they’re out of new ideas, especially on ways to turn the economy around and create jobs.
But Wynne said the Liberals intend to set targets for each sector of the economy to make sure there are proper supports to help businesses grow and expand their workforce.
“We cannot slash our way to success,” she said.
“We are investing in people. We are investing in infrastructure and we are supporting businesses by creating an innovative and dynamic environment where everyone can succeed.”