Jul 12, 2013

By Jane Brown

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There are less than 3 weeks until voters go to the polls in five provincial byelections.  The first all-candidates debate was held last night in the hotly contested riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore.  Transit and healthcare were billed as the issues for discussion, but much of the debate focused on fiscal responsibility.   Doug Holyday is running for the Progressive Conservatives.  He told the audience the Liberals have gotten the province into “283 billion dollars worth of debt.  Now who’s going to pay that debt?  You know what, it’s not going to be any of us.  It’s going to be our children or our grandchildren.”

Both Holyday and Liberal candidate Peter Milczyn are taking leaves of absence from Toronto City Council to run for a seat in the Ontario Legislature.  Milczyn says the Liberals have the same priorities as Toronto residents.  “It’s a government that’s making unprecedented investments in public transit and infrastructure,” he explained, “and we can’t elect a government that will fill in tunnels that are already under construction.”

The debate got the attention of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford who attended the event to support his former Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday.  “I was shocked when he decided to run in this byelection,” Ford told CP24, “and I’m here to support him for a number of reasons.  Besides being a good friend of mine, he’s a fantastic politician.  He watches every dime.  He will go to Queens Park and straighten out the corruption there.  I guarantee he will, and as mayor I’m going to stick my neck out, and I’m not going to go wrong.”

This is Doug Holyday’s second run for provincial office.  He lost as a P.C. candidate in 1987.  The most recent poll has Peter Milczyn and the Liberals at 45 percent voter support, with Holyday and the P.C.’s at 39 percent support.  The New Democrats are trailing at 11 percent.

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