Ontario Liberals take aim at NDP as third party endorsed by teachers’ union

Ontario Liberals take aim at NDP as third party endorsed by teachers' union
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wave to the crowd at the federal Liberal national convention in Halifax on Friday, April 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

TORONTO :  Ontario’s governing Liberals, who are trailing behind the Opposition Progressive Conservatives in the polls, took aim at the NDP today as the third party was endorsed by a teachers’ union.

The Liberals issued a statement raising questions about NDP candidate Marco Coletta, who they suggest advocates for a 15 per cent reduction to teacher salaries in the province.

The tactic is one the Liberals have used repeatedly in recent weeks against candidates running for the Progressive Conservatives, including former Tory candidate and social conservative Tanya Granic-Allen, who was later turfed from the party roster.

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne says Coletta’s views are reminiscent of the NDP’s 2014 platform, in which she contends education was not a high priority. Speaking at a campaign event at a Toronto hospital, Wynne also attacked the NDP for a perceived disdain for the private sector.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she isn’t aware of the candidate’s comments and said teachers would be “properly paid” for the work they do under an NDP government.

Numerous polls have shown building momentum for Horwath and the NDP, and earlier in the day the party secured an endorsement from the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.

ETFO president Sam Hammond says the NDP earned the endorsement because of its commitment to publicly funded education.