TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne continued to weigh in on the federal election campaign Saturday, this time reaching into the history books to attack Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Wynne compared the Conservative leader to Canada’s first prime minister, implying that the transcontinental railway never would have been built if Harper had been in charge back then.
She made the remarks during the opening of Toronto federal Liberal candidate Bill Blair’s campaign office in east Toronto.
“I’ve said that if Stephen Harper had been the Prime Minister instead of Sir John A. Macdonald and B.C. had said ‘well we need a railway,’ he would have said ‘well, you know, we’re not going to help you with that, build it yourself,'” Wynne said.
“That’s not the kind of leadership that we need.”
Wynne said Blair has chosen to run with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau because he knows that he would be the kind of prime minister who will work with premiers on issues including climate change, infrastructure, the economy, jobs and growth.
“Ontario needs a federal partner,” she said.
“We need provincial and federal leaders working together to make sure that decisions that are made benefit their shared constituents, because Ontarians are Canadians, they’re not a different group of people.”
She also continued her criticism of Harper for the federal government’s lack of support for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and of not giving the province “even the minimal support” given to Quebec and Saskatchewan.
The Conservatives responded by repeating previous comments that it would not help Wynne bring in a tax hike, and said in a statement that Trudeau’s government would also raise taxes for middle class Canadians.
Wynne has been blasting Harper on various issues since the very beginning of the federal campaign and has vowed to keep fighting against him, though has said she will try again to work with him if he is re-elected on Oct. 19.
Cara McKenna, The Canadian Press