The leaders of Ontario’s major political parties are set to square off Monday in the last debate before the June 2 election, a high-stakes contest that will set the tone for the remainder of the campaign.
The debate is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET at the TVO Broadcast Centre in midtown Toronto. It will be hosted by journalists Althia Raj and Steve Paikin.
You can watch the debate live in this story, which will be updated with all the latest highlights as the evening unfolds.
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner will all be in attendance.
The four last met last week at a debate in North Bay. While it was ostensibly focused on issues affecting northern communities, the debate was punctuated by fiery exchanges about the leaders’ political history, their visions for Ontario’s future and Ford’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ford and his PCs head into the debate with a comfortable lead in the polls, according to the CBC News Ontario Poll Tracker. Both the NDP and Liberals have tried to position themselves as the only party capable of toppling Ford, while the Greens are looking to grow from a caucus of one.
It’s often said among political insiders that the leaders’ debate marks the beginning of the “real campaign,” when more voters start paying close attention and making decisions about how to cast their ballots.
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