Liberal incumbent Greg Sorbara says Vaughan residents need only look to the past eight years to see why the provincial Liberals deserve a third term at governing.
The Liberal riding association officially acclaimed Sorbara as the provincial candidate for Vaughan on Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Veneto Centre in Woodbridge.
Sorbara will be facing Liberal-turned-PC Tony Genco, the NDP’s Paul Donofrio and newly named Reform Party of Ontario candidate David Natale in the Oct. 6 election.
In an animated speech peppered with Italian, Sorbara mentioned none of his opponents by name, choosing instead to contrast the provincial Liberal party’s track record with that of its predecessor, the Progressive Conservatives.
“Eight years ago in this province we had a premier that was closing hospitals and firing nurses,” Sorbara thundered to the crowd of about 400 people. “Eight years ago we were poisoning our own citizens with water in Walkerton.”
Ontario schools were also in “crisis” under the PCs, he charged, but said the Liberal party has worked hard to reverse the perceived damage to the education system.
“Right now, here in Vaughan, we’re investing in junior kindergarten, we’re building new school buildings, our kids are graduating in larger numbers with better marks,” he said. “People around the world say that Ontario now has one of the five best education systems in the entire world.”
He said the previous Tory government reduced welfare payments by 21.6 percent and that voters can expect the current Progressive Conservative party to also make cuts to the province’s most vulnerable should it gain power.
Priorities for the Liberal government Sorbara identified include reducing the cost of tuition for university and college students, caring for seniors and investing in renewable energy.
“We have already invested millions and millions of dollars in renewing our electricity system, which was in horrible disrepair eight years ago,” Sorbara bellowed. “You remember the blackouts . . . and the warnings that we don’t have enough electricity.”
On a local level, he expounded Liberal commitment to Vaughan’s future hospital and the in-the-works subway system.
“My commitment to you is that, if I can get your support, I will ensure that this government continues to work as hard as it possibly can for the people of Vaughan,” he said.
In a post-speech interview with VaughanToday.ca, Sorbara took a shot at the Progressive Conservatives and said he “absolutely” believes the hospital could be in jeopardy if Tim Hudak is elected premier.
“I have no doubt about it,” Sorbara said. “It’s not that they’re evil people, (but) Tim Hudak wants to buy people’s vote by way of a tax cut.”
He said the only way a government can cut taxes is by reducing spending, and the first way to do that would be to cancel infrastructure projects. As an example, he cited funding his Liberal government recently committed for a new school of engineering at York University that he believes a PC government would axe.
“I think it would be toast,” he said.