Last week, when this press event was held with Etobicoke-Lakeshore candidate Doug Holyday and Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak, something smelled funny.
Well, the Ontario Liberal Party wants Elections Ontario to investigate if Holyday violated any election rules in the arrangement of the garbage truck photo op, while Holyday's fellow councillor and by-election competitor, Liberal Peter Milcyzn is approaching Toronto's Integrity Commissioner to look into the situation as well.
I'm not sure there was a violation of election rules, not having read the whole rule book in regards to the how elections are lawfully run in Ontario, but that isn't what bothered me when I watched that press conference live on CP24. I'm not even sure what bothered me 100 per cent of the time during it, but something was amiss.
Was the photo op and election rule violating no-no? I don't know. Holyday claims he didn't arrange it, and the company, Green For Life, claims that they were asked by someone from City Hall if they could swing by. Having said that, partically privatizing garbage pick-up was an idea supported by Holyday, and it was been a money-saver for the City of Toronto, but is Holyday entitled to take credit for it? And is Hudak trying trying to own a piece of this, or is he subtly saying that privatization of givernment services is in Ontario's future if he ends up in the Premier's office?
Perhaps the most bizarre part is Hudak's focus on Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Holyday is a star candidate and the presumptive front-runner in that riding, does he really need the leader's help more than the PC candidates in the other four by-election ridings? I know a PC breakthrough in Toronto would be huge, but come on. Or to look at it another way, perhaps Hudak is trying to right his own bad karma by staying close to a popular, well-known politician. Despite the issues and the controversies of the Liberals, Hudak finishes dead last in likability against the other leaders. It's hard to be Premier when barely a quarter of the people like you, no matter how much they support your party, or dislike the current government.
Either way, it should be interesting to see what way the five ridings in question go this week: will anger over the Liberal scandals override a general dislike of Tim Hudak? I guess we'll see.