Analysis: Honeymoon Capital kissing goodbye to Liberals

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak speaks to reporters about job losses in Niagara...

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak speaks to reporters about job losses in Niagara as Niagara Falls PC candidate Bart Maves listens. (Mike DiBattista/QMI Agency)

Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

NIAGARA FALLS - Consummated in 2003, it was always a marriage of convenience.

Now the wedded bliss is about to end in an ugly divorce as voters in the Honeymoon Capital kiss goodbye to the Liberals in Thursday’s byelection.

The seat became vacant last September when popular longtime Liberal MPP Kim Craitor called it quits. This was more his personal fief than a Liberal stronghold.

While polling for byelections is difficult, there are strong indications that Liberal Joyce Morocco, a Niagara Falls councillor, is running a poor third behind the NDP and the Tories.

The big issue is jobs, jobs, jobs.

Fort Erie’s economy has been hard hit. The Liberals’ announcement in the 2012 budget that they were shutting down the slots at racetracks has caused the town immense heartache.

While the NDP claims victory for pushing for transition funding to keep the historic racetrack alive, the Tories point out that the NDP supported the budget that pulled the slots in the first place.

“We (Tories) put slots in the tracks back in 1999 and ushered in the best 10 years of horse racing Fort Erie had seen in 50 years. The Liberals, in the 2012 budget, killed the slots at the racetrack program and the NDP supported it,” says PC candidate Bart Maves, a regional councillor.

About 1,000 direct and indirect jobs are on the line in a part of the riding that has been hard hit by job losses in the manufacturing sector.

He was at Tim Hudak’s side this week as the PC leader pitched his “million jobs” plan at a furnace manufacturer in the riding.


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