Doug Ford, the newly elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, said Tuesday the party will live up to the progressive part of its name while remaining fiscally conservative.
Ford discussed his plans for the party when he stopped by CBC’s Metro Morning to speak with guest host David Common. Asked whether he believes his party is progressive, Ford replied: “Absolutely I do.” Asked why, he said he recognizes the importance of taking care of others while keeping spending in check.
“We’re always going to be progressive. We’re always going to have a big social heart for a lot of social issues. But we have to be fiscally conservative,” said Ford.
“We have to be fiscally conservative to make sure that we take care of the most vulnerable people in society. And the only way you can take care of them is by making sure that your finances are in order.”
He said that with its current debt load of more than $300 billion, Ontario is “the most indebted region in the entire world,” but did not offer evidence to support that claim. He said spending to service that debt, at just under $12 billion a year, is leaving the province in a “terrible mess” financially.
The former city councillor and businessman came out on top Saturday following an abbreviated leadership race sparked by the resignation of Patrick Brown earlier this year.
In his first week, Ford has already made it clear that he has his sights set on defeating Premier Kathleen Wynne in June’s provincial election.