PENETANGUISHENE, Ontario — One of Canada’s most prominent politicians is lambasting the idea of an early federal election call as “unnecessary” and an affront to taxpayers who will foot the bill.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Saturday that it would be “unfortunate” if the federal Conservatives drop the writ early as expected this weekend.
She made the comments during a news conference in Penetanguishene where she was visiting a local festival.
“If the rumours are true, it would be unusual, it would be unnecessary, and it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Wynne said.
“Modern elections don’t require months and months of electioneering.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to pay a visit to Gov. Gen. David Johnston on Sunday to ask that Parliament be dissolved.
The move would kick off an 11-week campaign up to the Oct. 19 election, one of the longest and most expensive in Canada’s history.
Wynne pointed out the fact that Ontario’s elections laws limit the provincial election period to 28 days unless otherwise recommended by the chief electoral officer.
“The point is that politicians cannot manipulate the date or length in our province,” she said.
“That 28 day limit is respectful of taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill for elections.”
Federal law requires campaigns to be at least 37 days long, but doesn’t list a maximum length. Elections Canada estimates that a typical 37-day campaign would cost roughly $375-million to administer.
Recent changes by the Conservative government allow candidate and party spending to increase by as much as $675,000 for every day the campaign extends past 37 days.