KENORA, Ont. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he won't be drawn into the federal election despite being the subject of frequent attacks from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
Ford made the comments in Kenora, Ont., during only his second media availability since the campaign began in September.
The premier says he's been too busy governing to campaign on behalf of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who has rarely mentioned Ford's name during his own events.
Ford was in Kenora to announce funding for local infrastructure aimed at improving road safety.
The provincial legislature was initially meant to return from its summer break early last month, but Ford extended the recess until after the Oct. 21 federal election.
His name has nonetheless come up frequently throughout the campaign, with Trudeau suggesting Ford and Scheer are cut from the same cloth.
"I know you want to see me scrap it out with the feds," Ford told reporters. "I'm just not going to do it."
Ford, whose Progressive Conservatives won a majority last year, has seen his popularity plummet since then.
Trudeau, seizing on those sinking figures, has repeatedly invoked Ford's name and policy decisions when warning of the potential consequences of a Conservative election win.
Ford's government has launched several attacks against Trudeau and taken the federal government to court over its national carbon tax plan. The premier declined to respond to Trudeau's attacks, making a quip instead about the notoriously antagonistic relationship between the two leaders.
"I think the guy loves me or something, because he constantly mentions my name," Ford said of Trudeau. "But that's politics."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2019.
The Canadian Press