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Wynne calls byelections in Niagara Falls and Thornhill

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has called for two provincial byelections, one in Niagara Falls and the other in Thornhill.

The vote will be held on Feb. 13.

It’s expected federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will join Wynne in Niagara Falls on Friday. On Monday, the Liberal government announced that a new hospital would be built in Niagara Falls.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, sources told The Canadian Press that Wynne wants the byelections completed by Feb. 18, when MPPs resume sitting.

By tradition, byelections are called on a Wednesday and are held on a Thursday after a campaign of four weeks plus one day.

Joyce Morocco, a Niagara Falls city councillor, will be the Liberal candidate, the party said Wednesday, and Sandra Yeung Racco, a city councillor in Vaughan, will run in Thornhill.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak told 680News political affairs specialist John Stall that any election would have to focus on jobs.

“Whenever that byelection comes, I’m looking forward to talking about a million jobs, planning to get people back to work and restoring hope in our province,” Hudak said.

Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews, also the campaign co-chair, said in a statement that Hudak would eliminate jobs.

“Hudak will eliminate jobs, drive down wages, and weaken pensions all while cutting billions from schools and hospitals. He’ll pick up where Mike Harris left off,” Matthews said.

“And the NDP? They have no economic plan and won’t present one because NDP ideas are bad for the economy.”

Liberal MPP Kim Craitor resigned his Niagara Falls seat in September. Conservative finance critic Peter Shurman was removed from his position due to an accommodation expense scandal and later resigned in December.

With files from The Canadian Press