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Liberals question NDP's relationship with union-tied Cornerstone

Last Updated May 30, 2018 at 1:31 pm EDT

File photos of Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. CITYNEWS

With eight days to go until the Ontario election, the attacks between the parties keep on coming.

Ontario Liberal campaign chair Deb Matthews held a news conference on Wednesday, calling into question the relationship between the NDP and Cornerstone, which is a for-profit corporation with ties to eight of the province’s largest unions.

The Liberals claim the NDP has a financial relationship with Cornerstone.

“The NDP and Ontario’s largest unions are not just allies, they are partners, literally. They are business partners. Cornerstone’s public records reveal that the unions are the NDP’s fellow shareholders, their financial guarantor, and even their landlord,” Matthews said, speaking at the Ontario Liberal Party’s campaign headquarters in Toronto.

“We all know the old saying, if you want to know the truth, follow the money. Well, when it comes to the Ontario NDP and you follow the money, it leads directly to Cornerstone, into the province’s biggest unions.”

In a release, the Liberals say “Cornerstone was created to financially backstop the NDP’s election campaigns and operations.”

“Through Cornerstone, the NDP is structurally, financially and corporately intertwined with many of the same unions that, if the NDP were to form government, they would be obliged negotiate with to strike new collective agreements.”

However, Matthews acknowledged that the Liberal party doesn’t believe there is anything illegal going on.

The NDP responded, saying the Liberals are trying to smear them, and that their lawyers will be following up.

“The party receives no financial consideration or donations of any type, including in-kind donations, from Cornerstone. The party pays market-rate rent for its offices, as determined by an independent real estate firm,” the Ontario NDP said in a statement.

“There is no financial relationship between the NDP and Cornerstone of any kind.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath laughed when she was asked about it on Wednesday, saying “I can’t believe that’s a serious attack from the Liberals against the NDP.”

“This is a government party that spent its time in government cutting deals with various “interest groups” to try to help them politically,” Horwath continued. “I completely dismiss any accusations from Ms. Wynne on that file.”

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