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Attack ad taking aim at county candidate should be removed: NDP

The party said a recent social media ad by the Progressive-Conservatives made false claims about Diane Ballantyne's support for seniors' housing

WELLINGTON-HALTON HILLS – The NDP are calling on Facebook to remove Progressive Conservative attack ads that made “false claims” about a local NDP candidate’s support for seniors’ housing. 

A new Progressive Conservative ad, seen by EloraFergusToday before an internet video, calling Andrea Horwath out of touch featured a brief shot at Wellington-Halton Hills NDP candidate Diane Ballantyne citing a GuelphToday article from Oct. 30, 2020.

One part of the ad reads:

NDP candidate said no to a $135 million seniors housing project as a councillor.

This was in reference to a County of Wellington council meeting where councillors approved lobbying the government to help fund a 250-unit seniors’ focused housing project in Wellington County. 

The proposal would feature a mix of housing options including apartment rentals, life lease units, retirement living and semi-detached houses. 

The plan was endorsed by a vote of 11-4 with Ballantyne one of those opposed. 

The Ontario NDP party said in a Friday press release the PC’s attack ad is out of context and making false claims about Ballantyne’s support for seniors’ housing.

At the October 2020 meeting, Ballantyne said she found the housing proposal to be out of reach for most seniors and would serve mainly the wealthy due to market rental costs of $1,650 for one bedroom apartments and $650,000 for semi-detached suites. 

In an email statement, Ballantyne said she is disappointed by the ad but not surprised. 

“This is a typical Conservative distraction from the real issues impacting Ontarians. The PC’s have created this attack ad referencing a discussion that took place in 2020 in my role as a Wellington County councillor,” Ballantyne said. 

“What they didn’t bother to mention was the project being discussed would not have been accessible for most seniors in our community.”

The NDP press release said the Progressive-Conservatives are focusing their attack ads on their party as they rise in the polls and are not letting “facts get in the way of their desperation.”

Ballantyne agreed with this and said she believed the PCs are worried about the momentum of the NDP campaign. 

The party said it has written to Facebook to request the removal of these ads.