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Ontario Federation of Labour visits the Sault, endorses the NDP

The visit comes amid an Ontario NDP news release bringing up issue of Romano's residency

The Ontario Federation of Labour paid a visit to the Sault this afternoon to pledge their support for NDP candidate Michele McCleave-Kennedy.

Today's drop-in is one of many stops the OFL is making across Ontario as they continue their endorsement tour for the New Democrats ahead of the provincial election next week.

OFL president Patty Coates says they need a government that's going to support the working people.

"Although the Ford government says they're for the people, and that he has the support of workers - he does not," she says. "We know this from his actions like bringing in Bill 124 that supresses wages for frontline workers. He's delayed the increase in minimum wage. He does not represent a worker-friendly government."

McCleave-Kennedy is beyond appreciative of the OFL for coming to the Sault and helping out with the canvassing.

"It's amazing to have this support," she says. "Some of them are my colleagues, some of them are local and provincial unions that have endorsed. It's just really nice to have this many people come together and visit the Sault."

Coates adds she's known McCleave-Kennedy for many years and is confident she will do an amazing job if elected to the Legislature.

"I know she cares about this community," she says. "Michele is a community activist, she's a volunteer, and she's lived here all her life. I know she'll do fantastic at Queen's Park. We're really excited to come here and paint Sault Ste. Marie orange and get Michele elected."

PC leader Doug Ford has touted some union endorsements in this election. 

A recent National Post article said four unions — the Laborers’ International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, IBEW Construction Council of Ontario and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) — have come out in support of Ford and the Ontario PC government.

Meanwhile, the Ontario NDP issued a press release earlier today suggesting that local PC candidate Ross Romano lives in Sudbury and rents a downtown Toronto parking space for 300 dollars a month.

The release went on to say the Sault's incumbent sent parking fees to his PC association, which have apparently totalled over five-thousand dollars.

In a response on Twitter, Romano called on the province's NDP leader Andrea Horwath to take down the release and issue an immediate apology.

"These types of lies are dangerous, and Ontarians deserve so much better," he says. "I am unequivocal that I have lived in the Sault for my entire life. I can state for 100 per cent certainty that I have never in my life lived in Sudbury."

While McCleave-Kennedy could not comment on the speculation surrounding Romano's residency in the Sault, she did offer her thoughts on his parking fees.

"It's not an expense that is allocated," she says. "The NDP will be looking at tightening those expenses, so they're not permittable after the election. Constituency money should be used within the constituency, and not for personal expenses."

Romano didn't hold back when addressing the issue.

"It's unfortunate Ms. McCleave-Kennedy doesn't seem to understand where the job is that she's applying for," he says. "But to be an MPP, you have to be willing to spend four days a week in Toronto, and I have parking in Toronto so that I can get to and from work."

Voters will get the final word on June 2.