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Coalition talks already happening, Ontario Tories suggest

Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak talks to people at a campaign stop at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Blenheim, Ontario, Monday, October 3, 2011.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / Dave Chidley/THE CANADIAN PRESS / Dave Chidley

A coalition government may have already been negotiated and could be waiting in the wings for Ontario voters unless they opt for a Progressive Conservative majority, leader Tim Hudak warned Tuesday as he tried to pull voters toward his party in the final hours of the provincial election campaign.

With polls showing the Liberals and Conservatives are practically tied ahead of Thursday's vote, Mr. Hudak said his opponents are likely putting together plans to join and ensure Mr. Hudak doesn't take power, even if he wins the most seats.

"One thing I am worried about is that the Liberals and the NDP get together in some kind of coalition and what that's going to mean for tax hikes," he said in an diner located in Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty's Ottawa South riding. "I think families have every right to be concerned about the Liberals being propped up by the NDP."

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Meanwhile, while campaigning in Sudbury, Ms. Horwath emphatically denied that she had even spoken with her Liberal counterpart, let alone cut a deal.

"I haven't even been having nightmares of that," she laughed. "So, no."

But, the Conservative leader has taken to lumping his opponents together, and suggesting that any power-sharing deal would ultimately lead to higher taxes for Ontarians. He's suggested that the parties would not only increase the HST, but also introduce a carbon tax.

"We know where that is going to end up," he said. "Higher taxes, more big government spending and as a result fewer good jobs in the province."

While he continued to talk about the need for a Conservative government, the party's morning press release seemed to hint that may not be the most inevitable outcome of Thursday's election. In the release, he challenged Mr. McGuinty to sign a pledge to not raise taxes should he form a coalition with the NDP.

Speaking later, he said Mr. McGuinty wouldn't likely take him up on the challenge.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Dalton McGuinty is currently in negotiations with the NDP because he is looking for any excuse in the book to raise taxes and he will then say 'The NDP made me do it,'" he said.

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With files from Adrian Morrow

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