Doug Ford's PCs win majority government in Ont.
Ontario's Premier-designate Doug Ford with his family on stage after addressing his supporters at the Toronto Congress Centre on Thursday June 7, 2018. (Jack Boland/Postmedia Network)
Doug Ford promised to fix Ontario.
Now, the Progressive Conservative Leader, who won a majority Thursday night, faces the monumental task of balancing the books, cutting taxes and not laying off anyone.
Ford described his platform as “modest” but it includes several large commitments that Ontarians might notice once implemented, including a 20% middle class tax cut, a corporate tax cut, booze in corner stores, 10 cents off a litre of gasoline, thousands of new long-term care beds and possibly private sales of cannabis.
There`s even a promise to allow buck-a-beer.
The PCs rolled over Ontario and — at deadline with more than half of the polls reporting — were on track to win 73 seats.
The blue wave will include newly elected MPPs Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliott and Rod Phillips.
The official opposition will be led by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, whose party had 40 seats at deadline, the first time it hasn’t finished in third place since the Bob Rae government of the early 1990s.
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne had a very bad night, although she was leading in her own riding of Don Valley West and appeared poised to squeak out enough seats to retain official party status.
Liberal heavyweights like Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Labour Minister Kevin Flynn, Environment Minister Chris Ballard, Health Minister Helena Jaczek and Economic Development Minister Stephen Del Duca all went down to defeat.
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, who left the federal NDP to join the Ontario Liberals, lost to NDP candidate Jamie West.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made history Thursday, winning his party’s first seat in the Ontario Legislature by claiming the riding of Guelph
The province jumped to 124 this election, from 107, to reflect the growing population, so there will be a lot of new faces in the Ontario Legislature like Gurratan Singh, brother of federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who won in Brampton East
Elections Ontario premiered new technology to speed up the voting and counting process, and results appeared to flow smoothly.
For this election, it’s not just win or lose.
Changes to fundraising rules brought in during the last term of government bans corporate and union donations and puts strict caps on individual contributions to political parties.
To compensate for the loss of fundraising possibilities, parties are eligible for quarterly allowances paid for by taxpayers if they received at least 2% of valid votes cast or 5% of valid votes cast in the electoral districts in which the registered party endorsed a candidate.
The bigger the vote share, the bigger the allowance.
For the first quarter of 2018, the Green Party received $147,893, the NDP $728,107, Liberals $1,185,487 and the PC $959.604.
So this poor showing will seriously hamper the Liberals ability to rebuild,
The election campaign was supposed to be a contest that pitted fresh-faced PC leader Patrick Brown against two female leaders in do-or-die campaigns.
For Horwath it would certainly have been her last election as leader had she landed in third place yet again.
Wynne had been putting up dismal approval numbers for almost two years before the vote and had vigorously resisted any nudge toward that proverbial walk in the snow.
Instead, Wynne held on, adopting popular left-wing proposals like a $15-an-hour minimum wage hike.
Even when Brown got the boot over sexual misconduct allegations, replaced with the far more polarizing Ford who quickly rejected large swaths of Brown’s centrist platform, Wynne was unable to move her polling numbers.
The province’s first female premier ran attack ads on herself, acknowledging she wasn’t popular but saying her ideas were.
The premier had some fine campaign moments — many thought she’d won the debates with her intelligent, grounded performances.
But, with just a week to go she took the incredibly rare step of conceding that she hadn’t a chance of winning government, and then began urging voters to keep the Liberals alive so they could hold an NDP or PC government in check.
Horwath easily ran her best campaign with a well-organized agenda, clever and effective ads, and she at the centre with her now trademark accessible charm.
However, Horwath had her own challenges when it was revealed that her election platform was improperly costed, several of her candidates had an online history of bizarre and offensive rants and some of her proposals like a Sanctuary Province would cause administrative and financing headaches.
Ford had to dump candidates including Tanya Allen Granic, despite her support in his leadership win, faced continuous criticism over his refusal to put out a fully costed platform and wrapped up the campaign mired in controversy as his brother’s widow hit him with a $15 million-plus lawsuit claiming he had mismanaged the family business and estates.
Ford’s stripped down platform with its focus on cutting taxes and eliminating the “six-million-dollar man,” the CEO at Hydro One, putting booze in the corner stores and generally getting government out of people’s faces clearly resonated with a lot of voters after 15 years of a more paternalistic-style governing under the Liberals.