January 22, 2019

Ford's Conservatives win Ontario election on populist platform

09 June 2018, 07:46 | Devin Moran

Lucas Powers Senior Writer

Lucas Powers Senior Writer

Wynne said Friday she hoped the legislature would find a way to support the Liberals, and Ford said he'd consider the idea of official party status.

Progressive Conservative (PC) leader Doug Ford attends his election night party following the provincial election in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 7, 2018.

Over in Guelph, Mike Schreiner became the first Green Party candidate elected in Ontario.

While Ford credited the party faithful for the PCs' sweeping win, he also offered an olive branch to his opponents.

Ford has also thrown down a bit of a gauntlet with his talk that he thinks that marijuana should be sold through private stores instead of government controlled ones, which is what the province had been pursuing under the Liberal government.

"Over the next few days and couple of weeks - I figured the transition will take 21 days - and we'll be able to answer that as we move forward", he said. "We united our party and united our province and this is your victory".

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is thanking the people of Ontario for giving his party a majority government.

But Ford's campaign certainly wasn't immune to controversy.

Ontario hasn't had a premier like Ford before, said Western University associate political science professor Cristine de Clercy.

People are exhausted and resources are thin following the campaign, he said, and the party would do better to bide its time.

Ford, who has positioned himself as a champion of "the little guy" and has been compared to U.S. President Donald Trump, is wealthy businessman.

"Doug Ford's plan is billions in cuts that will directly hit the poor, mental health and social services, doctors, nurses, and teachers, social workers, women's legal clinics".

Doug included God along his campaign trail, too.

He was first thrust into the national spotlight because of his defences of his scandal-plagued brother, whose admission of using crack cocaine made global headlines. He grabbed his brother's former city council seat when Rob Ford was mayor, and stepped in as a Toronto mayoral candidate when cancer forced his brother to give up on running for a second term.

"I know that my brother Rob is looking down from heaven", Doug Ford said. "We have taken back Ontario, we have delivered a government that is for the people". "We have won more seats than we have held in a generation".

But the dizzying pace of initiatives rolled out by Wynne's government might have also played a role, said de Clercy, citing a hike in the minimum wage and reforms in workplace legislation and education as examples.

Just over half of Ontarians went to the polls over the last two weeks to decide who would take over as premier, making it the highest voter turnout in nearly a decade.

Almost every Liberal cabinet minister was defeated, including Yasir Naqvi, Charles Sousa, Glenn Thibeault, Steven Del Duca, Kevin Flynn, Eleanor McMahon and Chris Ballard.

Put it another way: intentionally or not, voters managed to send to Queen's Park a Liberal caucus that represents a continuation of at least part of Wynne's leadership - not a wholesale repudiation of it. Her resignation as Liberal leader was not unexpected. By the same token, it may be a sign of things to come for the Quebec Liberals. Her Liberal party had grown deeply unpopular amid rising electricity prices and voter fatigue.

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