Doug Ford's Ontario PCs To Form Majority Government

Blanche Robertson
June 8, 2018

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath visits Joshi's Indian Grocery during a campaign stop in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

Ford, whose favourite campaign slogan was "Help is on the way", tells the cheering crowd "Help is here".

He also vowed that as premier, he will work even for those who didn't vote for him.

The contest in Canada's industrial and manufacturing heartland was a fight between Ford and the left-leaning New Democratic Party after Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, premier since 2013 and the first woman to lead the province, dropped to a distant third in opinion polls.

Wynne spent the last few days of the campaign pleading with voters to at least elect some Liberals - party insiders say they are anxious they could win fewer than eight seats, which would mean a loss of official party status in the legislature.

Doug Ford - the brother of controversial former Toronto mayor Rob Ford - is the new leader of Canada's most populous province, winning a majority government in a local show of strength for the divisive wedge politics that have rattled much of the world. She led the party to a majority in 2014, despite the party already being bogged down by scandals at eHealth Ontario, air ambulance service Ornge and a price tag of up to $1.1 billion to cancel two gas plants.

Once all the winners are tallied, the party that receives the most seats gets to hold power in government.

Wynn announced she was stepping down as leader soon after. This system is used both federally and provincially in Ontario.

In Ottawa Centre, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi lost his seat, finishing second to New Democrat Joel Harden.

Wynne acknowledged it's been a "difficult night" for her Liberals, who saw their party's presence in the legislature all but disappear.

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

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After the game, fans at T-Mobile Arena stood and chanted: "Go Knights Go!" It's why you wasted so many years supporting this team. It has also been a great place for Smith-Pelly, who scored the winning goal in the Capitals' 6-2 victory in Game 4.

Christine Elliott, a three-time loser in bids to lead Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, unseated Liberal Environment Minister Chris Ballard in the Newmarket-Aurora riding.

Burlington voters elected Tory Jane McKenna, who beat incumbent Eleanor McMahon of the Liberals.

The Canadian Press is projecting a Progressive Conservative majority government in Ontario.

The Liberals had also veered sharply left in recent years, ushering in policies often championed by the NDP, such as a promised $15 minimum wage, pharmacare for youth and generous tuition grants making university free for low-income students.

CP24 had also declared Doug Ford to be the premier-elect, having won his seat in Etobicoke North with more than 53 per cent of the vote.

Ford, who served on Toronto's city council when his brother was mayor, has spent much of his life running the family's label business. But he was accused of failing to be transparent by dodging calls to release a fully costed platform.

Ford, 53, is the brother of the late mayor of Toronto Rob Ford, who made global news in 2013 when he admitted to smoking crack cocaine.

The Green Party meanwhile, picked up its first ever seat in the province.

The Progressive Conservatives and the NDP have polled neck and neck for most of the campaign, with the Tories giving up a strong lead they held at the beginning.

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.

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