Jun 03, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Call it Doug Ford’s Big Blue Machine.

“People of Ontario, thank you, thank you so much,” Ford today told supporters at his victory party, “Thank you for your trust and thank you for once again putting your confidence in me.”

Ontario’s premier has led his Progressive Conservatives to a second majority government, winning 83 of 124 seats in the legislature, up from the 76 the PCs won in 2018.

Doug Ford is appealing for unity and says the road ahead won’t be easy with an uncertain global economic climate and competition against other jurisdictions for every job and every dollar of investment.

Despite early election campaign polls indicating the Liberals would form the official opposition, Andrea Horwath reclaimed that title for the New Democrats.

But after 13 years as Ontario NDP leader, Horwath announced she is stepping down.

“It’s time for me to pass the torch, pass the baton,” she told her Hamilton supporters in a tearful moment, “To hand off the leadership of the NDP and you know what, it makes me sad, but it makes me happy because our team is so strong right now.”

The New Democrats won 31 seats, nine fewer than in 2018.

The worst performance of this election by far was for Steven Del Duca, who failed to regain official party status for the Ontario Liberals and the Vaughan-Woodbridge seat he lost in 2018.

And after his short stint as Ontario Liberal Leader, Del Duca announced to supporters he is also moving on.

“Earlier this evening I informed our party president of my decision to step down from the leadership of our party and I have asked him to meet with the executive to set a leadership contest for as soon as is reasonable,” Del Duca explained.

The Liberals won in just 8 ridings, including Kathleen Wynne’s former seat in Don Valley West where the high profile PC candidate, former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, lost his bid to become an MPP.

And Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says he’s also disappointed with the election results.

Despite winning his own seat in Guelph, the Green candidate in Parry Sound-Muskoka ended up losing to the mayor of Bracebridge who ultimately took the riding for the Tories.

Schreiner is appealing to the other parties to work together for the sake of future generations.

Schreiner says he thinks his party ran a good campaign, but he joked there’s one thing he would’ve done differently, “not get COVID.”

His positive COVID test midway through the race resulted in several days of virtual campaigning after his impressive performance in the televised leaders debate.

What was not impressive was the voter turnout.

Just 43 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in this Ontario election.

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