Aug 02, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Ontario’s Liberals held on to just two seats out of yesterday’s five provincial byelections.  The seats had been vacated by four Liberal cabinet ministers and former Premier Dalton McGuinty. New Premier Kathleen Wynne admitted last night, “people are angry about the gas plant issue.  They’re angry about money that was wasted, especially given that there are so many people who are in need.  They might even be angrier that the government appeared to hold back key facts from the public.  I totally get that.  I get that.”

Despite the three losses, the Liberals managed to hold on to Scarborough-Guildwood in Toronto and former Premier McGuinty’s old riding of Ottawa South.  The Liberals lost Windsor-Tecumseh and London West to the New Democrats.  NDP leader Andrea Horwath says it’s a new opportunity for her party to make a difference.  “We’re going to deliver for the people of this province,” Horwath said at Percy Hatfield’s campaign headquarters, “We’re going to deliver for the people here in Windsor-Tecumseh.  We’re going to be delivering for the folks across this province, because that’s what New Democrats do.”

For the first time since 1999, the Progressive Conservatives now hold a provincial seat in the city of Toronto.  Former Toronto city councillor and Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday beat out the Liberal candidate and city councillor Peter Milczyn.  “We did well to win one seat,” said Holyday in his victory speech, “These were five Liberal cabinet minister seats.  They weren’t just ordinary seats that fell out of the skies somewhere.  They were well established Liberal seats.  For us to take one, tells me that we can take more, and we will.”

The Liberals were one seat short of a majority before the five resignations, so the status of the minority government was never on the line in these byelections.  Both Andrea Horwath and P.C. leader Tim Hudak have scheduled news conferences for this morning to discuss the results.

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