Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Ontario election results: populist Doug Ford to become premier

PC Leader Doug Ford NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberals Leader Kathleen Wynne. GETTY IMAGES PC Leader Doug Ford NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberals Leader Kathleen Wynne. GETTY IMAGES
Steven Clarke | 08 June, 2018, 22:40

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford capped an improbable rise to power Thursday, winning the Ontario election with a majority government and banishing Kathleen Wynne's Liberals into political oblivion after nearly 15 years in office.

At a press conference on Friday, Ford offered little detail on his priorities, but said his government would hire an auditor to look over the province's books.

Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu says Ford's election victory is a wake-up call for the Trudeau Liberals to pay attention to public concerns over taxing carbon.

Progressive Conservative (PC) leader Doug Ford attends his election night party with his wife Karla Ford (L) and their daughters following the provincial election in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 7, 2018. Meanwhile, Liberals from the party's more pro-business wing - like Steven Del Duca - were defeated last night.

Doug Ford rode a populist wave to power in Ontario on Thursday, capturing a Progressive Conservative majority by harnessing voters' economic anxiety and anger with a scandal-plagued Liberal government.

Elections Ontario says it "transformed the voting experience" for electors across the province during the 42nd general election.

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. The riding has 54,000 eligible voters in this election, with more than 4,800 of them having already voted in advance polls earlier in the campaign.

Wynne's low personal approval ratings helped drive the Liberals way down in the polls.

She was gracious in defeat.

Canada's trade deficit narrows as exports hit record $48.6B
On June 1, the USA imposed tariffs on some Canadian steel and aluminum products of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. China's trade performance has got off to a strong start this year, supported by sustained demand at home and overseas .

The New Democrats have had their best election showing in almost 30 years, winning double the number of seats they had at the dissolution of the last legislative session.

The Green Party of Ontario also achieved a milestone for their party by crowning its first MPP.

Ford has vowed to scrap a cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to cut corporate and personal taxes.

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. "Change for the better my friends, is more than a slogan, and my friends, we will not rest, we will not stop fighting until we have it - until we have change for the better". The NDP won 38 seats - held at bay no doubt by the revelations of a variety of Hitler-meming, anti-Israel, anti-police, social justice candidates and NDP leader Andrea Horwath's refusal to deal with them.

Ontario voters were casting ballots on Thursday in an election all but certain to end 15 years of Liberal rule in Canada's most populous province, with Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative Party leading in opinion polls.

Wynne, who was re-elected in her riding of Don Valley West, admitted last week that she was unlikely to win after five years as premier.

The province used new technology in this election, and problems with some of the electronic vote tabulators caused delays in a few polling stations.

A higher than predicted popular vote and new electronic vote counters - a first for Elections Ontario - made for a very quick result after voting ended at 9 p.m.

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