Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative Party have been re-elected with a strengthened majority, winning 83 seats out of 124 in today’s Ontario Election. The NDP retained their status as the Official Opposition despite losing several seats resulting in the resignation of Andrea Horwath as leader. The Liberal’s failed to make anticipated gains, with leader Steven Del Duca losing his fight to win back his former seat of Vaughan-Woodbridge.
In a night of few upsets, the most surprising results were the better-than-expected performance of the Progressive Conservatives, including a sweep of the Brampton seats and gains from the NDP in Windsor, and the poor performance of the Liberal Party that was expected to challenge the NDP for Official Opposition Status.
The result guarantees four more years for the PCs, with April’s budget forming the core of the government’s commitments moving forward. The incoming government pledged billions of dollars in health and long-term care infrastructure and has also promised to address the affordability issues that are plaguing the province.
The next step for the Premier will be appointing a fresh Cabinet, expected in late June or early July. Although the PC’s retained most of their seats, there will be several new faces around the Cabinet table, following the retirements of senior ministers including Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott and former Finance and Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips.
Both NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca announced their resignations tonight. Andrea Horwath has led the NDP for 13 years and through four provincial elections, leaving a significant gap for her successor to fill. Following his failure to win his own seat of Vaughan-Woodbridge and with the Liberals unable to achieve official party status, Steven Del Duca had little choice but to step back from the leadership.
Health Care & the 2022 Ontario Budget:
Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy released the Ford Government’s final budget of its first term in April, forming the basis of the party’s election platform. Although the budget was not passed, Minister Bethlenfalvy did commit to reintroducing the Budget in full should the party win re-election.
As the PC’s attempted to pivot to economic issues during the election, health care took on less of a focus, even as the Budget contained a record $75.2 billion in health care spending. The PCs are expected to continue with their focus on health infrastructure over the next few years, committing a total of $40 billion over 10 years to hospital infrastructure, and to the construction of 30,000 new and upgraded long-term care beds.
The new Cabinet will likely be formed in late June to early July with Ministerial Office staffing occurring over the summer. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is currently set to resume on September 12th with a Speech from the Throne, although can be recalled earlier should the PC’s wish to pass the Budget over a summer session.
Charmaine Williams-Brampton Centre, Hardeep Grewal-Brampton East, Graham McGregor-Brampton North, Neil Lumsden-Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Andrew Dowie-Windsor-Tecumseh, Anthony Leardi-Essex, Michael Ford-York South-Weston, George Pirie-Timmins, and Kevin Holland-Thunder Bay-Atitokan from the NDP
Chandra Pasma – Ottawa West-Nepean from the PCs and Lise Vaugeois – Thunder Bay-Superior North from the Liberals
Ted Hsu – Kingston and the Islands, and Mary-Margaret McMahon – Beaches-East York from the NDP
Independent Bobbi Ann Brady won Haldimand-Norfolk from the PCs
Other Notable Races
The Ontario Greens were unsuccessful in adding a second MPP to their caucus, with candidate Matt Richter losing to PC candidate Graydon Smith, the Mayor of Bracebridge in Parry Sound-Muskoka. Incumbents Belinda Karahalios, President of the New Blue Party of Ontario, and Rick Nicholls, member of the Ontario Party, failed to retain their seats with the PCs easily winning the seats back from their former members.