Ontario PC leader Doug Ford has won the provincial election with a majority government, overtaking both NDP leader Andrea Horwath and incumbent Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Just 15 minutes after polls closed, the PCs had a commanding lead. Both CBC and CTV quickly called the election in favour of Ford.
See the latest results as they come in here.
Ford successfully channelled populist sentiment in Ontario and successfully galvanized voters’ anger towards the Liberals, who spent the last 15 years in power. Ford had banked on voters believing in his vision for change and pledges to cut government spending, slash taxes for the middle class and offer relief to minimum-wage workers.
What can we expect from Ford running the show?
In “Are you ready for Premier Doug Ford?” associate editor Shannon Proudfoot explored what would happen if the policy-averse leader of Ford Nation actually won the election. In an excerpt from Proudfoot’s piece, she writes:
“Those who worked with Ford in municipal politics describe a businessman with an unhealthy confidence in his own judgment and a disdain for painstaking policy construction; someone who is entertaining and charming, but also quick to anger and unwilling to compromise—a “one-man band” on the cusp of running Canada’s largest province. “I think Doug Ford is so underestimated in every way possible that a lot of people think, ‘Oh, this can’t happen, he can’t be elected premier.’ Or if he does get elected premier, he’ll tone it down, he’ll become more mainstream,” says John Filion, a Toronto city councillor who wrote a book on the Ford era. “And all of that is wrong.”
When it comes to how governing could work in Queen’s Park:
“If Ford and his party sweep into Queen’s Park with a majority, of course, he will have both the leadership position to impose his will and the votes to push things through the legislature—provided there is no mutiny from within. But Ford’s type of intransigent tribalism would make any workplace a little fraught, let alone one with the egos, competing interests and shifting allegiances of politics.
READ MORE: Are you ready for Premier Doug Ford?
What changes can Ontario expect under Premier Doug Ford?
After mounting pressure from his opponents, the Ontario PCs released a more detailed look at Ford’s list of promises with less than a week left in the campaign. Although much of the platform didn’t contain detailed costs, it provides the most insight into what’s in store for Ontarians. Ford vowed to cut $6 billion from Ontario’s budget, slash middle-class income taxes by 20 per cent, add 15,000 new long-term beds, spend $1.9 billion over the next decade on mental health and addiction support, expand sales of beer, wine, cider and coolers into corner stores, replace the sex-ed curriculum and end Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
We listed some of the promises that Ford has made throughout the campaign broken down by category (For the full list click here):
In contrast to his opponents, Ford is the only leader campaigning on a promise to quickly balance the books and keep them that way.
- Ford vowed to cut $6 billion from Ontario’s budget without laying off any public employees but hasn’t specified which “inefficiencies” he’d eliminate
- Convene an “outside audit” to probe spending under the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne at an estimated cost of $1 million and give more funding to the office of Ontario’s Auditor General
Work and Taxes
The PCs under Doug Ford have vowed to shrink government and cut taxes, but questions remain about how many platform policies from Patrick Brown’s “People’s Guarantee” will be adopted. So far, Ford has promised:
- Ford, who has pledged to scrap the Liberals’ planned minimum wage hike from $14 to $15 next year, would introduce an income tax credit for workers earning minimum wage so that anyone making less than $28,000 a year would pay no income tax.
- Cut corporate tax rates from 11.5 to 10.5 per cent in an effort to attract new businesses to Ontario
- Cut middle-class income taxes by 20 per cent for those earning $42,960 to $85,923 annually, but Ford unclear how it will be paid for
Doug Ford has said he’d fire the CEO of Hydro One. Since the utility’s privatization, however, that power no longer rests with the provincial government. Other highlights:
- Cut hydro bills by 12 per cent, on top of the Liberals’ 25 per cent promised cut and return all Hydro One dividends to Ontario families
- Use “retroactive legislation” to prevent executives and board members from receiving large payouts if their jobs are terminated
On the health care front, Ford and the Ontario PCs’ platform has promised to:
- Add 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and 30,000 new beds over the next 10 years
- Spend $1.9 billion over the next decade on mental health and addiction support, estimated at approximately $190 million per year for a decade, with costs shared with federal government,
- Spend $98 million a year to provide dental care to low-income seniors
Drugs and alcohol
Doug Ford previously said he’d consider privatizing the sale and distribution of weed and alcohol but later softened his stance:
- He also said “we got to be super, super, super careful” in regulating the cannabis market
- Expand sales of beer, wine, cider and coolers into corner stores
- Lower the minimum price that beer can be sold for to $1 (plus deposit) per bottle, the level it was at prior to 2008.
Doug Ford has said he wants to “review the curriculum in all core subject areas thoroughly“:
- “Scrap Kathleen Wynne’s ideological sex-ed curriculum and replace it with one that is age-appropriate, and only after real consultation with parents occurs”
- “Scrap discovery math, and replace it with proven methods of teaching.”
- Expand the mandate of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario to include a complaints and investigations process to evaluate violations of free speech
Environment and energy
Ford has said his platform will have neither a cap-and-trade system nor a carbon tax (despite the $10-billion hole it would leave in the Tory fiscal plan). Highlights:
- Repeal Ontario’s existing cap-and-trade system and oppose the federally-mandated minimum price on carbon emissions
- End Ontario’s Green Energy Act and Cancel energy projects initiated by the current Liberal government that are in the pre-construction phase
- Set up an emissions-reduction fund to invest in new emission-cutting technologies, though no detailed cost has been provided
Doug Ford laid out his infrastructure promises which include:
- Commit $5-billion more funds for subways, relief lines, a two-way GO Transit to Niagara Falls as part of existing plan to build a regional transportation system
- Open the question of Hamilton’s $1.3 billion LRT project to a vote, noting that even if voters reject the LRT, Hamilton would receive the money for other infrastructure projects
- Cut aviation fuel taxes on interprovincial flights to and from Northern Ontario, which Ford says will cost $11 million per year
MORE ABOUT DOUG FORD:
- 2018 Ontario election newspaper endorsements: Doug Ford or Andrea Horwath?
- The Maclean’s-Pollara Ontario election poll shows Doug Ford and Andrea Horwath in photo finish
- How Doug Ford could help us get electoral reform
- Just how ‘pro-business’ is Doug Ford, really?
- Naomi Klein on ‘disaster capitalism’ in Puerto Rico