The Ontario election posted a clear result with the Progressive Conservatives forming a majority government with 76 seats. The New Democratic Party becomes the official opposition with 40 seats. The Liberals no longer have party status with seven seats, losing research funding and the right to ask questions in Question Period. The Green Party made history with the election of Mike Schreiner in the riding of Guelph.
Also based in Guelph, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) congratulated all of the MPs elected, including Doug Ford, the premier-designate, Andrea Horwath and her NDP caucus.
“We are looking forward to supporting the new Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as that person takes over the role of leading our very important sector,” says Jan VanderHout, chair, OFVGA. “Through collaboration with government we will keep good things growing in Ontario.”
Leading up to the election, the OFVGA highlighted the industry’s key concerns with party leaders, including minimum wage, energy costs, carbon pricing and trade. The OFVGA is encouraged by many of the commitments made by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party during the election campaign to address aspects of these concerns. Now that the election has occurred, the OFVGA is ready to get to work to ensure Ontario’s fruit and vegetable sector is competitive, an overarching theme which will continue to guide discussions with government.
The OFVGA also thanked former Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal and his team for their commitment to the sector over the past four years. “The opportunity to have a collaborative relationship under Leal’s leadership was greatly appreciated,” says VanderHout.
Results of key ridings:
Peterborough-Kawartha.Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Liberal minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, was defeated in this bellwether riding by Conservative Dave Smith who earned 22,939 votes. The NDP made a strong showing with 20,745 votes. Leal came in third place with 15,029 votes.
York-Simcoe. Caroline Mulroney took the seat for the Conservatives by a convincing margin of 26,050 votes compared to 10,655 votes for the New Democrats.
Niagara Falls. Wayne Gates, the NDP incumbent, won this riding handily with 30,161 votes versus the PC candidate with 21,126 votes.
Haldimand-Norfolk. Toby Barrett, the Conservative incumbent since 1995, was a popular candidate earning 28,889 votes versus second-place finisher NDP at 13,609 votes. He was the opposition ag critic in the last legislature.
Chatham-Kent-Leamington. Rick Nicholls, the Conservative incumbent, won the confidence of his constituents with 24,070 votes versus the NDP candidate at 16,558 votes.
Timiskaming-Cochrane. John Vanthof, NDP incumbent in this northern riding, safely secured the seat with 16,805 votes versus the Conservative candidate with 6,160 votes. He has been the shadow critic for agriculture since 2011.
The next election is slated for June 2, 2022.