When Toronto-based businessman Doug Ford began his crusade to take down the Liberal government of Ontario, the establishment laughed at him. His campaign, which mirrored much of the messaging of U.S. President Donald Trump, wasn’t something that many people expected would resonate with the people of Ontario. But much to the chagrin of political establishment, it did, and Doug Ford won massively; ending the 15 year reign of the Liberal government of Ontario on Thursday.
Ford, who leads the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PC), didn’t just defeat the Liberal Party of Ontario, he CRUSHED them. After holding a strong majority for 15 years, the Liberal Party lost 48 seats, going from a 55 seat majority in the Ontario Parliament to only having 7 seats. In contrast, the Ford-led PC Party gained 49 seats, now holding a whopping 76 seat majority.
Doug Ford, who spent most of his life in business, first got into politics in 2010, when he served as a Toronto City Councilor during the same period his late-brother Rob served as Mayor of Toronto. After a failed bid for Mayor of Toronto in 2014 Ford took a break from politics before being elected to a leadership role in the PC party this year.
Ford’s campaign caused intense backlash, including from his own party. After winning the top leadership position in the PC party, it took an inordinate amount of time for those within his own party to concede the election. This backlash seems to harken back to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who also faced immense backlash from those within his own party.
After becoming leader of the PC party in March of this year, Ford shifted the messaging of the party to a much more Trump-like populist tone. He began loudly attacking the “elites,” while boldly pledging to stand for “the people.” Ford quickly laid out five main priorities that he promised to promote if elected.
- PUT MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET
- Scrap the carbon tax, reduce gas prices by 10 cents per litre, and give real tax relief to lower and middle class families.
- CLEAN UP THE HYDRO MESS
- Fire the $6 million man running Hydro One and lower your hydro bills by 12%.
- CREATE GOOD JOBS
- Send the message that Ontario is ‘Open for Business’ and bring quality jobs back to Ontario by lowering taxes, stabilizing hydro bills and cutting job-killing red tape.
- RESTORE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRUST
- Order a line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement in government.
- CUT HOSPITAL WAIT TIMES
- End hallway health care by creating 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next 5 years and adding $3.8 billion in new support for mental health, addictions and housing.
Along with opposition from the establishment, Ford also faced intense backlash from the far-left fringe. Organizations affiliated with the violent terrorist cell Antifa quickly began attacking Ford, trying to paint him as racist, much like they did to Donald Trump.
While it’s unclear if the PC party will follow through with the promises outlined during their campaign, it is clear that if they do, they will make huge strides towards “Making Ontario Great Again.”
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