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Elections in Ontario: Who are the leaders of the main parties?

Opposition party leaders, who have struggled to emerge from the shadow of Doug Ford since the 2018 election, will try to distance themselves from each other in the coming weeks. The Prime Minister, he wants to keep his achievements.

Here is the portrait of the leaders who will fight between now and the ballot on June 2.

the new Doug

Doug Ford is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and needs no introduction. With hundreds of press briefings since March 2020, Mr. Ford embodies the response to the pandemic in Ontario, for better and for worse.

He won an overwhelming majority in 2018 thanks to a conjuncture of events: the surprise resignation of Patrick Brown as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, the improbable rise of Mr Ford to the leadership against the favorite Christine Elliott and the inevitable collapse of the Liberal Party, worn down by 15 years in power.

The Ford family is a political dynasty. Before becoming premier, Doug Ford served on city council under his brother Rob, Toronto’s controversial mayor. Ford Sr. was a member of the Conservative government of Mike Harris and nephew Michael, also a city councilor, is a candidate for York-South-Weston in the provincial election.

Doug Ford, surrounded by his family, has a thought for his late brother Rob Ford after his election as leader of the Conservative Party.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Chris Young

In 2018, the Ford Nation was transposed, not without a crash, from the municipal council to the Legislative Assembly. Doug Ford brought with him his hot temper, his controversial advisers, and his desire to cut public spending.

In the opinion of many observers, the first two years of his government were chaotic and punctuated by controversy, such as budget cuts in health, education and French-language services, the withdrawal of the carbon exchange and the allegations of nepotism targeting his chief of staff.

Doug Ford was booed in public (New window). The pandemic has changed everything. His government loosened the purse strings and announced major investments in health, public transit, the automobile sector and the construction of highways. Mr. Ford has calmed down and left more room for his experienced ministers.

To hang on to their majority, the Progressive Conservatives will need to hold on to what they’ve won in Toronto’s 905 crown. This includes pivotal ridings that were Liberal before the 2018 election. the Windsor area and the North.

The old road

Andrea Horwath is seeking to become Premier of Ontario for a fourth time and has led the New Democratic Party since 2009. In 2018, the NDP recorded its best score since the days of Bob Rae and formed the Official Opposition.

An activist before becoming a politician, Ms Horwath spoke out against Mike Harris’ cuts in the late 1990s by organizing protests in Hamilton, her hometown. Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, she served as a Steel Town Councilor.

During the pandemic, the chef won some battles against Doug Ford. His nearly year-long offensive on paid sick leave, a measure vehemently rejected by the Prime Minister, ultimately paid off. But his flip-flop on the mandatory vaccination of teachers and health care workers has overshadowed him.

Chief Andrea Horwath during question period.

Chief Andrea Horwath is often combative during question period.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Chris Young

The leader struggles to broaden the base of the NDP. Doug Ford’s seduction operation with the workers, applauded by union leaders, risks stealing support from him. The creation of provincial dental and drug insurance plans, two flagship promises of Ms. Horwath, could lose their luster now that federal programs are on the table.

For an orange wave to break on June 2, the NDP leader must establish herself as the best alternative to Doug Ford and find a way to inspire the electorate after 10 years at the head of the party. the NDP will need to maintain its gains in Toronto, where the Liberals are trying to come back in force, and make inroads in the 905 by recruiting star candidates there.

Steve who?

Steven Del Duca has been the leader of the Liberal Party since 2020. His primary goal is to revive the party from its ashes. He himself lost his Vaughan-Woodbridge seat in 2018. His party has only a handful of elected officials.

The former Minister of Transport piloted thorny issues when he was in power, such as the delays in the delivery of Bombardier trams.

Before the pandemic, Mr. Del Duca made headlines and drew a lot of criticism in the GTA because he wanted to encroach on a protected area at the back of his house to save his in-ground pool.

A man walking in a crowd

Steven Del Duca during his victory as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

It remains unknown at the provincial level. Having no seat in the Legislative Assembly, the leader has been less present in the media than the members of his caucus. His opponents still see him visibly as a threat. The Progressive Conservatives and the NDP launched pre-election ads to associate him with the legacy of the Wynne government.

Under his leadership, the Ontario Liberal Party has successfully recruited dozens of new candidates, including star candidates like Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician who has been a leading figure in the fight against COVID-19, and Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman trying to defeat Attorney General Doug Downie.

Like Justin Trudeau, Steven Del Duca wants to play in the New Democratic toes by pushing his party more to the left, with promises like the four-day week and the guaranteed minimum income.

The pragmatic ecologist

Born in Kansas where he grew up on a grain farm, Mike Schreiner was an entrepreneur in the sustainable agribusiness sector before winning the Green leadership in 2009. Mr. Schreiner caused an upset in 2018 by becoming the first Green MP at Queen’s Park .

Known for his outspokenness and his aversion to partisanship, the leader is appreciated by MPs on all sides of the House. However, he was not shy about taking positions that differed from those of the other parties and advocated, for example, the abolition of Catholic school boards.

Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Ontario Green Party.

Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party Ontario, at the press conference presenting a mental health program.

Photo: Radio Canada

He is strongly opposed to highway construction and urban sprawl in environmentally sensitive areas, but his platform is not limited to environmental issues. Its housing strategy, in particular, has received accolades (New window).

Mr. Schreiner is the overwhelming favorite in Guelph. The chief has also recruited a strong candidate in the Toronto riding of University-Rosedale: the former environmental commissioner of Ontario, Dianne Saxe.

small parties

19 other political parties are registered with Elections Ontario. Two of these small parties, from the social right, are represented in the Legislative Assembly: the Ontario Party and the New Blue Party, by MPs Rick Nicholls and Belinda Karahalios, respectively.

These two MPs were not elected under these banners, but joined them after being expelled from Doug Ford’s caucus for their opposition to health measures.

Jim Karahalios, Belinda’s spouse, is the leader of the New Blue Party. Mr. Karahalios unsuccessfully tried to run for the Progressive Conservative Party presidency, then run for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, and escalated legal battles against both parties.

Derek Sloan is the leader of the Ontario Party and is also a former candidate for the leadership of the CCP. He was kicked out of the federal party after receiving a donation from a known white supremacist. The Parti Ontario claims to have hired a controversial aide to Donald Trump, Roger Stone, as a strategic adviser.

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