This summer, some Ontarians will be heading to the polls after Premier Wynne announced earlier this month that five vacant provincial ridings are scheduled for the vote August 1.
By-elections are called to replace five Liberal MPPs who departed Queen’s Park in recent months, leaving the minority government with 48 seats in the legislature, while Progressive Conservatives and NDP take up 36 and 18 seats respectively. The vacant ridings are located in Windsor, London, Ottawa and two are in Toronto.
Ontario political parties are almost finished appointing their candidates and have set the race well under way. Polls by Forum Research have been tracking the candidates’ progress and are offering a potential preview at how these by-elections might shape up.
According to the latest survey, the NDP is leading in Windsor-Tecumseh, which had been held by former Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. NDP’s Percy Hatfield, a local councillor, was at 52 per cent, while Progressive Conservatives (PC) engineer Robert de Verteuil was at 22 per cent and Liberal business owner Jeewen Gill was at 17 per cent.
In London West, PCs seem to have a chance of taking a seat previously belonging to retired energy minister Chris Bentley. Conservative lawyer Ali Chahbar is ahead with 36 per cent, followed by the NDP’s Peggy Sattler, a School Board trustee, at 29 per cent. Liberal Ken Coran, the former president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, came third in the poll at 24 per cent.
In Ottawa-South — former Premier McGuinty’s seat since 1990 (and his late father’s for three years before that) — Liberal John Fraser was at 42 per cent, slightly ahead of PC businessman Matt Young at 38 per cent. The NDP was at 17 per cent.
In Toronto’s Etobicoke—Lakeshore, which had been held by former cabinet minister Laurel Broten, Liberal councillor Peter Milczyn led with 45 per cent with councillor Doug Holyday catching up at 39 per cent. New Democrat educator P.C. Choo was at 11 per cent.
In Scarborough—Guildwood, Liberal Mitzie Hunter, the CivicAction chief executive officer, was at 39 per cent compared to the Tories’ Ken Kirupa, a REALTOR® and past president of the Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce, at 34 per cent. NDP’s former Davenport councillor Adam Giambrone came at 18 per cent.
For more information on how and where to vote, keep checking Elections Ontario’s website wemakevotingeasy.ca/en/home.aspx.