Here were some of the most interesting ridings to watch in last month’s Ontario election. Some results were expected, others surprising.
PC Randy Hillier: 26,194
NDP Ramsey Hart: 15,349
Liberal Amanda Pulker-Mok: 5,359
Randy Hillier made a name for himself as the king of tractor rallies and demonstrations when he helped launch the Ontario Landowners Association more than 10 years ago. The saviour-of-the-little-guy image helped him to sail to victory again.
PC Merrilee Fullerton: 23,089
NDP John Hansen: 15,161
Liberal Stephanie Maghnam: 9,110
Green Party Andrew West: 2,827
Trillium Party Jack MacLaren: 1,898
Former seed salesman and crop farmer Jack MacLaren got wiped out in a newly formed riding. He left the PC Party when he said that leader Patrick Brown was taking the party the wrong way. But after MacLaren left, Brown got bounced out. Politics can be merciless.
PC Doug Ford: 19,055
NDP Mahamud Amin: 9,210
Liberal Shafiq Qaadri: 6,601
The PC leader and new Ontario premier won easily in the Big Smoke. The fact remains: The people love him. They loved his brother, the former and now deceased Rob Ford.
Toronto (Don Valley West)
Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne: 17,802
PC Jon Kieran: 17,621
NDP Amara Possian: 8,620
Kathleen Wynne had a popularity rating last summer of 14 per cent, yet she was able to hang on to her riding, winning by 181 votes. She immediately stepped down as party leader.
Riding: Peterborough-Kawartha Lakes
PC Dave Smith: 22,939
NDP: Sean Conway: 20,745
Liberal Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal: 15,029
Ontario’s Ag minister Jeff Leal got pounded in Peterborough, finishing a distant third. He was even unpopular among farmers.
PC John Yakabuski: 33,350
NDP Ethel LaValley: 8,066
Liberal Jackie Agnew: 4,701
PC MPP John Yakabuski, age 61, is by far the most popular MPP of any riding in the province. He crushed his opponents. From Barry’s Bay, Yakabuski has been an MPP since 2003. He won the hearts of Renfrew County and the surrounding area beating the second-placed NDP candidate by more than 25,000 votes. That’s an incredible 69 per cent of the popular vote.
The MPP spent 20 years running the local Home Hardware store. He often sang O Canada at Pembroke Lumber Kings junior hockey games and released a CD that raised $50,000 for five area hospitals.