The date, June 2, 2022, marked the general election of Canada’s densely populated Ontario province, through which Members of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) were elected to serve in the 43rd Parliament of Ontario.
Under the supervision of Elections Canada, this June election led to a shift in seats for nearly all political parties; while some gained, some lost their representations in the Legislative Assembly. Let us understand accurately and deeply what these projecting trends mean for Ontario political parties.
Ontario Political Parties
The Ontario election campaign by the candidates for the 2022 Ontario election was officially blazoned on May 3 when Premier Doug Ford asked Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell to sign for the dissolution of the legislature. The writs for the previously announced dissolved legislature were formally issued on May 4.
According to the Canadian Press, the first debate of the 2022 Ontario election was held a week later in North Bay on May 10, where the leaders discussed housing affordability and health care.
The following week, the leaders participated in a second debate on May 16 focused on affordability, transportation, and improving public education of the citizens.
1. Progressive Conservative Party Of Ontario (Ontario PC Party)
The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, often locally referred to as the PC Party of Ontario, is a centre-right political party. The ideologies of this party neither fully resonate with the social rightists nor artistic liberals.
The party believes in fiscal conservatism, capitalism, popularism, and progressive conservatives. On March 10, 2018, Doug Ford, also a former Toronto city councillor, was elected as leader of the PCs. Under the leadership of Doug Ford, on June 7, 2018, the party was led to a majority win with 76 seats out of 124, with a 40.5% vote share.
The Progressive Conservative Party made promises to the voters, as the 2022 election campaign began, of enhancing workspace safety by shifting the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act head office to Toronto.
The party released their budget, which included
- building highways
- transit and hospitals
- regulating transit fares
- continuing passenger rail service to northeastern Ontario
- restoring passenger rail service between Toronto and Timmins
- expanding house care
- bringing in new tax breaks for low-income workers and seniors
- increasing disability support payment rates
- improving the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
- utilizing critical minerals opportunities in north Ontario
- providing financial support to the Toronto police forces for new resources for community safety to fight gun and gang violence.
In the 2022 Ontario election, the party was re-elected with a befitting majority. It formed a government by winning 83 seats out of 124, with a 40.8% vote share, which is an increase of 7 seats compared to the 2018 election.
2. The New Democratic Party Of Ontario (ONDP/NDP)
The New Democratic Party (NDP) is Ontario’s incumbent official opposition party. Following the party ideals of social democracy, in the 2018 general election, having won 40 seats out of 124 and a vote share of 33.59%, under the supervision of NDP leader Andrea Horwath, it formed the official opposition.
During the election campaign of 2022, NDP leader Andrea Horwath pledged to the voters that she would make sure that early childhood educators get a pay of $25 per hour while a pay of $20 per hour would be set for other child-care programme staff.
The NDP promised voters to expand.
- The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
- provide financial support for businesses and black entrepreneurs
- regulate gas prices
- control privatization
- bring back rent control for apartments
- appoint education workers
- restore the government’s free tuition program.
The party also pledged in its campaign to
- pass the Our London Family Act to combat Islamophobia
- employ doctors, nurses and other health care workers for the North Ontario region
- add 1,200 new roles in the east Toronto area
- provide residents of North Ontario with reimbursement for health travel expenses
- restore Toronto City Council to its size, and
- increase rates by 20 percent for Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program.
Keeping the trend intact, the New Democratic Party (NDP), with leader Andrea Horwath and Ontario’s New Democrats in the 2022 election, was re-elected by the voters as the official opposition government. They suffered a loss of 9 seats, making it 31 seats out of 124 and a vote share of 23.74%.
3. Ontario Liberal Party (OLP)
The Ontario Liberal Party, with its party ideals of leftism, is a centre-to-centre-left political party in Ontario. They are often called the Liberals. The party lost its sanctioned party status in the election of 2018 with the worst loss in the history of the Ontario election, having fallen to 7 seats out of 124, with a 19.57% vote share. The Liberals have been in power by forming a government for the past 15 years.
The Ontario Liberals launched their 2022 election campaign focusing on financial dignity. The Liberals, in their party campaign, also made promises to the residents to
- introduce legislation to ban handguns
- combat racism
- build supportive homes for the LGBTQ+ community
- increase old age security payments
- increase the admission cap on the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
- restore service on the Northlander rail line from Toronto to North Bay
- guarantee access to mental health services.
In 2020, Steven Del Duca was elected the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.
Under the leadership of Steven Del Duca, in the 2022 Ontario election, the Liberals finished second. Although winning only 8 seats out of 124 and a 23.85% vote share, it can be considered a slight increase compared to the previous 2018 general election.
4. The Green Party Of Ontario (GPO)
The Ontario Green Party, with Mike Schreiner as the party’s leader, is often considered a left-wing party but has combined ecological and social reformation policies with equal consideration and respect for the free market. In 2018, for the first time in the history of elections, Ontario citizens elected a Green MPP, who won a seat in Guelph with a 4.60% vote share.
The Green Party of Ontario, in their party campaign for the 2022 election, promised to
- improve mental health access to the residents
- increase EV innovation
- take steps to control climate change
- reduce the emission of greenhouse gases which are responsible for adverse environmental conditions
- divert and recycle waste eighty-five percent by 2050 built from landfills
- sanction the Rights of Persons with Disabilities under the United Nations Convention
- build infrastructure
- repair schools across the province
- fund the Northlander rail to operate between Toronto and Cochrane
- fund tuition costs
- implement rent control
- address environmental racism, control pollution
- improve Northlander service in the greater Toronto area
- provide a greener environment
- provide capital cost and subsidies annually.
The Green Party was re-elected by the voters and could retain their seat in Guelph for the second term in the 2022 election with a 5.96% vote share.
Other Political Parties
The Trillium Party of Ontario, a right-wing, conservative party, gained its first MPP in 2014 when a Progressive Conservative MPP who was removed from the PC Party joined the Trillium Party. Later, in the 2018 elections, the party lost its only seat gained by floor crossing. In 2018 and 2022, an independent member won a seat in the Ontario election.
During the 2022 general elections, Ontario witnessed the emergence of a new political party, the New Blue Party of Ontario. The New Blue Party, founded in 2020, and led by Jim Karahalios, is socially conservative. “The Blue” won a 2.72% vote share in the 2022 election.
In the 2022 elections, Ontario Party remained extra-parliamentary. The None of the Above Direct Democracy Party (NOTA) under the guidance of party president and leader Greg Vezina, The Ontario Libertarian Party (OLP) with Mark Snow as its leader, The Populist Party Ontario(PPO) under leader Jim Torma, the Freedom Party of Ontario (FPO) led by Paul McKeever, The Communist Party of Canada, Consensus Ontario led by Brad Harness, the Ontario Moderate Party led by Yuri Duboisky, The Canadians′ Choice Party (CCP) led by Bahman Yazdanfar, all of them remained extra-parliamentary in the 2022 election.
The 2022 election, as per the report, set the voters’ turnout at the lowest in an Ontario provincial election, as 4,683,796 voters, equal to only 43.53% of the eligible voters, cast their vote.
Of all the registered political parties who were running in the 2022 election for Ontario, only four of the major candidates, namely, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Ontario Liberal Party, New Democratic Party of Ontario, Green Party of Ontario, and an Independent MPP, could win their seats. These candidates were represented by various eminent and emerging leaders of Canada in Ontario.
With some leaders rising to power while others stepping down, politics in general and even Canada’s Ontario province is a dynamically changing event. Each step taken by Ontario political parties will sign for what follows next. Every decision they take in these years of incumbency will reflect on the next general elections.