Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party secured a second majority government after winning the 2022 Ontario election on June 2.
The PCs easily secured a majority, with Ontario election results showing the party expected to win 83 seats – well above the 63 needed to keep the legislature firmly blue. Andrea Horwath announced her resignation as leader of the NDP after the party won 31 seats, while Steven Del Duca resigned as Liberal leader after failing to win his place. The Liberals, with just eight seats, did not gain official party status. Green Leader Mike Schreiner was the only member of his party to be elected.
Ford returns to power after a tumultuous first term of government in Ontario defined by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the province has seen significant deaths in long-term care homes and the longest closures of schools across the country.
The PC victory is expected to have major consequences for Ontario’s environmental policies, from highways to farmland to carbon emissions.
Environmental record of Doug Ford since the 2018 election victory in Ontario
Politics affecting climate change and other environmental concerns were hit hard during Ford’s first term. The Prime Minister promised to eliminate cap and trade carbon prices and, in fact, it was his first action in office, even before he was sworn in. The Ford government has also accelerated plans for two controversial new highways through the protected Greenbelt, a move defended by Environment Minister David Piccini in an interview with The Narwhal. The province’s auditor general has also criticized the government for weakening endangered species protections to make things easier for industry.
PCs make pledges to drivers ahead of 2022 Ontario election
The one emission reduction angle that PCs wholeheartedly support, even haphazardly, is electric vehicles. Shortly after being elected, the Ford government removed multiple incentives to buy electric cars, but now promises to make Ontario a mining and manufacturing hub for the automobiles of the future. Just before the start of Ontario’s 2022 election campaign, Ford announced a number of measures that will make driving cheaper right away, including eliminating license plate renewal fees and, if it wins, a temporary gas tax reduction.
The four leaders vying to be premier in Ontario’s June 2022 election. Clockwise from top left: Doug Ford, Steven Del Duca, Andrea Horwath and Mike Schreiner. Illustration: Kagan McLeod / The Narwhal