Ontario history made as Guelph goes green
Published Thursday, June 7, 2018 6:00AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 7, 2018 10:58PM EDT
For the first time in history, a Green Party MPP has been elected to Queen’s Park.
Green leader Mike Schreiner has been declared the winner of the Guelph riding.
As of 10:56 p.m., with all 80 polls reporting, Schreiner had 45 per cent of the vote – or more than double the total of his closest competitor.
The victory does not afford the Greens all the benefits of the three major parties, as eight seats are needed for official party status in the legislature. However, it does represent the first non-Liberal, PC or NDP candidate to win a seat at Queen’s Park since 1995.
Speaking to supporters in Guelph, Schreiner vowed to hold incoming premier Doug Ford to account on environmental issues, noting Ford said during a leaders’ debate that he believed human activity contributed to climate change.
“I’m going to work across party lines to put the people of Guelph first and the people of Ontario first," he told CTV News in an interview.
NDP candidate Agnieszka Mlynarz and Ray Ferraro of the Progressive Conservatives spent the night in a neck-and-neck battle for second place. At one point, with 65 of 80 polling stations reporting, they were separated by two votes.
In the end, Ray Ferraro garnered 14,084 votes, or 21.8 per cent of the total, while Mlynarz picked up 13,928, or 21.6 per cent.
Sly Castaldi of the Liberals came in fourth with 6,537 votes, followed by Paul Taylor of the None of the Above Direct Democracy Party with 358. Rounding out the candidate roster in Guelph were Michael Riehl of the Libertarians (297 votes), Thomas Mooney of the Ontario Party (181) and Juanita Burnett of the Communists (109).
Paving the way for Schreiner’s victory was the retirement of incumbent Liberal MPP Liz Sandals, who had represented the area since 2003.
In 2014, Sandals received a commanding 41.5 per cent of the vote – more than double the total number of ballots cast for any other candidate. Schreiner was in a tight three-way race with the PC and NDP candidates for second place.
Schreiner’s victory marked the first time in more than 30 years that Guelph voters had selected a candidate from a party that did not go on to form the government.