Doug Ford’s government suffered a painful defeat yesterday, as voters in two ridings overwhelmingly rejected his destructive agenda. Barely a year after the 2022 provincial election, opposition to Ford is widening and momentum is building against his government.
“Ontarians are fed up with Ford’s attacks on health care, education, and the Greenbelt,” said Patty Coates, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. “For months, we’ve seen a growing wave of protest against this government, and now we’re seeing it at the ballot box, too.”
On Thursday, Ford’s Conservatives lost the seat of Kanata-Carleton, which was held by former cabinet minister Merrliee Fullerton only four months ago. Liberal candidate Karen McCrimmon, a former Member of Parliament, was elected with just over 34 per cent of the vote, while Ontario NDP candidate Melissa Coenraad, a local health care worker and OPSEU member, took nearly 30 per cent.
“Melissa’s campaign has made this riding a competitive three-way fight,” said Coates. “Her result bodes well for the ongoing fight to defend public health care in Ontario, and lays the ground for an even stronger outcome in 2026.”
In Scarborough-Guildwood, one of the Ontario Liberals’ safest seats, well-known community organizer Thadsha Navaneethan increased the NDP’s vote share by a whopping ten points, compared to the 2022 provincial election.
Liberal candidate Andrea Hazell, a small business owner, was elected with almost 37 per cent of the vote, while Thadsha finished third with over 26 per cent.
“These results are more than a rejection of Ford’s agenda,” said Coates. “They show the potential for Marit Stiles’ ONDP to be competitive in every part of the province–including in what previously were the safest Liberal and Conservative seats.”
The OFL congratulates all the trade unionists and decent work activists who participated in the campaign and who fought for labour’s vision for a better Ontario.
“Our movement can only win in 2026 by leading the fight against Ford in the here and now,” added Coates. “Indeed, we’re not waiting until 2026 to defeat Ford’s agenda, but will continue to challenge it in the streets, in the workplace, and at Queen’s Park until working people in this province get the respect they deserve.”