Scott elected in PC majority
By Chad Ingram
Published June 14, 2018
Laurie Scott will again serve as MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and for the first time, her seat will be located on the government side of Queen’s Park.
Scott, first elected in 2003, claimed her fifth electoral victory June 7, as the Progressive Conservative party swept its way to an easy majority.
Scott obliterated her opponents, taking almost 57 per cent of ballots cast in the riding. By comparison, in the 2014 election, she took about 41 per cent.
Of 57,474 ballots cast, 32,605 went to Scott, more than twice as many as the 15,209 votes for her nearest competitor, NDP candidate Zac Miller. Liberal Brooklynne Cramp-Waldinsperger received 5,688 votes; Green party candidate Lynn Therien 2,584; Tom Rhyno of the NOTA party 621; Libertarian Gene Balfour 455; and Chuck MacMillan of Consensus Ontario 312.
As election nights go, it was a brief one, with a PC majority government declared within 20 minutes of polls closing at 9 p.m., and Scott declared the winner in HKLB by 9:30 p.m.
“People are struggling, we’re trying to give them the relief right away, and wanted them to know we are going to do that right away, under Doug Ford and the PC government,” Scott told a jubilant crowd of supporters. Energy at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club was high, PC supporters cheering loudly as results rolled in.
“It’s time to put more money in people’s pockets, make life more affordable, tackle the many health-care issues and wait times that we have ... that’s what people have told us,” said Scott, whose pre-political career was in nursing. Among the promises the PCs made during the election campaign, were 10 cents a litre off the price of gasoline, and a 12 per cent reduction on hydro bills.
The paper asked Scott if she expected she would receive a cabinet position, or if her endorsement of Christine Elliott for the PC leadership may come back to bite her in some way.
“I’ve worked hard through many leaders, so we’ll just see,” she said. “I think you’ll see Christine Elliott have a very prominent role in the party.”
“We’re all united,” Scott continued. “The first time I got to know Doug Ford was when we were both working on the Christine Elliott campaign, before this one.”
Elliott was a Whitby MPP for nearly a decade and is a family friend of the Fords. She was elected on Thursday night in the riding of Newmarket-Aurora.
Scott was asked how the PCs would deliver on Ford’s promise to take $4 billion out of the provincial budget, without eliminating a single job.
“I can say that we’ve costed each of the announcements we’ve made,” she said. “We know we’re going to have to put an audit in, because there’s a whole bunch of figures given to us in the budget, there’s been a large amount of revenue that comes in every year ... The auditor general, she’s written many reports, the last one was, she took about 12 programs, found about a billion dollars, and didn’t lay off anybody. So that’s the type of auditing we have to do. We know there’s been a lot of waste in the last 15 years, and we know that people are very tired of that, and we’ve heard that in spades.”
Scott gave kudos to her young competitors; Miller and Cramp-Waldinsperger are both university political science students.
“They came in just at the start of the campaign, so it takes a while to get going, and they evolved quite well and got used to the campaign and worked very hard,” she said.
The Ontario Liberal party was decimated in last week’s election, coming one seat shy of being able to retain official party status. It won a total of seven seats, making the election one of the worst ever for the party.
The PCs outperformed even most polls, taking 76 seats in Queen’s Park. The NDP will form the official Opposition with 40 seats, and for the first time, the Ontario Green party will have a seat in the provincial legislature after leader Mike Schreiner won his Guelph riding.
According to Elections Ontario, voter turnout throughout the province was 58 per cent, the highest in nearly 20 years, and up from about 51 per cent in 2014.