After two years of minority rule, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals shocked pundits by securing a majority government, sparking hope for decisive action from Queen’s Park over the next four years.
“Tonight’s result is a complete refutation of that conservative view of what this province needs,” said 680News political specialist John Stall. “There’s clearly no job crisis in Ontario, certainly not in the central part, enough to convince Ontarians that his view of the province is right.”
Steven Gilchrist, a former MPP under Mike Harris, agreed the Tory messaging was off.
“Clearly when the voters slap you this badly you didn’t have your finger on the pulse,” said Gilchrist.
With a majority government in power, hopes are high from municipal politicians for more decisive action.
“The people of Ontario have spoken strongly,” said Michael Thompson, Toronto city councillor for Scarborough Centre.
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, who had endorsed Wynne, shared Thompson’s sentiment.
“It’s answered my prayer that it be a majority because we need to get things done at Queen’s Park and we can’t do it with a minority government.”
TTC Chair Maria Augimeri is hopeful a Wynne majority can improve the state of transit. She says the city needs money “today, tomorrow” for operating budgets, something the Harris government cut, along with capital budgets for transit.
“The priority is our state of good repair. We’re falling apart. We have flooding in most of our stations … Without being too dramatic about it, we need operating dollars right away.”
Prime Minister Harper congratulated Wynne on her renewed mandate.
“I look forward to working with Premier Wynne on issues of importance to Ontarians and all Canadians, including promoting jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” Harper said in a statement.
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau tweeted congratulations to his party mate.
“This election is an historic moment for the province: Kathleen Wynne has now become the first woman ever elected to the office of Premier of Ontario. I look forward to working with her to build an economy that works for the middle class, and for those who work hard every day to join it,” Trudeau said in a statement.