Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Ford wins PC leadership

Ford wins PC leadership

Doug Ford, who was the first candidate to announce his bid for the Tory leadership, has built his platform on the same populist themes that propelled his brother into office.

"These results are definitive and provide a clear mandate to Doug Ford as outlined in our party constitution and the leadership election rules", Hartley Lefton, chair of the party's leadership election organizing committee, said Sunday.

Doug Ford is hugged by his wife Karla after he was elected as the new leader of the PC Party of Ontario at the Ontario PC leadership convention on Sunday March 11, 2018. In the end, Mr. Ford appeared to have defeated Ms. Elliott by only a small margin.

Finally, shortly after 10 p.m., the results were announced and Ford was declared the victor. "To Kathleen Wynne, I say your days are numbered as premier".

Romano said that to the party, Ford is, in fact, the leader.

A protest by his opponent, Christine Elliott, the party's former deputy leader, about the accuracy of the point allocations turned what was planned as a late afternoon announcement into a late evening affair. The excitement on the floor of the PC Leadership Convention Saturday seemed to turn into frustration and anger as members and candidates waited seemingly forever to get official results.

"Doug Ford is an antidote to that deeply rooted and growing cynicism, which poses a nightmare for Kathleen Wynne, who personifies that voter discontent", wrote James Wallace.

The former one-term city councillor revved up the rhetoric Friday, echoing his late brother Rob Ford's "stop the gravy train" mantra that won him the 2010 Toronto mayoral race before a crack-smoking scandal derailed things.

As the afternoon stretched into evening, rumours flew and it became clear Ford and Elliott were entangled in a neck and neck race, and that the party was struggling to determine a victor.

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Party executives have not responded to requests for comment on Ford's allegations but have previously said they were aware of concerns over delays in getting members the documents they need to vote.

"We have to make sure we have incentives rather than tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend", he said of fostering business investment in the province during his visit to the Sault.

He agreed any challenge would be a distraction and make things hard for the party to move forward as a united caucus as it heads toward the provincial election.

Lefton said there was a discrepancy of about 1,300 ballots that needed to be reviewed.

"The billions in cuts they are promising and the divisive social conservative policies they are championing will hurt Ontario's economy and change our province for the worse".

"There are a lot of people who are hot and they're hangry and they've been around for several hours waiting for the result", Smith said.

Michael Fenrick, a lawyer and partner at Paliare Roland, says there are options open to Ford to get the review he says he wants - up to and including legal action.

According to the party, 64,053 of its almost 190,000 members cast ballots in the race.

The race was prompted by former leader Patrick Brown's resignation on January 25 after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.

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