Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Ontario secured a majority government in the provincial election held on June 2, 2022. The PCs gained 16 seats, winning a total of 83. Ford’s second consecutive majority is a feat; no incumbent government in over fifteen years has secured a second term. Despite losing 7 seats, Andrea Horwath and the New Democrats were able to maintain opposition status, meaning the Liberals did not regain the power they hoped to. Following the election, Horwath and Liberal leader Steven Del Duca, who did not win his own seat, both stepped down.
The Ontario election was understated, with voter turnout at its lowest since 1867. Insights suggest that this can be attributed to weak opposition, an apathetic electorate, and an overall low-energy election where the Liberals and New Democratic Party never found a way of motivating voters.
Recap of PC Priorities of Interest to the Aftermarket
Upon the announcement of a provincial election, our government relations team contacted the three major political parties in Ontario to discover their position on important issues for our industry.
Here is where the PCs stand on issues that matter to the aftermarket:
- Driving Ontario’s auto industry into the future: Budget 2022 included more than $12 billion in funding to attract new investment in electric and hybrid vehicles.
- Investing in the skilled trades: Employment and training programs are to receive $1 billion in funding, and the Skilled Trades Strategy an additional $114.4 million in funding over 3 years. Also on the labour front, Budget 2022 promised a hike in the minimum wage to $15.50 an hour.
- Address rising costs of living: The PC’s promise to make life more affordable by cutting gas prices by 5.7 cents per liter starting July 1.
With the election now behind us, the first step for Premier Doug Ford will be to review his slate of candidates and update his Cabinet. Key roles up for grabs include the Health and Long-Term Care portfolios. All signs point to the Premier appointing his Cabinet quickly.
AIA Canada’s Government Relations Efforts in Ontario
AIA Canada will be actively engaging with the new government and key Cabinet Ministers on issues of importance to the automotive aftermarket, including upskilling and job training funding, and support for right to repair policies.
The Legislature will return on September 12, 2022, and one of the first items on the agenda will be to pass the PC’s budget tabled at the end of April.