Watch the video above: By-elections announced for Niagara Falls, Thornhill. Alan Carter reports.
TORONTO – Ontario has officially called two provincial byelections in Niagara Falls and Thornhill.
A news release issued on Wednesday indicates voters will head to the polls in those ridings on February 13.
Tory Peter Shurman resigned his Thornhill seat in December after a dispute with PC Leader Tim Hudak over expense claims.
Liberal Kim Craitor announced his resignation as Niagara Falls MPP on Sept. 24, 2013 due to health and family reasons.
Premier Kathleen Wynne faced criticism from Hudak this week after Health Minister Deb Matthews announced the construction of a hospital in Niagara Falls on Monday.
“The Liberals had not supported that, but now that their member has retired and the seat is open, I guess they’re now all for it,” Hudak told reporters this week.
The outcomes of the byelections would not affect the minority status of the Liberal government, no matter which party wins. The Liberals are five seats shy of a majority.
A province-wide election is widely rumoured for some time in the next few months.
In the 2011 election, rural areas of Niagara Falls voted PC, while Niagara-on-the-Lake and Queenston voted Liberal. The city of Niagara Falls voted largely Liberal with several polls going PC and NDP, while the NDP had a strong showing in Fort Erie.