Central Ontario will remain Progressive Conservative blue after all three candidates were re-elected in the 2022 Ontario election on Thursday night.
Dave Smith was re-elected in Peterborough-Kawartha, ensuring the riding maintains the bellwether status it has held since 1977 as the Ford government earned a majority victory.
Through 93 of 93 polls, Smith unofficially received 20,188 votes or approximately 38.5 per cent of the 52,384 votes cast.
Smith was well ahead of Liberal candidate Greg Dempsey who had received 16,021 votes (30.6 per cent) — a difference of 4,167 votes.
In third was Jen Deck of the NDP who had 11,210 votes (21.4 per cent).
The other three candidates were:
- Tom Marazzo of the Ontario Party: 1,973 votes (3.8 per cent)
- Robert Gibson of the Green Party: 1,914 votes (3.7 per cent)
- Rebecca Quinnell of the New Blue Party: 1,078 (2.1 per cent)
The 52-year-old Smith, a resident of Douro-Dummer Township, told supporters gathered at the Peterborough Golf County Club that he couldn’t thank the community enough for their support.
“You have shown your support for me; you’ve shown faith in me and given me the ability to go back to Queen’s Park to advocate on your behalf,” Smith said. “I was asked before the second-last debate why I want to do this again — my job is not done. There is still much more that we have to do.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go back to Queen’s Park to get the job done because I owe so much to all of you. I have to. And we’ll make sure life is better for people in Ontario after the next four years — better than it was through the last four.
“Because if you’re in government or an elected official, there’s only one reason you should be doing this — and that is to improve the life of everyone who entrusted you to do something for them.”
Smith is a former software company manager of product development. Over the last four years with the PCs, he served as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Northern Development Mines Natural Resources and Forestry, the Minister of Indigenous Affairs (positions he held before the election) and previously as to the Minister of Northern Development Mines and Energy. He has also served as chairperson for the Standing Committee on General Government and a member of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
In the 2018 election, Smith received 22,904 votes (37.7 per cent) to defeat NDP candidate Sean Conway (20,518 votes) and Liberal incumbent Jeff Leal (14,946 votes). The 2018 election saw 60,790 votes cast — 8,406 more than this year’s election.
Ontario Environment Minister David Piccini was re-elected in his riding on Thursday night in what was a quick and decisive victory.
Through 104 of 104 polls reporting, Piccini had received 26,209 votes or approximately 51 per cent of the 51,437 votes cast.
Piccini more than doubled runner-up Jeff Kawzenuk of the Liberal Party, who had 12,861 votes (25 per cent).
A distant third was Kim McArthur-Jackson of the NDP with 6,721 votes (13.1 per cent).
“From the bottom of my heart, I can’t believe this result today — and it’s because of all of you,” said Piccini said in front of supporters at Beamish House in Port Hope. “So thank you for believe in me, for trusting in me and our party. Thank you for everything today.”
Other candidates on the ballot:
- Lisa Francis of the Green Party: 2,918 votes (5.7 per cent)
- Vanessa Head of the Ontario Party: 1,573 votes (3.1 per cent)
- Joshua Chalhoub of the New Blue Party: 1,155 votes (2.3 per cent).
Piccini was first elected in 2018 when he received 27,386 votes (45.3 per cent) to defeat Liberal incumbent Lou Rinaldi who finished third with 14,603 votes, just behind NDP candidate Jana Papuckoski who had 14,804 votes. The 2018 election saw 60,423 votes cast — 8,986 more votes than the 2022 election.
Voters in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock remain loyal to Laurie Scott and the Progressive Conservatives after re-electing her for a fourth-straight time.
Scott, a native of Kinmount, easily won the rural riding with 52.8 per cent of the 48,636 votes cast. Through 98 of 98 polls reporting, she received 25,656 votes.
She more than tripled the total garnered by runner-up Barbara Doyle of the NDP who received 7,677 votes (15.8 per cent). Don McBey of the Liberal Party finished third with 6,606 votes (13.6 per cent).
Scott previously won the riding in the 2011, 2014 and 2018 provincial elections. She also represented the riding from 2003 to 2009.
Other candidates on the ballot:
- Dr. Kelly Kerstin, Ontario Party: 3,863 votes (7.9 per cent)
- Tom Regina, Green Party: 3,452 votes (7.1 per cent)
- Ben Prentice, New Blue Party: 866 votes (1.8 per cent)
- Gene Balfour, Libertarian: 516 votes (1.1 per cent).
Scott’s 2022 result was down from the 32,406 votes she received in 2018 (56.7 per cent of the 57,143 votes which was 8,507 fewer votes than 2022’s turnout).
During the past four years with the Ford government, Scott has served a term as Minister of Labour and Minister of Infrastructure.
Over the past century, the riding has just once not been represented by the Conservatives: 2009 to 2011 when Liberal Rick Johnson won a byelection over “parachute” PC candidate (and then party leader) John Tory.
More to come