Almost all ridings in northeastern Ontario stayed the same in the provincial election, but Sudbury now has a New Democrat MPP — the first since 1995.
Previously, the seat was held by Liberal Rick Bartolucci. After Bartolucci announced he was retiring, candidate Andrew Olivier ran for the Liberals, but didn’t win.
It was a close race between the NDP's Joe Cimino and Olivier, but in the end, Cimino won with 42.4 per cent of the vote. Olivier had 39.3 per cent, while Progressive Conservative Paula Peroni had 13.8 per cent.
Cimino said he’s extremely proud to represent Sudbury at the provincial level.
“I’m going to go down there [to Queen’s Park], bring my experience, bring my insight into what Sudbury needs and fight hard,” he said.
“I’m here for the people of Sudbury.”
One of his first priorities will be fighting for infrastructure dollars for Sudbury, Cimino said.
“I think we’re in a good position in the north to speak loudly as one.”
Olivier said despite his loss, he feels he ran a good campaign.
“It’s phenomenal. I wouldn’t have traded any of this for the world. [Except] maybe the results,” he said with a laugh to supporters.
“This isn’t the last you’ll see of me. I promise.”
Northeastern NDP ridings stay orange
In Nickel Belt, incumbent NDP France Gelinas kept her seat. Gelinas was first elected in 2007. She was voted in with 62.7 per cent of the vote in that riding. Liberal James Tregonning came in second with 21.9 per cent, while Progressive Conservative Marck Blay had 11.9 per cent.
Gelinas said having one more NDP seat in this region will be good for northeastern Ontario.
“Our voice within caucus was strong. It’s going to be even stronger,” she said.
“Joe [Cimino] brings with him experience at the municipal level which can be very useful because the relationship between the municipal level and the provincial level is strong.”
The NDP's John Vanthof held on to his seat in Timiskaiming-Cochrane with 55 per cent of the vote. Liberal Sebastien Goyer trailed with 23.1 per cent, and Progressive Conservative Peter Politis came in third with 17.5 per cent.
This is the second time Vanthof has been elected in the riding.
He said he finds a lot of people he’s spoken with are concerned about northern representation.
“They don’t feel that … some of the rules and regulations that are created by the Ontario government … really represent their needs,” he said.
He said the NDP will continue to push for a northern Ontario committee to be established at Queen’s Park.
Mike Mantha was re-elected in Algoma-Manitoulin. Mantha was first elected in 2011 after winning the seat from the Liberals. In this election, he got 53.4 per cent of the vote. Liberal candidate Craig Hughson got 24.5 per cent, while Progressive Conservative Jib Turner came in third with 17.3 per cent.
“Here in northern Ontario, people have always felt … disconnected from southern Ontario,” Mantha said.
“A lot of their issues, when I was elected, was … in order to bring that voice to Queen’s Park and not the reverse.”
In Timmins-James Bay, Gilles Bisson was re-elected with 51.2 per cent of the vote. Liberal candidate Sylvie Fontaine received 24.2 per cent, while Progressive Conservative Steve Black had 22.6 per cent.
Bisson was first elected in 1990. He said he’s not surprised the region voted primarily for the NDP.
“[The NDP] are fighters — we’re there for you,” he said.
“When it comes to getting something done, they always know we’re in their corner.”
1 Liberal and 2 PC ridings in region
The only Liberal seat in the region is Sault Ste. Marie, where incumbent David Orazietti held on to his seat. He was first elected in 2003 and made a cabinet minister in 2013.
Orazietti was elected with 58.5 per cent of the vote, while New Democrat Celia Ross had 25.5 per cent. Progressive Conservative Rod Fremlin came in third with 12.4 per cent.
Orazietti said one of his top priorities moving forward is to diversify the economy in the region, while strengthening existing industries.
“Jobs and health care continue to be the top priorities in our community and I’m committed to continue to improve those,” he said.
“We want these opportunities to exist for young people in northern Ontario to strengthen our economy.”
Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli held on to his seat in Nipissing. Fedeli was first elected in 2011.
He said he’s concerned for Ontario, now under a Liberal majority government.
“The biggest issue will be the fact that we know in the budget that the premier said she’ll bring back in 20 days — I can guarantee you as the PC finance critic that we’ll have a credit downgrade in Ontario,” he said.
“That concerns me, specifically here in North Bay, because our credit rating is tied with the province … so North Bay’s credit rating will fall along with the province's.”
Fedeli adds he’s not only concerned for his region, but the rest of northeastern Ontario.
“The Liberals had a fire sale of Ontario Northland. They’re going to sell Ontera,” he said.
“I’m very disappointed knowing that will go through now.”
Progressive Conservative Norm Miller was re-elected in Parry Sound-Muskoka with 40.7 per cent of the vote. Liberal Dan Walters got 26.3 per cent, while Green Party candidate Matt Richter had 19.3 per cent.
A previous version of this story identified Celia Ross as a Liberal.Jun 13, 2014 10:34 AM ET