Niagara West-Glanbrook elects Ontario's youngest ever MPP
Sam Oosterhoff won the riding in Thursday's byelection, becoming the newest Progressive Conservative MPP
Niagara West-Glanbrook has elected 19-year-old Sam Oosterhoff, making him Ontario's youngest MPP ever.
Oosterhoff won under the Progressive Conservative banner in Thursday's byelection. PC leader Patrick Brown joined Oosterhoff in Grimsby, saying the win "is part of the path to building a Progressive Conservative majority government."
Oosterhoff echoed that.
"I'm convinced we will see a blue wave sweep Ontario in 2018," he told the crowd.
Oosterhoff, a social conservative, is a student at Brock University. Mike Thomas, a former Hamilton police union head, ran for the NDP, while Vicky Ringuette, a Hamilton lawyer, ran for the Liberal Party.
With 227 of 236 polls reporting, Oosterhoff had 53.75 per cent of the vote, Thomas had 25.11 per cent and Ringuette 15.22 per cent.
The Liberals tried to draw attention to Oosterhoff's social views during the election, as his rise comes at a time when Brown hopes to portray the party as a centrist alternative to the Liberals.
Oosterhoff, who earned the nomination in part with support from his church, has said he is pro-life. He wouldn't answer Thursday whether he thought homosexuality was a sin.
"We need to be reaching out to everyone," he said when asked. "I think we need to be treating everyone with equal dignity and respect."
Brown called Oosterhoff's win a historic moment in Ontario politics, one that signaled new energy for the party. Like Oosterhoff, he brought up increasing electricity rates as the key issue in the byelection.
People are "tired of their hydro bills going up again and again and again," said Brown.
"The Liberals resorted to a smear campaign on Sam, attacking him, and Sam focused on hydro. Sam focused on jobs. Sam focused on how we're going to get Ontario back on its feet."
The riding has been Conservative since 1995. The Liberals held onto Ottawa-Vanier in Thursday's other byelection.