Surprise, uncertainty in Ottawa after Doug Ford wins PC leadership

People in Ottawa are expressing mixed reactions after Doug Ford was declared the leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, following a heated leadership race and a contentious voting process.

Mixed reaction from people in Ottawa after contentious leadership race and vote

Doug Ford beat out Tanya Granic Allen, Christine Elliott, and Caroline Mulroney to become leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party on Saturday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

People in Ottawa are expressing mixed reactions after Doug Ford was declared the leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, following a heated leadership race and a contentious voting process.

Whether Ford is the person needed to to rejuvenate the party — which has been in the spotlight in the last few months for a string of controversies — appears to be up for debate.

A month-and-a-half after former leader Patrick Brown resigned following sexual misconduct allegations, interim leader Vic Fedeli vowed to rid the party of rot.

The race to replace Brown as leader was hotly-contested and filled with its own flaws, including concerns about complicated online balloting.

Ford won late Saturday after a third ballot in the preferential vote. On Sunday, CBC News asked people in Ottawa for their thoughts on Ford's win.

Here's what some had to say. Their remarks have been edited for length and clarity.

Laurent Carbonneau

I think he's clearly not someone who's fit to be premier. He doesn't know anything about the issues. He's just generally completely unfit for office.

I think [the party is] probably just going to have to get used to it and roll with it for the next couple of months. I don't think they really have a lot of choice at this point, unless something dramatic happens with recounting or investigations. 

Obviously his stance on the environment was completely retrograde. [He] didn't take the issue seriously at all, just said 'no carbon tax' and that was the end of it. No discussion of any other way to reduce emissions.

I think his wanting to re-open the sex-ed issue was just irresponsible ... it's a social conservative issue that I think the rest of the province has moved on from.

Chris Joxen

I think it's a good change.

He's promising change. I hope he's one of those politicians that sticks to his word and makes change, because I think it's time for some change.

Diane Munier

I was hoping against hope for Christine Elliott because she's done so well working for people ... She's been very very much on the side of students and teachers and children with problems. I really wanted her to win. I think that she would be the best person for the job.

I don't think it's a good sign [that Ford won]. I think there will be people who back off and say, "We've made a mistake, how can we rectify this?" And now it's too late.

I was hoping that we would put the Ford Nation aside and let Christine Elliott come to the forefront.

Charles Pepin

Wow. He is such an unknown so I'm not sure what it means.

It makes me a little nervous. He and that family tend to shake a lot of things up. Sometimes a new face is good. Sometimes new thoughts are good — but I'm not sure how stable he will be.

So it's going to be quite interesting.

Reaction on social media was equally mixed.