Tim Hudak: Ontario Tories will have new leader in 'near future'
Ontario's Progressive Conservatives will have a new leader in the "near future," though Tim Hudak wouldn't say exactly when that change in leadership will occur or whether he will be replaced in the interim.
The Tories held a three-hour caucus meeting at the legislature on Monday, their first since the party took losses and saw the Liberals gain a majority government in the provincial election last Thursday.
Ahead of the meeting, word was leaking out that some members were caught off guard by Tim Hudak's controversial campaign pledge to cut 100,000 public-sector jobs.
Doug Holyday, who lost his seat in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, told reporters that the party didn't do a great job explaining the plan to the public.
The Canadian Press reported that several Tory members say they were totally surprised by Hudak’s public-sector plan. They say they were confronted on the issue by voters when canvassing.
After the results came in on Thursday night, Hudak said that he would not be leading the Tories into the next election. The party lost nine seats, compared to what they held when the legislature was dissolved prior to the election.
After the caucus meeting on Monday, Hudak said he was proud of the campaign he ran, even though voters did not reward the Tories with the chance to govern.
"Voters ultimately made a choice not to go with a PC government," he said.
Hudak, who plans to retain his seat and continue to serve as an MPP, said the party will decide the process for selecting a new leader.
"We'll have a new leader hopefully in the near future," he said.
But there are signs that some Tories may want to see a new leader taking the reins of the party sooner rather than later.
Ahead of the caucus meeting, Todd Smith said that he would be telling his party that Hudak has to go immediately.
"This was an anti-Tim Hudak election," said Smith, who was just re-elected in the riding of Prince Edwards-Hastings.
With files from The Canadian Press and the CBC's Genevieve Tomney