Greenhouse owner hopeful premier-designate Doug Ford will save industry

Gerry Mastronardi, owner of T G & G Mastronardi greenhouses, says he was on "pins and needles" the past few years trying to keep up financially with government initiatives, but he's hoping a Ford government will offer some relief.

Gerry Mastronardi says businesses are 'not out of the woods yet' despite new PC government

Gerry Mastronardi, owner of T G & G Mastronardi greenhouses, says the carbon tax, soaring hydro prices and higher minimum wage were killing the local greenhouse industry. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Gerry Mastronardi, owner of T G & G Mastronardi greenhouses, says he was on "pins and needles" over the past few years trying to keep up financially with the carbon tax, soaring hydro rates and a higher minimum wage. But today, he's hoping a Ford government will offer some relief.

Mastronardi says he was not alone when considering whether his business would survive another year due to the Liberals' economic policies.

"The previous government kept giving us these initiatives of being more efficient, more efficient, more efficient. Well, I want to know when the government is going to be more efficient and accountable, and I think right now we are going to see that," said Mastronardi.

Gerry Mastronardi told CBC last summer that the province's proposal to increase the wage to $15 an hour would kill greenhouse businesses. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

However, Mastronardi says Ontario businesses are "not out of the woods yet" because the Progressive Conservative government still has a lot of work to do.

He hopes Doug Ford remains true to his promises to halt minimum wage, challenge the carbon tax and fire the CEO of Hydro One.

"If he can tackle those three for now, I will be good, and then we can move from there," Mastronardi said.

"He got the support he was looking for, now it's time to go to work."

Mayor Drew Dilkens reacts to Ford government

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said he was not surprised by the outcome of the election both federally and provincially and is willing to work with whoever forms government.

Although he said it does make Windsor harder to get noticed when the majority of elected officials are not PC members.

"There is no doubt that it is more difficult to get traction on issues when you don't have a voice in your local riding around the government table, nobody would dispute that," said Dilkens, referencing issues like the Ambassador Bridge and Paul Martin Building.

"But we will continue to advance the interest at the government table through Rick Nicholls and our local MPPs who can be very effective at certain times and in the right situations," said Dilkens.

Nicholls is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Chatham-Kent—Leamington.

Dilkens said he has two priorities as Ford settles into his position at Ontario's Premier.

The first is making sure the mega-hospital continues to move forward, and the second is making sure Windsor continues to receive infrastructure funding.

"Obviously, it takes a little more work, a little more effort when you don't have a government rep. in a riding in your city, but it is not impossible, and we will continue to work with who we have.... It can be done."