Election of Doug Ford as PC leader offers Ontario only 'Toronto-centric' options, says mayor
'We've been saying all along that the province of Ontario is bigger than Toronto,' says Gary McNamara
The election of Doug Ford as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party is yet another sign provincial leadership is too "Toronto-centric," according to Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara.
Ford, a former Toronto city councillor, was named the Ontario PC leader after narrowly defeating Christine Elliott during a chaotic party convention on Saturday.
McNamara said he was surprised by the result.
"He's very ingrained in Toronto. Interestingly enough, we have three candidates that are basically in the GTHA area. We've been saying all along that the province of Ontario is bigger than Toronto." said McNamara.
McNamara questions Ford's comprehension of provincial issues outside of the Toronto area. He added Ford has a short time to get up to speed.
"This is why I think it's important that the folks in Ontario really scrutinize the parties and the direction they want to take them. There's many that feel that this government that we have now is too Toronto-centric," explained McNamara.
Ontario elections decided in the 905 and 416
Political scientist Lydia Miljan said while Ford's populist stance may attract many blue collar workers in Windsor, the success of the PC party locally will depend on the appeal of area candidates.
"It's all going to depend on the success of local candidates at the end of the day. We know in Ontario the election is really decided in the 905, 416 area codes and that certainly looks like where Doug Ford has his mass appeal." said Miljan. "If he gets in government and even if we get one or two seats PC, it bodes well."
This 16 year old Vincent Massey student has been keeping a close eye on the PC election. Here’s her take on what took place last night <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCWindsor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCWindsor</a> <a href="https://t.co/IPAKyNHNiO">pic.twitter.com/IPAKyNHNiO</a>—@MelNakhavoly
Windsor-west PC candidate Adam Ibrahim was in Toronto for Ford's victory Saturday night. He believes the new leader will garner large support in Windsor.
"When he came to Windsor he filled the Fogolar he filled the room with over 100 people," said Ibrahim. "That shows he is working with different communities."
Ibrahim added he has spoken with Ford a few times and that he has expressed interest in the issues surrounding the Windsor-Essex region.
"He's in full support of helping Windsor and putting Windsor back on the map," explained Ibrahim.
The provincial election is slated for June 7.