TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Liberals cruised to an election day victory, retaining a majority government at Queen’s Park.
Needing to capture 54 seats for a majority government, the Liberal Party captured 71 of the province’s 107 seats; and an additional four years in the province’s top post began for Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory was held out of the legislature, losing in the Don Valley West riding to the Liberal incumbent Kathleen Wynne.
NDP Leader Howard Hampton won his Northern Ontario seat of Kenora-Rainy River while his party picked up three more seats, bringing their total in the legislature up from seven to 10.
Despite the large victory, the provincial Liberals only captured 42% – a drop from 47% in 2003 – of the total votes cast on election day.
Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield retained her riding of Etobicoke Centre, gaining slightly more than 50% of the votes and about 7,000 more than the PC runner-up.
McGuinty based his platform largely on health care and education reforms, with a total spending increase of about $14.4 billion over 2007-2008; and there was little mention of increased funding for infrastructure projects.
The Liberal victory will likely mean the provincial government will proceed with its controversial plan to mandate speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks.
As Truck News went to press, the future of Conservaive leader Tory was unclear. However, he did express an interest in staying on as party leader.
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