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Byelection to replace Hudak set for Nov. 17

By The Canadian Press

Former Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak (QMI Agency)

Former Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak (QMI Agency)

Provincial byelections have been called for Nov. 17 to fill vacant seats in two Ontario ridings — Niagara West–Glanbrook, formerly held by Tim Hudak, and Ottawa-Vanier.

The call came as Ontario announced it’s moving to set the next provincial election for June 2018.

Word of the byelections first came from former provincial ombudsman Andre Marin, the Progressive Conservative candidate in Ottawa-Vanier who posted the date in a tweet — then quickly removed it — before the official announcement by Elections Ontario.

Premier Kathleen Wynne called the Ottawa-Vanier byelection to replace former attorney general Madeleine Meilleur, who quit the long-held Liberal seat last summer.

The Niagara West–Glanbrook seat was vacated by Hudak, the former Progressive Conservative leader who resigned last month to become chief executive of the Ontario Real Estate Association, an industry lobby group that represents about 64,000 people who sell homes in the province.

Hudak was first elected as MPP in 2007.

In the last provincial election in 2014, he dominated his competition, receiving 23,378 votes compared to 15,843 for Liberal David Mossey, 12,423 for New Democrat Brian McCormack, 3,004 for Green candidate Basia Krzyzanowski, 970 for Libertarian Stefanos Karatopis and 284 for Freedom Party candidate Geoff Peacock.

Former St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra is seeking the Progressive Conservative party’s Niagara West–Glanbrook nomination. Grimsby regional Coun. Tony Quirk has also confirmed he’s in the running. Also among the PC party’s declared nominees is Samuel Oosterhoff, who has worked on Parliament Hill for the federal Conservatives, and Mike Williscraft owner/publisher of NewsNow in Grimsby..

Provincial PC nomination voting and the successful candidate announcement for Niagara West-Glanbrook takes place Saturday.

Candidate speeches and voting take place at Old Pelham Town Hall, 491 Canboro Rd., Ridgeville, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Mount Hope Hall, 3027 Homestead Dr., Mount Hope (Hamilton) from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The final venue is Grimsby Town Hall, 160 Livingston Ave. 4:30 to 7 p.m. The elected candidate will be announced at 9 p.m.

Eligible members of the Ontario PC party that live in the riding can vote if they are age 14 or over.

Former St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra is seeking the nomination, as is Grimsby regional Coun. Tony Quirk, Samuel Oosterhoff, who has worked on Parliament Hill for the federal Conservatives, and Mike Williscraft owner/publisher of NewsNow in Grimsby.

Vicky Ringuette has been selected as the Liberal Party’s candidate for Niagara West–Glanbrook. She is described in a provincial Liberal party release as a long-time regional volunteer and bilingual lawyer.

NDP riding association president Sue Hotte said a nomination meeting is being tentatively set for Sunday. There are two candidates seeking the nomination, but they have yet to be vetted, she said, adding she could not yet release their names.

Details were expected to be firmed up Thursday.

It’s not the first time a byelection date came from a candidate instead of Elections Ontario. It was the Liberal candidate in Scarborough-Rouge River who first announced that byelection would be held Sept. 1.

The winners in both Niagara West–Glanbrook and Ottawa-Vanier will have to run again to keep their jobs in less than two years, as the Liberal government announced it’s looking to set the next provincial election for June 7, 2018.

The vote is currently set for the fall 2018, but the government wants to avoid conflict with the next municipal election, which is set for October that year.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi will introduce legislation to not only change the election date, but also to allow youth to pre-register to vote and allow votes to be counted electronically.

The bill would allow for the use of electronic vote tabulators — which were used in this year’s Whitby-Oshawa byelection — instead of having votes counted by hand.

Ontarians who are 16 or 17 years old would be able to pre-register to vote once they turn 18, which the Liberals hope will encourage more young people to vote.

If passed, the legislation could also lead to the creation of new northern ridings, by establishing a Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission to review whether the areas of Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay should have another new riding or two.

 



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