By: David Tuchman
Sam Oosterhoff, 19, was elected Thursday in one of two Ontario by-elections, making him Ontario’s youngest MPP ever.
Oosterhoff won the riding of of Niagara West-Glanbrook.
Meanwhile, to the relief of the governing Liberals, civil rights lawyer Nathalie Des Rosiers held Ottawa-Vanier in Thursday’s other by-election.
Oosterhoff, a Progressive Conservative, was joined by Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown in Grimsby, Ont., saying the win “is part of the path to building a Progressive Conservative majority government.”
Oosterhoff also told a crowd of his supporters: “I’m convinced we will see a blue wave sweep Ontario in 2018.”
In an online statement Oosterhoff also said “I am humbled by the tremendous support of the people of Niagara West—Glanbrook today. I intend on fighting for them as their representative and I look forward to joining Patrick Brown’s PC team at Queen’s Park.”
Oosterhoff won 53.75 per cent of the vote, compared to the NDP’s Mike Thomas had 25.11 per cent and Liberal Vicky Ringuette 15.22 per cent.
Ottawa-Vanier is traditionally a seat the Liberal government controls, and Niagara-West Glanbrook region has been a stronghold for the Progressive Conservatives. The seat became vacant with former PC leader Tim Hudak’s resignation in September.
Ottawa-Vanier became vacant last June when Madeleine Meilleur, a long time Liberal MPP and attorney general, resigned.
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s popularity has made headlines lately.
A Forum Research poll in September said Wynne’s approval rating was 16 per cent and her disapproval rating was 74 per cent of voters surveyed.
In terms of party support, Forum’s polling in October found that the PCs were at 43 per cent support, the Liberals at 24, the NDP had 23 and the Green Party was at 8 per cent.
The next Ontario general election will be held in June 2018.