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Kathleen Wynne ready to 'pass the torch,' quits as Ontario Liberal leader

Kathleen Wynne ready to 'pass the torch,' quits as Ontario Liberal leader

The leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party says a change in Ontario's government will help in the fight against the federal carbon tax.

Her decision to step down did not come as a surprise - last weekend she stood before reporters and conceded that Ontario would have a new premier after the election.

The Progressive Conservative Party that Ford leads won the majority of seats in the province's legislature in Thursday's election, data from Elections Ontario showed.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the people of Ontario have voted for hope. The party retained a pocket of three seats in the Ottawa area, Wynne's own Toronto riding and the neighbouring one, as well as a northern seat.

By contrast, the NDP appeared poised to win nearly all the ridings in downtown Toronto, with big gains in Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke.

"My friends, together in 88 short days we achieved the impossible", Ford said. "We'll be out looking for an auditing firm to go into the province to go line item by line item".

But Ford's campaign certainly wasn't immune to controversy.

He did not release a fully costed platform, prompting his rivals to warn of massive cuts to public services under a Tory government.

With about one week left in the campaign, the party published a list of promises and their price tags, but didn't indicate how they would pay for them, what size of deficits they would run or for exactly how long.

Considering Ontario has a housing affordability crisis on its hands, prior to the election, Toronto Storeys reached out to Premier-Elect Doug Ford and the other party leaders to find out their plans for housing. He has been elected premier of Ontario.

"It's hard to gauge what motivates people to register to vote", she said. "I'm just getting chills talking about him right now. Unlike other leaders who often sweep into office with their party caucus behind him, he didn't".

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Doug Ford is a populist who has been compared to U.S. President Donald Trump. He'll lead a province that is home to almost a third of Canada's total population of 36 million people, and the country's manufacturing and financial sectors.

And a court-launched family feud, which raised a lot of pertinent questions about the leader, can bomb the campaign trail and not leave a pothole in support.

Rob Ford's term as mayor was plagued with scandals, and erratic behavior that culminated with his admission that he had smoked crack cocaine. "We owe so much to Rob's legacy".

The Tory majority could play in the party's favour if the new government proves ineffective or starts making mistakes, he added. People waved party signs and embraced while they waited for Ford to arrive. The crowd booed again when news came that Horwath won her Hamilton riding.

Ford's stronger than expected showing and the Liberals' significant losses to the New Democrats may worry supporters of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal party, up for re-election in 2019.

Participation increased by more than 60 per cent compared to the 2014 Ontario provincial election.

Many of her cabinet ministers have been defeated.

The election has also marked a stunning collapse for the Liberals, who governed the province for the last 15 years. Premier Kathleen Wynne, who narrowly hung on to her seat, resigned as Liberal leader and all but a handful of the staunchest Liberal ridings fell.

Wynne served as premier for five years after winning a leadership contest to replace McGuinty in 2013.

But Wynne herself has grown increasingly unpopular in recent years, as Ontarians grew angry over hydro rates and the partial privatization of Hydro One, as well as the quick pace at which she raised the province's minimum wage.