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In a press conference Friday morning after Ontario's Progressive Conservatives won a majority government, Doug Ford stressed that "now is the time to unite, now is the time to build Ontario."
"We want to make sure we unite this province, we want to move forward because it's not us versus people down the street, it's Ontario versus very jurisdiction in the world, we're competing for every job, every dollar of investment," Ford said.
He went on to say that it is time to "keep building" in Ontario "for seniors and young families, for drivers and transit riders, for workers looking for a better job."
Voter turnout raises questions
Doug Ford was asked about voter turnout at 43 per cent - the lowest voter turnout in history - which means that around 20 per cent of Ontarians actually voted for the PCs.
"It's pretty clear, the people gave us a mandate with 83 seats and we're going to focus on our mandate," he said. "We travelled across this province for the last four to five weeks setting a clear direction where we're going with this province."
"We're building highways, we're building bridges, we're building hospitals and schools and we're going to focus on the economy."
When asked about considering a different voting method that would be more representative of Ontario voters, Ford said this system "has worked for a hundred and some odd years."
"It's going to continue to work that way but I'm just so proud of the coalition," he said. "The makeup of our party right across the province,... we've changed the landscape."
This question of low voter turnout in this election also sparked conversations online following the result.
Reality check: With voter turnout dropping to 43%, just 17.8% of Ontario’s total eligible voters actually voted for the Conservatives, who now have 100% control of the province for 4 more years. If that doesn’t tell you our democracy is broken, I don’t know what will. #onpoli
— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) June 3, 2022
— Katie O'Connor (@KA_OConnor) June 3, 2022
The winner of this Ontario election was ABSTENTION!
(See % of actual voter turnout below🤦♀️)
Ontarians, we should do better at exercising our right to vote😤
Personally, I think we should just make voting mandatory!🧐#OntarioElection2022 #ONelxn pic.twitter.com/Y2pYbAOyCX
— Olga Peña Ph.D. 🔬🦠🇨🇦🇨🇴 (@OlgaPena) June 3, 2022
The concern for EVERY party this morning should be voter turnout. You cannot be about democracy and look at these numbers and be OK, whether you won or you lost. #OntarioElection #OntarioVotes #ONelxn
— Fazeena Haniff (@FazeenaHaniff) June 3, 2022
The Ontario Liberals only won 8 seats with around 24% of the vote. They should’ve won 30 seats.
FPTP is a terrible electoral system & other winner-take-all systems like IRV won’t fix this lack of proportionality.
We need a proportional system in Ontario.
— Sami Baaj (he/him) 🇨🇦🇫🇷🇸🇾 (@sami_baaj) June 3, 2022
Doug Ford's message to Andrea Horwath, Steven Del Duca
Doug Ford also had specific messages to Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca, after they both announced they will be stepping down as leaders of the Ontario NDP and Liberal Party, respectively.
"Thank you for your years of service to the people of Ontario," Ford said about Horwath. "Let there be no doubt that you wake up everyday ready to fight for what you believe in."
"To Steven, you dedicated your life to public service and while we may not have agreed on everything, I know you want nothing but the best for Ontario's future."
As to be expected with any election result, Ontarians from different areas, different occupations, took to social media to comment on the outcome. The most vocal online were the critics of the PC majority government under Ford.
What a slap in the face of every frontline worker! Goodnight Ontario! May it be well with you as the conservatives finalize healthcare privatization! Nothing left but thoughts and prayers.
— Birgit Uwaila Umaigba (@birgitomo) June 3, 2022
Realizing what a bubble I'm in online and in real life. I don't know a single person who would consider voting PC. I'm blown away that cuts to healthcare, profit-driven LTC, no autism services, online ed, paved over farmland, etc. is what Ontario actually wants.
— Marie Snyder (@MarieSnyder27) June 3, 2022
Ontario, if you repeat the mistake of four years ago and re-elect Ford, you get what you deserve: A government that doesn’t show up, doesn’t care. Yet you expect us to put our safety on the line (again) when things go sideways. #onpoli #OntarioVotes #VoteFordOut #OntarioElection
— Nili Kaplan-Myrth MD PhD (@nilikm) June 3, 2022