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Ontario Election 2022

After four years of leading a majority government, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative party will try to secure a second term in the 2022 Ontario election on June 2.

Every Tuesday until voting day, The Narwhal’s Ontario bureau will be keeping you in the loop on the latest environmental promises via our Political Climate newsletter. Be sure to sign up below as we separate fact from fiction on the campaign trail.

Our Ontario bureau is here to bring you weekly updates on the province's climate future this election campaign
Our Ontario bureau is here to bring you weekly updates on the province's climate future this election campaign

It’s been a tumultuous term of government in Ontario defined by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the province saw significant deaths in long-term care homes and the longest school closures in the country. But the population seems ready to deliver Ford another victory: as of mid-May, the polling site 338Canada was predicting another majority, with the PCs winning 79 seats, a comfortable margin over the 63 needed to keep the legislature firmly blue.

Doug Ford’s environmental track record since 2018 Ontario election victory

Policy affecting climate change and other environmental concerns was hit hard during Ford’s first term. The premier ran on a promise to eliminate cap-and-trade carbon pricing and, indeed, it was his first action in office, before he was even sworn in. The Ford government also accelerated plans for two controversial new highways through the protected Greenbelt, a decision Environment Minister David Piccini defended in an interview with The Narwhal. The province’s auditor general also criticized the government for weakening protections for endangered species to make things smooth for industry.

Illustration of Ontario Premier Doug Ford holding charging cables for electric vehicles

After coming into power in 2018, the Doug Ford government scrapped existing electric vehicle buyer incentives and ripped out charging stations. In the months before the election, the government began promising to make Ontario a mining and manufacturing hub for the future-forward automobiles. Illustration: Carol Linnitt / The Narwhal

PCs make pledges for drivers ahead of the 2022 Ontario election

The one emissions-reduction angle the PCs are backing whole heartedly, if haphazardly, is electric vehicles. Soon after being elected, the Ford government scrapped multiple incentives for buying electric cars, but it’s now promising to make Ontario a mining and manufacturing hub for the future-forward automobiles. Just before the launch of the 2022 Ontario election campaign, Ford announced a number of measures that will make driving cheaper right away, including eliminating licence plate renewal fees and, if he wins, a temporary cut to the gas tax. 

Photos of Steven Del Duca, Andrea Horwath and Mike Schreiner

The opposition: Liberal Party leader Steven Del Duca, NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner are all challenging Doug Ford in the 2022 Ontario election. Photos: Del Duca, Christopher Katsarov Luna / The Narwhal; Horwath and Schreiner/ Ramona Leitao / The Narwhal

NDP, Liberals look to challenge PCs in 2022 Ontario election

As for Ford’s challengers, the New Democratic Party, helmed by long-time leader Andrea Horwath, formed the official opposition for the first time since 1990 this past term, and was the first major party to introduce a climate plan. Horwath is promising to reverse most of Ford’s cuts if the NDP win the 2022 Ontario election. The Liberals, under leader Steven Del Duca, are hoping to increase their seats significantly from the paltry seven they won in 2018. Del Duca is touting his record of standing up to industry as proof he’s a climate champion. As for the Green Party, leader Mike Schreiner is looking to at least double the number of seats the party holds at Queen’s Park, which currently stands at just one: his.

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