One day after an upset victory for the Progressive Conservatives in a Toronto by-election, the party’s leader said he’s going to bring a “laser sharp focus” towards the next general election.
Toronto City Councillor Raymond Cho won the seat in Scarborough–Rouge River, a Liberal stronghold for 35 years, recently vacated by the resignation of Bas Balkissoon.
The unofficial results from Elections Ontario give Cho the victory with just shy of 39 per cent of the vote–a 2,400 vote lead over the Liberal candidate.
In an interview on AM980’s the Andrew Lawton Show, PC leader Patrick Brown said the results show a dissatisfaction with Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government that extends across the province.
“Voters are fed up with the hydro mess, fed up with the scandals and mismanagement, and they want change,” Brown told Lawton. “Even in the heart of Toronto, even in the most diverse riding in the City of Toronto, you’re seeing that the Progressive Conservative Party has become the voice for change, the voice for those that want a new government at Queen’s Park.”
In the last week of the campaign, Brown’s team was put on the defence after a letter that had circulated amongst Scarborough–Rouge River residents pledging Brown would “scrap” the updated sex education curriculum was brought to light. Brown said the letter was sent without his permission, but apologized and reiterated his support for maintaining the curriculum’s existence.
Brown reiterated his commitment to focus on the less divisive areas moving forward.
“I’m interested in the fiscal issues. I’m interested in economic issues. I’m not interested in revisiting social issues,” he said. “No matter what anyone else tries, you’re going to see me with a laser beam focus on hydro rates, on jobs, on transparency, on how to make Ontario competitive again.”
Brown has been the leader of the PC Party since last spring, first winning his own seat in the legislature just under one year ago in a by-election.