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John Yakabuski reacts to new Ontario PC leadership

By Celina Ip

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski

As Doug Ford steps in as the new leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, local MPP John Yakabuski offered remarks on the race results and the PC’s hopes for the future.


A month-and-a-half after former leader Patrick Brown resigned following sexual misconduct allegations, the race to find a new leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party came to an end Saturday night in Markham, ON.

With fewer than 150 points difference in the final count, Doug Ford ultimately beat out Christine Elliott to be crowned the new leader. Coming in third was Caroline Mulroney followed by Tanya Granic Allen.

Soon after the voting results were announced, Mulroney and Granic Allen took to Twitter to congratulate Ford.

“Congratulations to our new leader, Doug Ford,” wrote Mulroney. “Today, we leave this convention united with one common goal, finally firing Kathleen Wynne.”

“Congratulations to Ford Nation,” wrote Granic Allen. “I was honoured to stand beside you last night at the announcement of your victory.”

Local MPP John Yakabuski – a supporter of Caroline Mulroney – said that he looks forward to working with Doug Ford and support the Progressive Conservative Party’s plans to bring about positive change in the province.

“I think Caroline has a tremendous future in the party but the party wasn’t ready yet and so we move on and we don’t spend our time worrying about what didn’t happen. We deal with what happened and look forward to working closely with Doug Ford as we move to the big election,” said Yakabuski. “At the end of the day, Doug Ford was selected as the winner by a legitimate process that they already had established and we're looking forward to the campaign in May into June because there's no question in my mind that Ontario wants a change and we’re going to present that change.”

While the most were quick to support Ford, Elliott refused to concede the results as she claimed to have won the popular vote, won the majority of ridings and claimed that thousands of party members were assigned to incorrect ridings.

It wasn’t until late Sunday night that Elliott finally released a statement online to congratulate Ford on winning the Ontario PC leadership race.

“After completing my review, I am confident in the results,” said Elliott, who indicated that she would be running for a seat in the provincial election. “I extend my congratulations to Doug Ford on a hard-fought campaign. Ontario needs a Progressive Conservative government to finally defeat Kathleen Wynne.”

Yakabuski similarly expressed his hope for the PC Party to overthrow Kathleen Wynne and bring about much needed change to Ontario.

“I think Ontario is ripe for change, they want change, they’re tired of this government and we’re going to offer them the alternative that makes sense and will stop the waste of this management and a failure to address the real challenges in Ontario,” said Yakabuski. “Kathleen Wynne practices politics instead of policy. As the PC Party, we believe the province needs to be run on good sound policy, not continuously politicking and out there trying to buy votes.” 

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