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Provincial byelections being held in two Ontario ridings, one race quite competitive

It’s byelection day in two Ontario ridings and one of the races appears to be quite competitive.

Polls and observers suggest the Progressive Conservatives and Liberals are neck and neck in Milton, just west of Mississauga, while the Tories are largely expected to hold onto the southwest Ontario riding of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.

Milton has been vacant since cabinet minister Parm Gill resigned in February to join the federal Conservatives.


The Liberal candidate is Galen Naidoo-Harris, who has worked in the local federal constituency office and is the son of a former provincial representative for the area, and the Progressive Conservative candidate has Liberal roots as well.

Zee Hamid, a three-term Milton councillor, donated to the Liberals as recently as 2022 and unsuccessfully sought a federal Liberal nomination in 2015.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex was held since 2011 by Monte McNaughton, who served in Opposition for the Progressive Conservatives and was made a cabinet minister in Premier Doug Ford’s government, and Tory candidate Steve Pinsonneault appears set to retain the seat for the party.

The Liberal candidate there is Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, the mayor of Lucan Biddulph. Kathryn Shailer is running for the NDP while Andraena Tilgner is the Green candidate.

In Milton, Edie Strachan is the NDP candidate and Kyle Hutton is running for the Greens.

Ford paid Milton a lot of attention during the byelection and in the lead up to it, with announcements on GO Transit service and Highway 413, and has had many cabinet ministers and other caucus members canvassing there.

While a Tory loss in Milton would not affect Ford’s majority, the party already lost a seat in a byelection last year that had been held by another cabinet minister and doesn’t want a repeat.

For the Liberals, the byelection marks the first real test for Bonnie Crombie, who was crowned leader in December. The former Mississauga mayor considered then decided against running for the Milton seat herself.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2024.

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