Nickel Belt incumbent candidate France Gélinas officially opened her NDP campaign office Saturday with a suggestion to voters that Ontario New Democrats are poised to beat Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives from controlling the legislature.
"We're at a moment in time where we are 10 seats away from defeating Doug Ford," Gélinas told friends and supporters at the opening of her Sudbury committee room, located on Highway 69 North in Val Caron.
As the Ontario legislature was dissolved on Tuesday May 3, 2022, the PCs held 67 seats, while the official opposition New Democrats held 38 seats. Those are the only two parties that were officially recognized in the house. The Liberals held seven seats; the Green, the New Blue and the Ontario Parties each held one seat. There were six independent candidates and three vacant seats. There are 124 seats in the legislature.
Gélinas explained that with the NDP winning an additional 10 seats -- and if the Liberals and Greens stay the same -- it would be impossible for the PCs to form a majority government.
"That is 10 seats away from fixing our long term care system. Yes that has failed so many of our seniors through the pandemic. We are 10 seats away from fixing our homecare system, because it doesn't matter who you ask, nobody wants to go to a long term care. They want to stay home to be supported and respected in their own home, Gélinas told the gathering.
Although this is the first week of the campaign, Gélinas said she is taking nothing for granted and has been on the road visiting many of the small towns and villages north of Sudbury.
This is the fifth provincial campaign for Gélinas who was first elected in 2007 and then reelected in successive campaigns in 2011, 2014 and 2018. In her legislative roles, Gélinas has been an opposition critic for health, health and long-term care, Francophone affairs, autism, disabilities, pharmacase, Aboriginal affairs and Northern Development and Mines. She has also served on numerous legislature committees.
Gélinas is being challenged for her seat in the June 2 election by several candidates according to the Elections Ontario website.
This includes PC candidate Randy Hazlett, Liberal candidate Gilles Proulx, New Blue candidate Melanie Savoie and Ontario Party candidate Willy Schneider.
Wikipedia has listed two additional candidates; Green Party hopeful Glenys Babcock and None Of The Above party candidate Bailey Burch-Belanger. These last two names are not yet on the Elections Ontario online page.