June 8 (UPI) — Political newcomer Doug Ford, the brother of controversial former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, has been elected as the next premier of Ontario, Canada.
Ford was elected Ontario’s leader Thursday night, after a campaign in which he promised to reduce the size of government and cut taxes in Canada’s most populous province.
“My friends, help is here,” he said in a victory in a speech. “We have sent a clear message to the world: Ontario is open for business.”
Ford defeated incumbent Kathleen Wynne, who became Ontario’s first female and openly LGBT premier in 2013.
Ford became emotional when he thanked his late brother who died of cancer in 2016.
“I know my brother Rob is looking down from heaven. I’m just getting chills talking about him right now,” he said. “I know Rob is celebrating with us tonight. We owe so much to Rob’s legacy.”
Rob Ford was a controversial figure when he served as Toronto mayor, mostly over his drug and alcohol abuse, which sometimes was not hidden from public view.
“I conceded days ago,” Wynne told supporters after defeat Thursday night. “This is my chance to say ‘thank you’ for allowing me to be premier, allowing me to connect with so many of you the last five years.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Ford on the win.
“I look forward to working with the new provincial government to create good, middle class jobs, make Ontario a world-leading center for innovative and sustainable technologies, and build infrastructure that meets the needs of Ontarians,” Trudeau said.