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McGuinty pulls off third win

Where queers stand in a hung Parliament

Toronto Centre MPP Glen Murray thanks supporters after his reelection on Oct 6. Credit: Rob Salerno

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty barely pulled off a third straight government after a tense, nail-biter of an election campaign. At the end of the night, party standings were 53 seats for the Liberals, 37 for the Progressive Conservatives and 17 for the New Democrats, giving the Liberals a technical minority. However, if the Speaker is chosen from the opposition parties, the Liberals would be able to control the legislature on their own.

 
Ontario gained no new out queer MPPs as a result of the election, but out cabinet ministers Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West) and Glen Murray (Toronto Centre) were returned by healthy margins in their ridings.
 
All three Progressive Conservative candidates who had been accused by Liberals of distributing homophobic and misleading campaign materials – Ben Shenouda (Brampton West), Pam Hundal (Brampton-Springdale ) and Vince Agovino (Willowdale) – lost their bids to take seats from the Liberals.
 
Former NDP MPP and out gay man Paul Ferreira lost his rematch against incumbent Liberal Laura Albanese in York South–Weston, in a tight race that saw both candidates flipping the lead as the night wore on.
 
The NDP ran four out queer candidates in this election. None of them won. In Etobicoke North, where the NDP controversially booted an out lesbian canadidate, her replacement, Vrind Sharma, placed third.

The Greens also ran two out queer candidates, unsuccessfully.

 
Christin Milloy, who ran for the Libertarian Party and who may be the first openly transgender candidate for provincial parliament in Canada, placed a distant fourth in her riding, Mississauga–Brampton South, capturing two percent of the vote.
 
Other notable results include Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky’s defeat in Prince Edward–Hastings, to her Progressive Conservative challenger, and Attorney General Chris Bentley’s reelection in London West. Dombrowsky had been criticized for her handling of several Catholic school boards’ bans of gay-straight alliances (GSAs), and Bentley has taken criticism for moving slowly on including trans people in Ontario’s human rights legislation and drafting prosecutorial guidelines on HIV transmission.
 
NDP queer allies who were reelected include Cheri DiNovo in Parkdale–High Park and Rosario Marchese in Trinity-Spadina. DiNovo has been pushing legislation that would add gender identity to the Human Rights Code, and Marchese was an early critic of the Liberals’ handling of the GSA issue. Marchese eked out a narrow victory over former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson, who ran for the Liberals.
 
NDP candidate Jonah Schein handily won the Davenport seat over the incumbent Liberal. Schein has been a vocal supporter of queer people and even did a queer-specific canvas midway through the campaign period.
 
Liberals held on to both ridings traditionally home to queer neighbourhoods: Glen Murray won Toronto Centre easily and Yasir Naqvi kept Ottawa Centre, both over prominent NDP challengers.