The polls closed at 9 p.m. Before 9:30, Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP Randy Hillier was declared re-elected and he was ecstatic.
He waited until the pundits were calling a PC majority government before declaring victory but the wide grin began as soon as he saw the check mark beside his name.
The final total was 26,194 for Hillier, 15,349 for NDP Ramsey Hart, 5,359 for Liberal Amanda Pulker-Mok, 2,410 for Green Anita Payne, 601 for Libertarian Steve Gebhardt and 440 for Independent John McEwen.
Hillier won all polling stations in the riding except seven in the south and two in Perth, all of which went to Hart.
“It’s wonderful to see a PC majority government and to get off this treadmill we’ve been on,” Hillier said. “(This will be) a government that will actually work for rural and small town Ontario.”
To that end, Hillier pledged to work for the municipalities in his riding, even getting a little animated when recalling what life under a Liberal regime has been like.
“We’ll be able to help municipalities big time,” he said. “In fact, I’ll be meeting with Kingston (City) Council shortly about the rural wards of the city.
“In terms of planning, infrastructure, municipalities need to know that they’ll have stable funding. They need to know what their finances will be in order to plan instead of the haphazard, bizarre way things have been done for years.
“It’s been bulls----!”
As a four-term member, Hillier should be under consideration for a cabinet post of some sort but he stopped short of speculating, even about pondering what post he might be interested in.
“I have lots of interests,” he said. “But Doug (Premier-elect Ford) is going to have to take a look at what skills he has in his caucus and I’ll be happy to have those discussions.
Hillier said there are so many things he’s looking forward to with a majority government but said one of the things he’s looking forward to the most is seeing Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals out of power.
“It’s going to be a little odd going into Queen’s Park and being on the other side of the aisle,” he said.