McGuinty sets date for Ontario byelections

File photo by Nick Lachance.

The residents of Kitchener-Waterloo will be going to the polls for a third time in 18 months on Sept. 6.

Premier Dalton McGuinty ended speculation surrounding the date for the byelection Wednesday morning, announcing that both the K-W and Vaughan byelections will be held that first Thursday in September. The two ridings were left without MPPs after veteran K-W Progressive Conservative Elizabeth Witmer stepped down in late April and Greg Sobara, a Liberal from Vaughan retired last week.

In K-W, every party aside from the Liberals has chosen their candidates. Tracey Weiler will be running for the PCs, Catherine Fife for the NDP, Stacey Danckert for the Green party and Allan Detweiler for the Libertarian party. The Liberals will be nominating their candidate Thursday night from a field of: local lawyer Eric Davis — who came second in the riding last October’s provincial election — Waterloo city councillor Karen Scian and Waterloo police staff sergeant Raj Sharma.

This byelection has garnered considerable buzz because of the potential ramifications on the legislature. Following Witmer’s resignation, the Liberals were one seat away from a de-facto majority. With the retirement of Sorbara, the Liberals must win both ridings in the coming byelections to pull even with the combined total of seats held by the PCs and NDP. Speaker Dave Levac, who votes in the event of a tie, is a Liberal.

Look for our byelection coverage online throughout the month, as well as in our Sept. 2 issue.