Implications of MPP Parm Gill’s Resignation for Milton Politics and the Upcoming Byelection. The departure of MPP Parm Gill from his position has several significant repercussions for the Milton area. Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford is obligated to organize a byelection within a six-month period. This situation raises questions about whether Milton might switch allegiance to the Liberals and if the Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie will contend for the seat. Peter Graefe, a political science associate professor at McMaster University, mentioned in an interview that Gill’s resignation impacts not only the constituents and community of Milton but also the provincial Conservative and Liberal parties.
Previously, Gill served as Ford’s minister for red tape reduction and before that as the minister for citizenship and multiculturalism. According to Graefe, Gill was perceived as being on the outskirts of Ford’s core team, with his later role seen more as a symbolic position without substantial authority. Gill stepping down suggests he might be pursuing a more promising political career at the federal level, though the reasons for his early resignation, ahead of a federal election, remain unclear. Graefe speculates that Gill might have felt stagnant in the Ontario cabinet and possibly received hints of a federal ministerial position from Pierre Poilievre should he win the election. This move by Gill could leave the Ford administration at risk of losing Milton to the Liberals.
Implications of MPP Parm Gill’s Resignation for Milton Politics and the Upcoming Byelection
In the 2019 elections, Gill was elected with 43% of the vote, narrowly surpassing the Liberal candidate Sameera Ali by a margin of 5%. This scenario sets the stage for a compelling provincial battle in Milton, where the electorate’s support could swing between the new Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie and the incumbent Doug Ford Conservatives. Crombie, having recently resigned as the Mayor of Mississauga, is in search of a seat within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, with Milton being a potential but challenging option.
Should Crombie decide to run and not succeed, it would represent a significant obstacle in her political trajectory, given her ambitions to dominate the 905 and Toronto suburbs. Graefe indicates that Gill’s exit likely excludes the NDP from contention in Milton, a region where the party has historically struggled. He notes that NDP supporters are often encouraged to back the Liberal candidate for a more impactful vote in an area predominantly divided between two political options.
Currently, Milton is federally represented by Adam van Koeverden, a former Olympian and star Liberal candidate who in 2019 unseated Conservative incumbent Lisa Raitt. Raitt had been the representative since 2008. Gill is anticipated to vie for a position in the newly established Milton East riding, which is being created due to electoral redistribution.
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