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Former MPP Says Ford Nation Has A Good Chance

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Tory MPP Toby Barrett who represents Haldimand-Norfolk

Doug Ford did the round of Toronto television news shows Monday, smiling his way through suggestions that the PC party is fractured and insisting it will sweep the province in the June general election.

"These results are definitive and provide a clear mandate to Doug Ford as outlined in our party constitution and the leadership election rules", Hartley Lefton, chair of the party's leadership election organizing committee, said Sunday.

During his stops while campaigning in North Ontario - including Sudbury - Ford said "there are billions of dollars of natural resources up there" that are sitting in the ground because mining companies can't get to them.

The statement further said she had won both the popular vote and the majority of ridings, and that fewer than 150 points separated her from Ford in the final tally.

"Whatever it takes, as long as we get it right and then we're behind whoever the candidate is", said Jeffrey Thomson, a longtime party member.

"We're going to move forward as a cohesive group", he said of the party that has been plagued by infighting in recent weeks.

He said his win was the result of a "grassroots movement" across the province, but also acknowledged that the leadership process - marred by voting problems and a since-dropped challenge to his win by runner-up Christine Elliott - was messy.

The prospects of a Doug Ford premiership looking more than just possible, Ontarians may be able to pay their hydro bills again without having to borrow from money set aside for their groceries.

So the real question is: Would you vote for Doug Ford to lead Ontario? But he is going to need to recognize that he is part of a bigger party.

Omar Khan, vice-president for engagement with the Ontario Liberal Party and vice-president for public affairs with Hill+Knowlton strategies, says Liberals need to stay the course to win.

"What we are putting forward as a platform is very, very different than what any of the Conservatives were putting forward, which is cutting and removing supports from people".

Bennett downplayed the conflict between the candidates and their supporters and said all leadership campaigns can be passionate affairs. During the leadership race, Mr. Ford campaigned as a social conservative on issues of abortion and the sex-education curriculum.

Continued below."As somebody who has been a member of this party since '74, has represented the legislature for 19 years, has been a cabinet minister, this moment in time is the most embarrassing moment of my life as a member of this party".

Romano said he believes Ford is committed to making Northern Ontario stronger and assisting with its growth. "This concept that I see of polarization I don't think will be almost as predominant in the coming months".

However, Wynne also told reporters that her party is focused on who it is fighting for, not against.

He said he saw seniors "with tears in their eyes" because they were left out of the vote and he promised to "clean up the mess". Give me a break, I think people want good government.

LIVE COVERAGE: CBC News Network will broadcast live from the Ontario PC leadership event on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. ET, with host Rosemary Barton.

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