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Doug Ford’s speech: ’To the people of Ontario, I say relief is on its way.’ - Transcript

Late Saturday night, Doug Ford was elected leader of the Ontario Conservative party. Here’s a transcript of his victory speech.
Ont Tory Leadership 20180310
Doug Ford greets the media after being named as the newly elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives at the delayed Ontario PC Leadership announcement in Markham, Ont., on Saturday, March 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Late Saturday night the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party announced Doug Ford had won the leadership race, after hours of delays and confusion at the party’s convention. This is a transcript of Ford’s speech:

Well my friends, thank you for coming tonight.

Tonight we took the first step in defeating Kathleen Wynne. The people of Ontario want the Ontario Liberals gone and they deserve nothing less. I know that many of the party members feel like they’ve been let down with this process — those who participated and those who weren’t able to participate.

Tonight is a clear sign that there are a lot of work ahead of us. We have a lot more work to do before the next campaign. We have a lot to do in a very short amount of time. But I promise you this. I will get our party back on track. We will put a platform forward that speaks to every Ontarian. Together we will return our province to where it belongs. We will make Ontario the leader of jobs and growth in Canada. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: Ontario will be open for business.

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I am so grateful for the support and the confidence of the PC members. We are going to spend the coming weeks getting our party in fighting shape because the people of this province are ready for change. They want Kathleen Wynne out, I will not take this responsibility lightly. I will never forget the trust the people have put in me.

I want to thank my beautiful wife Karla, my girls, my whole family, my brother, Rob upstairs, he was incredible. You have always stood by me, and you are my rock. I wouldn’t be standing here without your support. To my incredible team, they were absolutely incredible, your dedication to our cause made this possible. The hard-working people of Ontario, I am truly humbled, very humbled, by your support. You are the ones who kept me going, you (are) the reason I am here.

I will also want to acknowledge the other candidates. Tanya, thank you, where’s Tanya, right behind me, Tanya, thank you, thank you so much. And to Caroline and Christine, we all fought hard, every one of us. And I can assure you, each and every one of them will play a critical role in our government. Ontario needs your passion and your commitment. And I can tell you, as you saw, this was not an easy race, we all worked hard.

Friends, it’s been a very, very long night, and I will have much more to say in coming days. But to the party members, I say thank you. To the people of Ontario, I say relief is on its way. And to Kathleen Wynne, I say your days as premier are numbered.

Thank you, thank you so much, I appreciate it.

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