Nicholls ‘disappointed’ with election results

Rick Nicholls

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Outgoing Chatham-Kent–Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls believes his anti-COVID-19 vaccine stance cost him his seat at Queen’s Park.

But he doesn’t regret it.

“I think it boiled down to my stand on the Doug Ford vaccine mandate which saw me removed from (PC) caucus,” Nicholls said the day after the June 2 election. “That’s what I heard from people at the door.

“People told me to get vaccinated,” he added, “but I questioned whether they respect personal choice.”

But after being ousted by Ford for failing to take the shot, Nicholls found a new political home.

He signed on with the Ontario Party and is now second in command to party leader Derek Sloan.

“I looked at their platform and it aligns with my thinking,” Nicholls explained, adding he will continue on as deputy leader to help build the party.

The Ontario Party didn’t get any seats in the election, which Nicholls said was a let down.

“We’re disappointed more of the vote didn’t come our way. I think there was apathy on the part of the voters,” he noted, adding the election turnout is said to be the lowest in Ontario’s history.

However, he was surprised by the overwhelming PC majority win, as he had predicted a minority win for the Tories.

“It tells me people liked the way Ford handled the pandemic,” Nicholls said.

“I am disappointed.”

But on a good note, the former PC MPP who served C-K-L for three terms since 2011, said he’s looking forward to some time off.

“My wife and I haven’t had a vacation in three years and I’m looking forward to that,” he said.

Plus he also plans to spend some quality time with his grandchildren.

Nicholls, who will be vacating his constituency offices in about two weeks, said he’s proud of his record.

“We’ve done good stuff,” he said, counting Highway 401 safety, funding for the Chatham-Kent Children’s Treatment Centre, education funding and work on raising awareness about human trafficking among his victories.

It’s expected that Trevor Jones, Chatham-Kent–Leamington’s new PC MPP, will be sworn in sometime in June.

Jones received 17,389 votes, NDP candidate Brock McGregor got 11,024 votes and Nicholls was third with 5,416 ballots.




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