Everything you need to know about Ontario's New Blue Party
Ontario's New Blue Party is one of a handful of minor parties you can expect to see on the ballot alongside the province's main four come election day this June, and it represents a new voting option that is even more right wing than the PC Party.
The new party was founded by husband and wife Belinda and Jim Karahalios from Cambridge and has a full slate of 124 candidates running in every Ontario riding.
Belinda, who is the party's president, was elected as a Progressive Conservative MPP for Cambridge in 2018 but was ousted after she voted against Bill 195 in 2020 — a bill that allowed Premier Ford's government to extend or amend COVID-related emergency orders without consulting the legislature.
Doug Ford and the Ontario PC Party ... are they true blue conservatives?— New Blue Party of Ontario (@NewBlueON) May 11, 2022
No. They love liberals, lockdowns, and lobbyists.
That's why we created the New Blue Party of Ontario.
Let us stand up for you at https://t.co/sLCGZWnrQi!#onpoli #cdnpoli #NewBlue22 pic.twitter.com/48rALdneQ1
She formed the New Blue Party with her husband shortly after, and a key aspect of the party's platform, called The New Blueprint, is to end all COVID-19 measures and ban vaccine mandates.
8. Jim Karahalios, the Leader of the New Blue Party and a candidate for the New Blue Candidate in Kitchener, gave a speech to the convoy on Parlement Hill and was openly supporting the convoy. pic.twitter.com/93SZtiELqn— Pat King court appearance in pinned (@ResistanceCats) May 11, 2022
Many New Blue candidates are figures who organize, attend and speak at anti-mask/vax rallies, and Vaughan candidate Luca Mele even realeases amateur rap videos that express his anti-COVID vaccine position as well as his support for the trucker convoy and controversial group Hugs Over Masks.
The party's other campaign promises include banning lobbyists from party politics, "cracking down on voter fraud in internal party elections," "defund[ing] the establishment media and promot[ing] a free press" and "cutting HST from 13% to 10% and ax[ing] the Doug Ford carbon tax" — though the platform doesn't offer any specific cost information or much detail at all.
It also promises to reform education by "stopping 'woke' activism with the removal of critical race theory and gender identity theory from our schools," which sounds eerily similar to some of the harmful Republican policies being enacted south of the border.
So the New Blue Party candidate in my riding wrote a book claiming that there was no genocide of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and that no land was stolen from them.— Jeff Dupuis (@JJDupuisWriter) May 14, 2022
This is the kind of person they think is electable, a genocide-denier with no grasp of history/reality?#onpoli
This focus on ending "wokeness" has some Ontario residents comparing the party to the People's Party of Canada — a federal party that believes immigration should not "forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of our country."
Those asking in the comments (I was wondering too), this is a party made of people who think the Tories are too left wing. Basically the Ontario version of PPC.— Brian Dalke (@dalke_brian) May 11, 2022
According to lawyer and political satirist Caryma Sa'd, the New Blue Party markets itself as a haven for conservatives disgruntled by Doug Ford, particularly those who are aligned with the so-called freedom movement.
PCs are dropping into minority territory. Liberals slightly ahead of NDP in total support but in seat count the NDP likely still leads. New Blue Party and Ontario Party pulling the PCs numbers down but unclear if this will be enough to cost them any seats. #onpoli #OntarioVotes https://t.co/ARPkO2c28F— Matt Müller 🌻🇺🇦 (@Historian_Matt) May 16, 2022
"What makes this worrisome is the same concern I have with the freedom movement, namely that people are drawn in because of specific — and often legitimate — grievances, only to find themselves in a cesspool of unrelated ideas, even conspiracy theories," Sa'd told blogTO.
"The party portrays itself primarily in terms of economic concerns, but is rooted in ideas that seem intent on preserving (or restoring) a status quo that marginalizes vulnerable groups."
Other minor parties Ontarians might see on the ballot on June 2, depending on the riding, include the Ontario Party, the Communist Party, the Electoral Reform Party, the Populist Party Ontario, the None of the Above Party, Consensus Ontario and the Freedom Party of Ontario.
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