Ted Hsu sworn in as MPP

Kingston and the Island's newly elected MPP was sworn in on Thursday afternoon at Queen's Park. 

Ted Hsu becomes the region's 43rd MPP, reclaiming the seat for the Ontario Liberals in the most recent provincial election after the NDP held it from 2018-2022.

The new Ontario Parliament will meet for the first time on August 8, and a release from Hsu's office says the first orders of business are expected to be the election of a speaker, the throne speech and the introduction of the Ford government's budget.

In the release, Hsu thanks Kingston area voters and says he is ready to get to work pushing Ford's Conservative majority government.

"I'm ready to take my seat and push Premier Ford's government on the issues which were top of mind for voters: the economy, the cost of living and housing, crumbling health care capacity, the climate crisis and education disruption," said Hsu.

"I'll take every opportunity to build relationships with ministers and parliamentary secretaries, in order to have their ear on these issues and when Kingston and the Islands needs something."

Hsu previously served as a Liberal MP from 2011-2015 before taking an extended break from politics. 

The news release continues with comments from interim leader of the Ontario Liberals, John Fraser.

Fraser, echoing MPP Dr. Adil Shamji, says the recent closures of emergency rooms around Ontario and general state of Ontario's healthcare system is a problem that Ford and his top representatives are shying away from. 

"Every lever must be used to relieve pressure on Ontario's health system and the time to act is now," Fraser said. 

"Doug Ford and Sylvia Jones are consistently nowhere to be found."

Hsu said throughout the last several years as Premier, Doug Ford has shown a consistent lack of proactive leadership.

The news release points towards teachers being neglected, lack of affordable housing, over 30% small business bankruptcy and the climate crisis as issues he and the Liberal caucus plan to push Doug Ford's government on. 

With just eight elected members after a disappointing election for the Liberal party, it will be an uphill battle.  

Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative