Lambton-Kent-Middlesex voters at the polls today

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Heather Wright/The Independent

If the advance polls are any indication, voter turnout in the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex by-election today may not be very high.

The by-election was called by the Ford Government to replace long-time MPP and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton when he retired in September. Eight candidates are in the running for the position and have been criss-crossing the riding as big as PEI for the last month.

In the final stretch of the campaign, the Ontario PC pulled out the big guns. Premier Doug Ford was in Strathroy campaigning with candidate Steve Pinsonneault on the weekend. Pinsonneault has been heralding the accomplishments of the Ford government on the trail and telling voters only the PC’s are fighting to get rid of the federal carbon tax.

Around the same time, Liberal Candidate Cathy Burghart Jesson and her leader, Bonnie Crombie, were in Dresden meeting with Dresden CARED – a group dedicated to stopping a proposal by York1 Environmental to expand the dormant dump and make it a regenerative recycling facility and landfill.
They visited the site and planted a tree in Dresden, highlighting the hot button issue there.

The New Democrat’s Kathryn Shailer, Keith Benn for New Blue, Stephen R. Campbell for None of the Above, Green Party candidate Andraena Tilgner, Hilda Watson for Family Rights and Cynthia Workman of the Ontario Party were also out looking for votes leading up to Voting day.

By-elections traditionally do not garner as much interest as a province-wide election. That seems to be the case again.

Elections Ontario says about 5.5 per cent of registered voters cast advanced ballots in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. That’s just under 5,000 people. It is about half the number of people who voted in advance polls in the 2022 general election.

Voters cast their ballots from 9 am to 9 pm Thursday at polling stations across the riding including at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre in Alvinstion, the East Lambton Community Complex in Watford, The Shores Recreation Centre in Forest and the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Center in Dresden.

You can find your polling station at Election Ontario’s website. After the election go to petrolialambtonindependent.ca – for results.